PhD Graduates

Bilen Akuzum
Materials Science and Engineering
Electrochemical and Rheological Analysis of Flowable Conducting Suspension Electrodes for Scalable Energy Storage
Advisor: E. Caglan Kumbur

“Bilen has been working at the interface between Materials, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, developing flowable energy storage systems with carbon and MXene suspensions. He could be awarded PhD in any of those fields. He also produced several videos that won national and international awards, so a degree in cinematography would be an option too. The world needs creative engineers like Bilen, who will invent new technologies and bring them to practice through the company that he founded while studying at Drexel.”

Mohamed H. Alhabeb (ABD)
Materials Science and Engineering

Elias Ali
Civil Engineering
Functionally Graded Thin-walled Structural Systems Under Extreme Loading
Advisor: Yared Shifferaw

“We would like to commend our Ph.D. student, Mr. Elias Ali, for his intelligence, perseverance, thinking out-of-the-box, and succeeding under adverse circumstances. He is the type of student who truly makes our efforts worthwhile. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors, which definitely look bright.”

Peyman Aminpour Mohammadabadi
Civil Engineering
Multiscale Modeling of Thixotropy in Soft Clays
Advisor: Kurt Sjoblom

Elaf A. Anber
Materials Science and Engineering
Effect of Aluminum Addition on Thermal Stability of High Entropy Alloys Using an In-Situ TEM Heading Approach
Advisor: Steven May

“Elaf is a shining example of how open borders can benefit scientific discovery. She is the product of an state department program for students from Iraq, and we as a community have benefited greatly from her valuable scientific and personal contributions. It’s never a shock to me when I get the question, “is she interested in a faculty position? We want to hire her!” Elaf will undoubtedly go on to make great contributions in physical metallurgy, and has contributed insight into complex alloys that might have far-reaching implications for the future of aerospace as we know it. All this while raising a small child? Incredible, but not surprising if you know her. She is aggressive, and asks the right questions; despite hardship, she has risen to the top of a burgeoning field and it was her own doing. We are just here to watch her star rise.”

Swarnendu Chatterjee
Chemical Engineering
Designing Three-Dimensional Nanoporous Metal Alloys for Selective Electrochemical Conversion Catalysis
Advisor: J. Snyder

Chen Chen
Electrical Engineering
Machine Learning Techniques for Forensic Camera Model Identification and Anti-Forensic Attacks
Advisor: Matthew C. Stamm

“Chen, watching you grow from a promising young PhD student into a gifted and independent researcher with such a sharp mind has been so rewarding. I’m so very proud of you, and congratulations on your PhD and your position as an AI Researcher at Facebook!”

Zhelun Chen
Architectural Engineering
Advanced Solver Development for Large-Scale Dynamic Building System Simulation
Advisor: Jin Wen

“Aaron is kind and smart. He is always willing to give a helping hand. It has been a great experience working with him. ”

Michael J. Cimorelli #
Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Steve Wrenn

“Gel phantoms, pressure insufflator, polysorbate, rats, pigs, cardiologists, Formula 42, Electrast, Coulter, NAMSA, Pitt, Wheelhouse, Sonnest, Fulbright, Mookie. Notice that “reviewers” did not make the list.”

Shane August Esola
Mechanical Engineering
Nondestructive Approach for Defect Detection in Hard Armor Protective Inserts
Advisor: Antonios Kontsos

“I remember fondly having attending Shane’s wedding while he was a PhD student in my research group and later on during his PhD defense presentation with his wife and newborn son being in the audience. It is always emotional to have one of your PhD students becoming a parent and realizing the amount of work, patience and personal sacrifice that it takes to complete a graduate degree.”

Mustafa Omer Furkan
Civil Engineering
Advisor: Ivan Bartoli

Steven Tyler Gossert
Chemical Engineering
Study of HIV-1 Viral Engagement of a Novel Virucidal Molecule using Molecular Dynamics
Advisor: Cameron F. Abrams

“Of the many memories of my time mentoring Steven, I’ll never forget watching him deliver his first talk at a national conference.  He presented excellent scientific work with confidence and clarity.  Bravo, Steven!”

