Dr. Lynal Albert (Environmental Engineering): Dr. Albert’s main research interests include Water Quality, Environmental Biotechnology and Microbiology, Waste Management and Risk analysis. Dr. Albert has worked on multiple projects focusing on microbial survival that is key to many natural and engineered systems. Her research focusses on investigating how microbial activity varies upon – adhesion to various surfaces, colonization and biofilm development. She has worked on interdisciplinary projects examining antibiotic resistance development and nosocomial infections with a focus on microbial genetics. More recently, Dr. Albert’s research has focused on the particular contaminants in ground and surface water that are suspected of adversely affecting human health including that of infants referred to as emerging contaminants. Her research emphasizes on engineered nanomaterials, hormones and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Dr. Albert’s research extends to include environmental risk assessment, safety and crisis communication that is integral to improving risk management.

Dr. Alex Herescu (Mechanical Engineering): Dr. Herescu earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University, for work in energy technology and microfluidics. His research interests and expertise are in the thermal-fluid sciences, pertaining to thermal and fluid management applied to the development of alternative energy and biomedical technology, in particular applications presenting small passages (e.g. heat exchangers, phase separators and filtration systems), and controlled hydrophilic-hydrophobic wetting. He worked on a government contract (Department of Energy) which addressed target barriers of water transport within the PEM fuel cell stack (hydrogen batteries), in cooperation with General Motors. He started his engineering career as an aerospace engineer, he carried out wind tunnel testing and numerical simulations to investigate propellant management in low-gravity environments.

Dr. Hoe-Gil Lee (Mechanical Engineering): Dr. Lee’s academic and industry experiences have incorporated a combination of optimization techniques, from multi-objective models to uncertainty models to reliability-based design. Ultimately, his goal is to solve and optimize problems by studying their mathematical properties and practical performance to implement them in high-quality software and apply them to real-world dilemmas. He is interested in a multidisciplinary applied research agenda aimed at furthering design optimization knowledge in the areas of solar, wind, and fuel cell energy, hybrid vehicle technology, industrial mechanical products (especially automotive components and industrial pumps and turbines), and manufacturing process optimization within production planning, controlling and scheduling, and use of production tools.

Dr. Kartik Venkataraman (Civil/Environmental Engineering): Dr. Venkataraman’s research interests span both the Civil and the Environmental Engineering disciplines, encompassing water resources engineering, groundwater contamination and environmental remediation. Through projects funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and in joint partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Centre, Dr. Venkataraman has been studying the use of biochar derived from grass, wood and other renewable materials in the treatment of agricultural nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. These studies involve long-term monitoring of water quality in experimental plots with crops grown in soil media amended with biochar. Another area of interest for Dr. Venkataraman is evaluating the state of natural water resources – through contracts with the state environmental agency (TCEQ), Dr. Venkataraman has performed assessments of major rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands in Texas. Most recently, Dr. Venkataraman has been developing models to aid in the evaluation of climate change on extreme hydrologic events such as floods and droughts.

Dr. Rajesh Vuddandam (Civil Engineering): Dr. Raj research is focused on design of experiments involving planning, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting controlled tests. He has several publications and projects involving computational design; analytical and experimental studies using DAQ (Data Acquisition Systems) and sensor technology. His other research interests include structural health monitoring, self-healing of concrete structures, design optimization of structures, sustainable structural design, fracture mechanics, and virtual reality.

Dr. Fei Wang (Civil Engineering): Dr. Wang’s research areas span both geotechnical and transportation engineering with a long-term research goal of building sustainable performance-based civil infrastructures. To be more specific, his major research interests include buried structures, soil-structure interaction, man-made hazards associated with pipeline failures, geosynthetic reinforcements, new pavement materials, sinkholes, and land subsidence. Recently, Dr. Wang started to work on a new research topic of AI applications in civil engineering to use AI technologies for civil infrastructure health monitoring, soil classifications, and sinkhole detection underneath pavements.

Dr. Jun Xu (Mechanical Engineering): Dr. Xu’s main research interests are in thermal-fluids related areas including Computational Fluid Dynamics, heat transfer, and bio-transport processes, within the broad scope of mechanical engineering. These interests steam from his multidisciplinary doctoral research experience at State University of New York at Stony Brook and postdoctoral training at Georgetown University and Cornell University. Dr. Xu has applied the general thermal-fluids theories to a broad spectrum of biomedical applications such as cell adhesion and rolling in blood flow, neuron’s response to chemical gradients, and signal transduction through ion channels inside a single neuron. More recently, his interests have expanded to renewable energy areas such as wind energy and HVAC for energy efficient buildings, in addition to computational biophysics. The goal of Dr. Xu’s research is to develop high performance computational approaches that allow for study and understanding of complex fluid, energy, and biophysical systems.

Dr. Hajjat (Civil/Geotechnical) : Dr. Hajjat is an Assistant Professor of civil/Geotechnical Engineering at Tarleton State University. She earned a doctorate in civil/geotechnical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station. She has expertise in industry, teaching, and research from different institutions. Her scientific findings are highlighted in several journal and conference articles. Dr. Hajjat’s research interests involve soil mechanics, unsaturated soils, expansive clay, desiccation cracks in soils, and soil-structure interaction.