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Cullen adds 12 professionals to its ranks
August 16, 2022
By
Stephen Greenwell
The Cullen College of Engineering is happy to announce 12 hirings in a variety of departments and roles for the 2022-23 academic year.
The Cullen College of Engineering is happy to announce 12 hirings in a variety of departments and roles for the 2022-23 academic year.

The Cullen College of Engineering is happy to announce 12 hirings in a variety of departments and roles for the 2022-23 academic year.

Unless otherwise noted, all start dates are Sept. 1. Personnel is sorted alphabetically by department, and then by last name.

  • Biomedical Engineering: Zhengwei Li, Assistant Professor. A 2017 doctoral graduate of the University of Colorado, Li spent the past year working as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, researching the fabrication of wireless, optogenetic electronics for neuroscience research. Li also served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois for three years.
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering: Surui Xie, Assistant Professor. Xie earned his doctorate in Geology at the University of South Florida in 2020. For the past two years, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanology at UC San Diego.
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering: Ruda Zhang, Assistant Professor. Zhang earned their doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California in 2018. Zhang was employed by Duke University for the past three years, as a postdoctoral fellow and an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Mathematics.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering: Biresh Joarder, Assistant Professor. Joarder earned his doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Washington State University in 2020. For the past two years, he has been an NSF Computing Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University.
  • Industrial Engineering: Yisha Xiang, Associate Professor. Xiang joins UH after being employed as an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech and Lamar University. Xiang earned an NSF CAREER Award in 2020, as well as Texas Tech's Whitacre Engineering Research Award in 2021. Xiang earned her doctorate in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 2009.
  • Mechanical Engineering: Alexandra Landon, Professor of Practice. Landon earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University in 2012, and a Master's degree with high distinction in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 2018. Since 2019, she has served as the Vice President of Strategic Finance for Panorama Education in Boston. A Houston area native – the valedictorian of the 2008 Friendswood High School class – Landon also attended UH's G.R.A.D.E. Camp.
  • Mechanical Engineering: Ben Xu, Assistant Professor, starting Jan. 1. Xu comes to UH after being employed as an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University and the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. His research projects have drawn funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA.
  • William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: Mingjian Wen, Assistant Professor. Wen earned his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota in 2019. For the past three years, he has served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Also, four Instructional Assistant Professor positions have been filled by employees already hired as full-time lecturers. These four positions required the applicants to apply and compete for them against a pool of candidates, separate from the traditional faculty promotion and tenure process.

Gulin Aksu, Marsha Kowal and Jennifer Luna Singh each joined the college in 2019. They earned their doctorates from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cornell University and Rice University, respectively. Venkata Kota joined the faculty in 2016 as a lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering, after completing her doctorate at the University of Houston.

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