Oliver Clyde Harris
Chemical Engineering
Mechanisms and Consequences of SEI Failure in Advanced Li-ion Batteries
Advisor: Maureen H. Tang

“At 10PM the night before giving one of my first talks as a PI at Drexel, Oliver and I were sitting in the hotel lobby still trying to figure out what his data meant. At the last minute we pulled together a really nice story, and the memory stays with me as a marking point in both of our transitions towards independence.”

James Low Hart
Materials Science and Engineering
Direct Detection Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy: Characterization and Applications
Advisor: Mitra Taheri

“James Hart: Jamie began graduate school with a quiet confidence that I rarely see in students. It was soon clear to me that he could back it up in spades. Over the course of his PhD, Jamie was certainly one of the most steady, yet innovative researchers on my team. His ability to perform quality scholarly work on a variety of topics, and maintain a pleasant and calm nature even when all the instruments break down is a testament to his tenacity and spirit. We will surely see Jamie’s profile continue to rise, and I am excited to see his ideas come to fruition as he pursues his goals; he has switched gears scientifically but for those sports fans, Jamie is the Bo Jackson of Materials Science. Jamie’s level of insight is not at the surface; he is able to pick up a new topic and get incredibly deep with it, digging out critical questions and tackling them with grace. I don’t doubt that he will lose this gift.”

Christine Barbara Hatter
Materials Science and Engineering
Synthesis and characterization of multifunctional polymer-matrix nanocomposites with transition metal carbides/carbonitrides (MXenes)
Advisor: Yury Gogotsi

“I was lucky to meet Christine while on sabbatical at the Oak Ridge National Lab. Glad she accepted my invitation and came to Drexel for her PhD study to develop MXene-polymer composites. Christine’s work made an impact, with her patents licensed to industry and papers she coauthored already cited about 1900 times. Congratulations on completing your degree and much success at DuPont!”

Saad Intikhab
Chemical Engineering
Interfacial processes that govern the pH dependence of the electrocatalytic reversible hydrogen reaction
Advisor: Joshua Snyder

“Saad is an incredibly accomplished student who has completed his PhD in just four years. He has made a measurable impact to the field of electrocatalysis, has a long successful career ahead of him, and will be greatly missed here at Drexel.”

Kyle Joseph Juretus
Electrical Engineering
Enhancing the Cybersecurity Root of Trust Through Hardware Layer Logic Obfuscation
Advisor: Ioannis Savidis

Masoud Khazaei Poul
Civil Engineering
Development of Viscoelastic PML and Deconvolution of Input Motion at Depth for Soil-Structure Interaction – Application to Dams
Advisor: Aspasia Zerva

“Having brilliant students is a blessing in our careers. My student, Dr. Masoud Khazaei Poul, is one of them. His intelligence, innovation, diligence and high-quality productivity puts him at the very top of our graduating Ph.D.s. It has been, indeed, a pleasure working with him. I am proud of his accomplishments and look forward to his future achievements.”

Dong-Ook Kim
Mechanical Engineering
The Role of Evaporation and Particle Self-Assembly on Deposition Morphologies of Inkjet-printed Drops
Advisor: Ying Sun

“Dong-ook always strikes me as someone who is extremely friendly and willing to help his lab mates at any time. He has successfully conducted a great deal of very sophisticated experiments. We wish him well in his future endeavor.”

Ariana Sarah Levitt
Materials Science and Engineering
Manufacturing of MXene-Based Fibers, Yarns, and Knitted Electrochemical Capacitors
Advisor: Yury Gogotsi

“Support from NSF through a graduate research fellowship gives PhD students freedom to pursue truly innovative research ideas and Ariana used it to the full extent. Some people go an extra mile to reach their goal. Ariana went extra 10,000 miles, all the way to Australia to learn about smart textiles manufacturing, build research collaborations and develop energy storing textiles with MXene. I know that no challenge will be too big for her.”

