Ten new faculty join the College of Science and Engineering

The environment, biomedical technologies, robotics, computer security, and a variety of other topics are the focus of research for new faculty members hired this fall within the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering. The 10 new faculty join more than 420 current CSE faculty, many world-renowned in their fields.

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Turan Birol_100x122Turan Birol
Assistant professor

Birol received his B.S. in physics from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. After receiving a M.S. from Koç University in Istanbul, he moved to Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in 2013. This past year he was a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University. His research interests lie on the intersection of condensed matter physics, structural chemistry, and materials science, where he uses first-principles computational tools to study and find new materials realizations of exotic phenomena in condensed matter.

Christopher Ellison_100x122Christopher Ellison
Associate professor

Ellison was previously a chemical engineering faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. Following a position as a senior scientist at Rohm and Haas Company (now Dow Chemical), he was a postdoctoral fellow from 2006–2008 at the University of Minnesota. His research interests in polymer and materials science include the structure and dynamics of nanoconfined materials, self-assembly in thin films for lithography applications, nanomaterials for membranes and electrochemical devices, and light-activated chemistries for thin film patterning and fiber manufacturing.

Department of Chemistry

Jason Goodpaster_100x122Jason Goodpaster
Assistant professor

Goodpaster received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Interested in the development, implementation, and application of new electronic structure techniques, his research focuses on the development of multi-scale methods, which allow for the study of large and extended systems, and applying these new methods to metalloenzymes, heterogeneous catalysts, and metal-organic frameworks.

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering

Ardeshir Ebtehaj_100x122

Ardeshir Ebtehaj
Assistant professor

Ebtehaj completed a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. at the Iran University of Science and Technology before coming to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, where he earned both an M.S. in mathematics and a Ph.D. in civil engineering. He completed two years of postdoctoral training at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Most recently he was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University. Ebtehaj’s research focus is to increase our understanding of the global water-energy cycle and of land-atmosphere interactions for improving water, food, and energy security.

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Hyun soo Park_100x122Hyun Soo Park
Assistant professor

Park received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 and joins the University of Minnesota after working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab. His research focuses on computational vision where he is interested in developing a computational visual representation to understand human behaviors from first-person cameras, which includes understanding social interactions via visible social signals such as gaze direction, facial expression, and body movements; learning visual sensorimotor behaviors; and modeling a geometric relationship for dynamic human body motion, for example, 3D body reconstruction.

Catherine_Zhao_100x122Catherine Qi Zhao

Assistant professor

Qi Zhao received her Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2009. Subsequently, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Computation and Neural Systems, and Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology from 2009 to 2011. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, she was an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Ophthalmology Department at the National University of Singapore, and the principal investigator at the Visual Information Processing Lab. Her main research interests include computational vision, machine learning, cognitive neuroscience, and mental disorders.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Yahya Tousi
Assistant professor

Tousi received his B.S. and his M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, he was with SiTune in San Jose, Calif. from 2012 to 2014 where he worked on integrated circuits for wideband satellite links. He then joined the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center at Yorktown Heights, New York and focused on mm-wave and terahertz integrated systems. His research interests are novel circuits and systems for high-speed communication, biomedical, and signal processing applications.

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

SherwinDoroudi_100x122Sherwin Doroudi
Assistant professor

Doroudi earned his bachelor’s degree from California Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D. in industrial administration, operations management from Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on modeling and analyzing resource management problems in stochastic environments. In particular, he is interested in the analysis of large-scale Markov chains arising from queueing-theoretic models.  He has worked on problems with applications to call center staffing, online service pricing, power management, and computer security.

School of Mathematics

Jeff calder_100x122Jeff Calder
Assistant professor

Calder received his Ph.D. in applied and interdisciplinary mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2014, and was an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, before coming to the University of Minnesota. Calder’s research interests include partial differential equations and applied probability, with applications to machine learning. He is also interested in mathematical problems in computer vision and image processing.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Vinod Srinivasan_100x122

Vinod Srinivasan
Assistant professor

Srinivasan received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, India, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. After post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, he worked for General Electric Global Research, New York, before joining the Indian Institute of Science as an assistant professor in 2013. His research interests span several areas in heat transfer and fluid mechanics, with particular focus on the role of surface microstructure in phase change heat transfer, gas turbines, and the control of absolute/convective stability in shear flows for application to propulsion, sprays and atomization, and thermal plasmas.