The School of MIME welcomes six new faculty for the 2015-16 academic year. With areas of research expertise on topics ranging from complex energy systems and renewable resources to ergonomic and human centered design, our new faculty join their colleagues for a total of 49 world-class researchers now at our school.
Onan Demirel | Assistant Professor, ME | Design
Onan Demirel’s research focuses on the development of multi-disciplinary design theory and methods to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. This approach considers both form and function aspects of design process. Demirel’s work engages in human subject data collection and virtual simulations, and applies mechanical engineering design methods with industrial design techniques to include human needs, abilities and limitations early in the design process. Dr. Demirel received his PhD in 2015 from Purdue University in industrial engineering.
Joshua Gess | Assistant Professor, ME | Thermal-Fluid Sciences
In the Enhanced Heat Transfer Laboratory, where Josh Gess is a co-principal investigator, research focuses on mass, momentum and thermal transport enhancement at the micro and nano scales. His research interests include two-phase immersion cooling techniques specific to applications involving high-performance data centers, bubble dynamics and two-phase heat transfer phenomena. Dr. Gess was a Walt and Virginia Woltosz Fellow in 2013 and 2014, and a U.S. Steel Fellow in 2012. He received his PhD in 2015 from Auburn University in mechanical engineering.
Nordica MacCarty | Assistant Professor, ME | Thermal-Fluid Sciences
Nordica MacCarty’s background is in thermal-fluid sciences, engineering design, computational modeling, energy systems, and humanitarian engineering. Her primary research interest is in the use of integrated modeling to assist design and decision-making for complex energy systems. MacCarty has a particular interest in design of household energy systems for the developing world and the use of engineering to address poverty and environmental issues. She received her PhD in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University in 2015, where she studied under a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Kyle Niemeyer | Assistant Professor, ME | Thermal-Fluid Sciences
Kyle Niemeyer performs research on computational modeling of multi-physics — in particular, chemically reactive — flows relevant to applications in aerospace, transportation, and energy systems. His research has been funded by both government and industry stakeholders, including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), NASA, Lucid Energy, and Oregon BEST. Dr. Niemeyer received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2013.
Melissa Santala | Assistant Professor, ME | Materials Science
Melissa Santala researches the role of surfaces and interfaces in the morphological and phase stability of nanostructured materials, the kinetics of phase transformations, and the application of transmission electron microscopy to problems in materials science, including aberration-corrected and photo-emission transmission electron microscopy. Dr. Santala was a research scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory prior to joining the school. She received her PhD in materials science & engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2009, where she studied under a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Xinhui Zhu | Assistant Professor, IE | Human Factors / Ergonomics
Xinhui Zhu’s research centers around three themes: 1) occupational safety, 2) usability of products and environments across diverse user populations, and 3) development of new assessment tools to assist with data collection in ergonomics studies. Her research areas include human factors/ergonomics in health care and forestry industries, and office ergonomics. Dr. Zhu received her PhD in industrial engineering in 2016 from the University at Buffalo, SUNY.