Yawei Li
Chemical Engineering
Controlling and Optimizing Activity/Stability Balance in Morphologically Complex Electrocatalytic Materials
Advisor: Joshua Snyder

Yuqiao Liu
Electrical Engineering
Novel Antenna Technology for Internet of Things Applications
Advisor: Kapil Dandekar

“Yuqiao can make an antenna out of anything! In addition to being a strong researcher in his own right, he is a great mentor to other students in the lab. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Kathleen Ann Maleski
Materials Science and Engineering
Solution Processing and Optical Properties of 2D Transition Metal Carbides (MXenes)
Advisor: Yury Gogotsi

“She came to Drexel for a MS degree. By the time she left Drexel, she coauthored about 30 papers with 150 researchers from 40 organizations in 10 countries and was performing at the level of a senior researcher. Not surprising, when she applied for a job at GE she was promoted before she even started and offered a position a level higher than she asked for. I look forward to hearing about her many successes in the future.”

Qiang Mao
Civil Engineering
Exploring Structural Identification as a Tool for Characterization of Bridges Substructures
Advisor: Ivan Bartoli

“I would like to commend Dr. Qiang Mao, for always seeking a solution to his most challenging research problems, without ever considering shortcuts and convenient incomplete answers. His integrity has been an example for all the students that I have advised. Dr. Mao has been the silent calming force in my research group, never interested in raising his voice and always ready to help his friends and fellow researchers. As shown in this image he took while working, Qiang is now doing what he always wanted to do in his professional life. I am really happy for him!”

Melvin Domin Mathew
Mechanical Engineering
Speckle Patterns for Tailorable & Multiscale Optical Metrology Measurements
Advisor: Antonios Kontsos

Owen Alexander Mayer
Electrical Engineering
Image Forgery Detection Using Deep Learning and Signal Processing Methods
Advisor: Matthew C. Stamm

“Owen, you continue to impress me with your intellect, your hard work, and your creativity. I am so unbelievably proud of the work that you have done. Congratulations on your Ph.D, as well as your many awards, including the 2019 CoE Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award!”

Shan Mei
Materials Science and Engineering
Polymer Brushes Derived from Polymer Single Crystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications
Advisor: Christopher Li

“Shan is a wonderful student to work with, intelligent and independent. Best of luck Shan and we will miss you!”

Samantha L. Morelly
Chemical Engineering
Processing-Structure-Performance Relationships in Li-ion Batteries: A Rheological Perspective
Advisor: Nicolas J. Alvarez

James Edward Nathaniel II
Materials Science and Engineering
Grain Boundary Influence on Radiation Induced Detect Evolution in Nanocrystalline Metals
Advisor: Mitra Taheri

“James recently joked and said to a group of colleagues, “just let me be me.” James, who is the only student in history who could make sport of listening to and organizing music (he is also a DJ) while meticulously operating a TEM, is certainly unique. Like Jamie, he possess a quiet confidence. His, though, grew out of built success during his doctoral program. Coming to Drexel from a non-MSE background and an HBCU, his experience differed from most. When James hit the ground running, though, his impact was felt in the community. He has contributed to the field of radiation damage in ways that allow us to plan entirely new materials based on the phenomena that he observed. Armed with the knowledge of these impacts, and seeing now that colleagues around the world are recognizing this, James is a force to be reckoned with….he sometimes tells me he wants to design shoes. I know now that WHATEVER length scale he works on, he’ll make a lasting impact.”

Vasil Pano
Electrical Engineering
Wireless Network-on-Chip for Multi-Die Systems
Advisor: Gary Friedman

“Our one dispute with Vasil is about which one of us had initiated the idea of him staying on for his PhD degree. When this once senior undergraduate student showed up for an appointment in 2014, I hijacked the conversation immediately to close the deal. I remember vividly asking him to remember, and for the records to show, that I was the one to ask first, as it was clear even then this would be one extraordinary PhD journey to remember (and it univocally is). History is written by victors, and with this note, by one victorious professor who asked first.”

Satish S. Rajaram
Mechanical Engineering
Understanding the Mechanistic Role of Grain Boundaries on the Strength and Deformation of Nanocrystalline Metals using Atomistic Simulations
Advisor: Garritt Tucker

“During his Ph.D. tenure, Satish showed inspirational perseverance and hard-work. I was delighted to work with him on challenging scientific endeavors, and observing first-hand his personal and professional growth during the past 4 years.”

