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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

New NJIT Faculty Will Energize Interdisciplinary Vision

The talents of more than 20 new faculty members will soon add momentum to NJIT’s strategic plan for impacting the quality of life in the 21st century. The interdisciplinary initiative focuses on convergent life science and engineering, “digital everyware”-- ubiquitous computing-- and sustainable systems.

The women and men joining NJIT to serve a growing student body bring expertise that spans diverse supporting clusters. These include advanced manufacturing, architecture design and construction, big data, biochemistry, business systems, material science and engineering, and sensing and control. 

“NJIT’s academic status and interdisciplinary strategy have attracted people at various stages of their careers, and who offer NJIT both distinctive abilities and new resources,” says Provost Ian Gatley. “Enthusiasm for NJIT’s interdisciplinary commitment was very apparent during the search process. Interviewees described how the problems they work on are inherently interdisciplinary, their enjoyment of a team approach and why collaborating with colleagues matters.”

Donald H. Sebastian, NJIT’s senior vice president for research and development, emphasizes that connecting with real-world issues is at the heart of expectations for a technological research university. “Academic disciplines are the core of the university and the framework for learning. However, their alignment with future industries is not as obvious as with those sectors that have prevailed over the last century. Our strategic research thrusts are designed to make those 21st-century connections explicit.”

Listed below are new faculty organized by their interdisciplinary groupings.

Convergent Life Science and Engineering 

Bharat Biswal, professor and new chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department, comes to NJIT from UMDNJ.   Expert in neuroimaging, he is developing new methods for studying brain functions and pathology.

Cristiano Dias, assistant professor, Physics, pursues multidisciplinary research that uses physical models and high-performance computing to describe phenomena in molecular biology.

Eric Fortune, associate professor, Biology, is fascinated by animal behavior. His studies include measurements of animal behavior that, when coupled with sophisticated quantitative approaches, can be applied in brain experiments.

Simon Garnier, assistant professor, Biology, is engaged in research related to fields that include ethology, experimental psychology, cognitive and social sciences and swarm intelligence. He is interested in the emergence of intelligent collective behaviors. 

Mei Liu, assistant professor, Computer Science, works at the intersection of medicine and computation. Recent research has focused on using electronic health records to increase awareness of adverse drug reactions.

Ji Meng Loh, associate professor, Mathematical Sciences, investigates spatial data analysis and visualization, and related statistical methodology. Applications range from functional magnetic resonance imaging and epidemiology to astronomy.

Digital Everyware or Ubiquitous Computing

Cesar Bandera, assistant professor, School of Management, is working on mobile or “m-health.” Through his company, Cell Podium, Bandera has federal support to develop applications for smart phone for public health outreach and training.

James Cicon, assistant professor, School of Management, uses advanced computer methodologies to analyze the views expressed by investors, managers, analysts, and others. Once quantified, the results explain variables in models of behavior.

Xiaoning Ding, assistant professor, Computer Science, is working in various areas of experimental computation, including operating systems, cloud computing and distributed systems, computer architecture, and database systems.

Lian Duan, assistant professor, Information Systems, focuses on large-scale data mining. His work can be applied in marketing, social networking and bioinformatics.

Abdallah Khreishah, assistant professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, has a scope of research spanning network coding, wireless networks, congestion control, cloud computing, network security, and database systems for large projects.

Bernadette Longo, associate professor, Humanities, is motivated by questions about our relationships with technological devices. She says, “My work involves electronic communication and computing devices that are almost human.

Catalin Turc, associate professor, Mathematical Sciences, is interested in scientific computing, computational electromagnetics, and numerical analysis. His work has wide-ranging utility in fields such as electronics and energy.

Songhua Xu, assistant professor, Information Systems, has research interests spanning information retrieval and management, intelligent systems for biomedical applications, visual computing, human-computer interaction, and more.

Sustainable Systems

Michel Boufadel, professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, is a Professional Engineer and Professional Hydrologist. His work has encompassed floodplain delineation for FEMA, contamination in urban streams and oil spills. 

Wenbo Cai, assistant professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, is expert in operations management and dynamic pricing decisions. She is interested in researching questions related to economically sustainable energy systems and health care.

Martina Decker, assistant professor, College of Architecture and Design, explores how new materials might generate solutions to challenges such as water quality, energy generation and conservation, emissions and waste reduction, health and safety.

Keith Krumwiede, associate professor, College of Architecture and Design, is bringing expertise in urban design to NJIT from Yale. His particular emphasis is on high density, affordable housing intended for a sustainable urban environment.

Jesse LeCavalier, assistant professor, College of Architecture and Design, has research interests that include “big box” retail structures.

Alison Lefkovitz, assistant professor, History, specializes in the legal and gender history of the 20th-century U.S. and the evolving relational structures that sustain society today. Her recently completed book manuscript examines challenges to marriage.

Wen Zhang, assistant professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, has investigated the implications of introducing nanomaterials in environmental systems, and he is interested in sustainable design and manufacturing.

One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.