New Faculty Focus: Engineering welcomes new faculty

November 19, 2019

The UW–Madison College of Engineering has added new faculty members this academic year, with expertise ranging from fusion energy to quantum systems to the earth’s energy.

Meet the new faculty members, and learn about their research:

  • Geological engineering assistant professor Jesse Hampton will work on research into enhanced geothermal systems, oil and gas energy extraction, energy, waste and CO2 storage and underground construction and tunneling.
  • Chemical and biological engineering assistant professor Matt Gebbie will focus on how molecules behave at the interfaces between solids and liquid, which is important for batteries, solar cells and other energy storage and generation devices.
  • Engineering Physics Professor Curt Bronkhorst sheds light on how metallic materials deform and fail, which has far-reaching implications for components made of metal, including in vehicles, aircraft and countless other structures.
  • Engineering Physics Assistant Professor Benedikt Geiger focuses on research into high-temperature plasma physics, with the ultimate goal of achieving fusion energy, a potentially abundant source of environmentally friendly energy.
  • Engineering Physics Assistant Professor Jennifer Choy will focus on developing methods to control photons and their interactions with atomic systems, which will enable better understanding and control of quantum properties.
  • Civil and Environmental Assistant Professor Zhenhua Zhu hopes his research will enable automation in the construction industry, sometimes called “smart construction.”
  • Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Dawei Feng researches the combination of metals and organic molecules to create new solid state compounds with properties that could be useful in applications ranging from advanced electronics to medicine.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Kangwook Lee hopes to extend information theory and coding beyond simple machine learning problems like linear regressions, to apply the concepts to trickier problems like deep learning.
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering Assistant Professor Justin Boutilier uses optimization and machine learning to improve healthcare access, delivery and quality, particularly in low- and middle-income settings.
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering Assistant Professor Marcel Schreier has ambitious plans to develop more efficient and sustainable ways to interconvert electrical and chemical energy.
  • Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Joseph Andrews studies printable and flexible electronics for sensor development.
  • Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Lianyi Chen studies metal additive manufacturing and opportunities for new material development using 3D printing.
  • Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dakotah Thompson focuses on understanding thermal transport and energy conversion at nanometer length scales.
  • Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Xiangru Xu designs control algorithms for autonomous and cyber-physical systems that provide safety guarantees while maintaining those systems’ performance.
  • Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Josh Roth, who also holds an appointment in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, investigates treatments of musculoskeletal injuries and disease, with the goal of enhancing personalized treatments for patients.
  • Engineering Physics Assistant Professor Yongfeng Zhang studies how materials degrade in extreme conditions using microstructure-based modeling.