The UH Cullen College of Engineering is kicking off the 2018-2019 academic year by adding six new faculty members to its teaching and research rosters. They specialize in fields ranging from reservoir engineering to neuro-engineering, and their research covers topics ranging from water resources to power and energy systems.
“We’re delighted to welcome our new colleagues to the Cullen College. They each bring impressive academic credentials, research achievement and life experiences,” said Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean of the UH Cullen College. “They will add to our strength and make the Cullen College a premier destination for engineering education and research.”
Meet our talented newcomers below:
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Renita Horton will join the Cullen College as an assistant professor in biomedical engineering in January 2019.
Horton comes to UH from Mississippi State University (MSU), where she worked as assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering. While at MSU, she established the Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Laboratory.
Previous to her MSU appointment, Horton completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Horton received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MSU in 2005. She went on to earn a master’s and doctoral degree from Harvard in engineering sciences with a concentration in biomedical engineering. She first became affiliated with Harvard when she participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program – funded by the National Science Foundation – at the university’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.
Her research interest lies in better understanding the factors leading to heart disease and sickle cell anemia. She hopes to use that knowledge to improve patient care and outcomes.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Jinsook Roh joins the Cullen College as an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department. Previously she served as an assistant professor of kinesiology at Temple University in Pennsylvania. She also serves as an adjunct professor for Northwestern University.
Her research focuses on the neural mechanisms of motor coordination in unimpaired and neurologically impaired individuals.
She completed her Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on systems and computational neuroscience. She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University’s Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), where she helped identify abnormalities in muscle coordination in stroke survivors with varying levels of motor impairment and addressed basic motor control topics.
She received the American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship (2010-2012) and several awards for excellence in research and fellowships from various institutes.
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hong-Yi Li joins the civil and environmental engineering department at the Cullen College as an assistant professor. Previously, he served as associate professor at the department of land resources and environmental sciences at Montana State University.
Li has a Ph.D. in hydrology and water resources from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a master’s degree in hydrology and water resources and a bachelor’s in hydraulic and construction engineering from the Tsinghua University in China.
Li specializes in hydrological and biogeochemical modeling and analysis. His research interests include developing innovative modeling and data analysis tools to understand lateral transport of water, energy and biogeochemistry fluxes across land surfaces and through river systems under climate and human-induced changes. His work also pursues the understanding and representation of two-way interactions and feedbacks between human and earth systems within the climate-water-energy-environment nexus.
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Xingpeng Li is an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at the Cullen College. Before joining UH, Li worked as a senior application engineer at ABB Inc., a pioneering U.S. company specializing in digital technologies for various industries.
Li has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering with a focus on power systems and a master’s in industrial engineering with a focus on operations research from Arizona State University. He also earned a master’s in electrical engineering with a focus on power systems from Zhejiang University in China.
His research interests include cyberattacks, energy management, transmission networks and power grids and flow.
Instructional Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering
Feng-Chang Chang joined as an instructional associate professor in the industrial engineering department of the Cullen College. Before coming to UH, he served as an associate professor and the coordinator of the industrial management and applied engineering program in the technology department of Southern Illinois University.
He won several Outstanding Teacher of the Year awards at SIU.
His research interests include lean manufacturing, artificial intelligence, Six Sigma, theory of constraints, computer simulation and supply chain management.
Instructional Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Desiree Phillips is an instructional assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at the Cullen College.
She earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her doctoral thesis focused on a power system’s role in the water-energy nexus, which included examining the introduction of water costs in electricity markets and its effect on optimal market bids.