Arjun Rajasekar
Electrical Engineering
Detection of Hypoxia in Humans
Advisor: Leonid Hrebien

“You were an Outstanding Graduate Student and it was pleasure working with you!”

Sijie Ran
Electrical Engineering
Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robot Systems for Bio-Medical Application
Advisor: Gennady Friedman

“Dr. Sijie Ran defended his PhD on the art, physics and applications of synchronized swimming orchestrated by magnetic field and on remote magnetic manipulation of microscopic tools in soft tissues. Sije is now a chief engineer in a startup near LA that is developing magnetic surgery technology partly based on the results of his thesis. I wish Sijie all the best, and just hope that, at least once in a while, he will want to chat with me. I am not picky. We could talk about anything he wants: surgical micro-robots, politics or “The Three-Body Problem” which is a wonderful book of a Chinese science fiction writer he gave me as a parting gift. Thank you Sijie.”

Bahar Riazi Esfahani
Environmental Engineering
Process Modeling in Prospective Life Cycle Assessment: Implications for Value-Added Fuels and Chemicals Derived from Bioresources
Advisor: JIn Wen

“I wish you all the best and look forward to following your successes as you set off on your new career!”

Sadella Cruz Santos
Chemical Engineering
Thermoreversible Diels-Alder Healable Polymeric Systems for Corrosion Prevention
Advisor: Giuseppe Palmese

“Hi Sadella – Congratulations!  It has been a pleasure watching you develop as a scientist and professionally.  Your advances in the area of self-healing materials have real impact, and your work with others in the group and the CBE community have made Drexel a much better place.  Best wishes Dr. Santos!”

Leena Jaydeep Shevade
Environmental Engineering
Predicting streetscape green infrastructure performance amidst uncertain inflow
Advisor: Franco Montalto

“Leena’s passion for water resources solutions originated back home in Mumbai, India where she once had to walk six miles to her home knee-deep in water as a result of an extreme rain event. Always balancing a complex set of responsibilities with incredible grace and poise, Leena completed per PhD focusing on the effectiveness of nature-based “green” solutions to urban flooding while serving as a teaching assistant, and raising two young children. She will no doubt excel as a teacher, researcher, and academic, as she begins teaching at Lafayette University this fall.”

Tianchi Sun
Electrical Engineering
Forced Oscillation in Integrated Opto-electronic Circuits for Realization of Stable RF Synthesizers
Advisor: Afshin S. Daryoush

“Dr. Tianchi Sun arrived in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in Fall-Term of 2014 and submitted his PhD dissertation in Summer-Term of 2019 after filing for a patent on self-mode locked multi-mode semiconductor laser diode, publishing 8 refereed journal papers and 12 refereed IEEE conference papers on highly stable clocks. He is remembered by our students and faculty as a dedicated teaching assistant and a high caliber researcher with sophisticated analytical, numerical modeling, and experimental measurement skills.”

Robert Hill Swan Jr. #
Civil Engineering
Constitutive Mechanical Behavior of Unbound Conventional and Light Weight Coarse Aggregate
Advisor: Joseph Martin

“Assisting Rob Swan, a better expression than “Advising” or “Supervising” has not only been an honor and a pleasure, but a yank back to what I was hired to do, Geotechnical/Geosynthetics Engineering. Haven’t been in that realm since Archie Filshill’s PhD.”

Simge Uzun
Materials Science and Engineering
Multiscale Integration of Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Carbides (MXenes) Into Textile-Based Devices
Advisor: Yury Gogotsi, Genevieve Dion

Siavash Vahidi
Civil Engineering
Effect of Photochemical and Mechanical Degradation Mechanisms on Polyethylene
Advisor: Y. Grace Hsuan

“I was impressed by Siavash’s enthusiasm, dedication, and creativity for his research. He also was an excellent teacher.”

Richard James Vallett
Mechanical Engineering
A Differential Capacitive Touch Sensing System for Knitted Textiles
Advisor: Youngmoo Kim

“Rich ‘RJ’ Vallett is an engineer, designer, and artist, whose graduate research helped to create the exciting new field of functional fabrics. He’s also a Drexel lifer, a student who started his career here as an undergraduate and continued on to remarkable success through his PhD studies. I’m incredibly proud both of his research and his contributions in connecting across different disciplines and people spanning our campus.  Best of luck, Rich with the next steps of your career! Thanks! ”

Eric Charles Wait
Electrical Engineering
The Complete Interactome with 5-D GPU Accelerated Analysis, Visualization, and UI for Biological Microscopy Applications
Advisor: Andrew R. Cohen

“Eric Wait is currently a Research Scientist at Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, helping apply computational image analysis tools to cutting edge microscope hardware. Eric leveraged his background experience in both computation and photography to produce an excellent doctoral thesis that includes cutting edge new techniques for working with 5-D microscopy images.”

Martin P. Walsh
Chemical Engineering
Bilayer Alteration from Ultrasound-Induced Microbubble Cavitation
Advisor: Steven Wrenn

“From tribulations with Der Schaumschläger to trips to College Park, Marty is a master of perseverance and patience and popper of bubbles. Someone should weave a whacky sweater in his honor.”

Chunyi Wang
Environmental Engineering
Secondary organic aerosol formation indoors: Experimental and modeling investigations of impacts of surface reactions and equilibrium partitioning processes
Advisor: Michael Waring

“I feel deeply fortunate to have been the PhD advisor of Dr. Chunyi Wang. He was an excellent researcher and teacher to other students, and now he is my friend and colleague. My group is not the same without him.”

Jiayi Wang
Materials Science and Engineering
Processing of Epitaxial Oxyfluoride Films and Characterization of Their Physical Properties
Advisor: Steven May

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Jiayi over the last few years. He is a very talented, self-motivated and independent researcher who everyone enjoys working with. Congratulations on earning your PhD. You will be missed and please keep in touch.”

Mingkun Wang
Mechanical Engineering
From Fiber Meshwork Mechanotransduction to Cartilage Tissue Engineering
Advisor: Li-Hsin Han

Sheng Wang
Environmental Engineering
Method of Quantifying Wind-driven Natural Ventilation Flowrate and the Development of Systematic Analysis on the Relationship Between the Flowrate and Building Configuration
Advisor: Liang Chung Lo

“Sheng has always shown enthusiasm in learning and research,,but sometimes the enthusiasm got the best of him because he often got too excited about results or findings before thoroughly examine them. I hope Sheng will continue to have the energy and drive for his professional careers and let his experiences at Drexel to be his guide, that success will be built on both enthusiasm and carefulness. ”

Eric Alexander Wargo
Mechanical Engineering
A Microstructure-Driven Approach to Characterize Transport Phenomena in Porous Media of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
Advisor: E. Caglan Kumbur

“Eric was a very hard working student with a great talent of analytical thinking. He did an amazing during his PhD and published seminal papers related to his research. I am sure he will be a great scientist and engineer.”

Stephen Woloszynek
Electrical Engineering
Extracting Meaningful Features from Noisy Microbiome Data
Advisor: Gail Rosen

“Congratulations to Steve for his TWO degrees: PhD AND MD! It was a pleasure to work with such a motivated and innovative student such as Steve. I remember getting emails and reports at all hours of the night when he was on the verge of a great breakthrough. He is fun to brainstorm with. I look forward to hearing about the best doctor Silicon Valley has ever seen, who will revolutionize medicine with artificial intelligence!”

Shi Ye
Civil Engineering
Leveraging Technologies for Condition Assessment of Multi-Girder Highway bridges
Advisor: Ivan Bartoli

“Dr. Shi Ye is one of the hardest working researchers I have had the pleasure to advise. Shi always carries a smile that is “viral” because it immediately spreads to others, and it comforts everyone around her. I will miss working with her but I know that she found a job she loves and she is surrounded by people she deeply cares about and that is all I really hope for any of my ex-students.”