The College of Engineering Welcomes Ten New Faculty
The UC Davis College of Engineering is excited to welcome ten new faculty members for the 2020-21 academic year. This new class of faculty bring multidisciplinary expertise in design, bioimaging, security, automation and control, and energy efficiency to the biomedical engineering, computer science, mechanical and aerospace engineering and biological and agricultural engineering departments.
These faculty are eager to address challenges facing society today and collaborate with their new colleagues in the college and across the university:
Md Shamim Ahamed, Assistant Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering (starts November 1)
Audrey Fan, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Neurology
Fan’s lab develops advanced imaging tools to understand the vascular and physiological bases of neurological disorders, diagnose cerebrovascular disease and dementia earlier and prescribe effective treatments for patients. Fan received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a postdoctoral scholar and instructor at Stanford University before coming to UC Davis.
Kelly Kissock, Professor and Chevron Endowed Chair in Energy Efficiency, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Kissock is an international leader in energy efficiency, specializing in energy efficient buildings and manufacturing, heating systems and renewable energy. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and joins UC Davis after 25 years at the University of Dayton, where he led the university’s Renewable Clean Energy Program, Industrial Assessment Center and Ohio Lean Buildings Program. He will be the new faculty director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Institute.
Ali Moghimi, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Biological and Agricultural Engineering (starts November 1)
Moghimi focuses on teaching in remote sensing and AI applications for precision and digital agriculture. He received his Ph.D. in biological/biosystems engineering from the University of Minnesota and had been working as a postdoctoral scholar in the BAE department since 2019 before joining the faculty. His background includes experience with bioproducts and biosystems science, engineering and management and computer science and engineering.
Shima Nazari, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (starts November 1)
Nazari’s multidisciplinary research focuses on dynamics, control and optimization for autonomous and hybrid electric vehicles. She has M.S. degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering and received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. She has won two best paper awards and attended the Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering workshop at Stanford University in 2019. She was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley before joining UC Davis.
Julian Panetta, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Panetta builds algorithms that design 3-D printable objects and structures with new structural properties to meet demands for applications across disciplines.. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from New York University and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne before joining UC Davis.
Emilie Roncali, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Radiology
Roncali develops quantitative methods for nuclear imaging and therapy for cancer patients, with an emphasis on new technology for positron emission tomography and dosimetry for radionuclide therapy. She received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris in France and was a postdoctoral scholar with biomedical engineering distinguished professor Simon Cherry before joining the department’s faculty.
Zubair Shafiq, Associate Professor, Computer Science
Shafiq’s work is focused on making the internet more private, secure and efficient using network measurement and machine learning techniques. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and comes to UC Davis with faculty experience at the University of Iowa. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2018 and co-leads ProperData, an NSF Frontier Center on protecting personal data flow on the internet.
Iman Soltani, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Soltani studies “automation across scales,” developing tools, techniques and designs for automated systems in scientific instrumentation, assembly lines and autonomous cars, among other applications. He joins UC Davis from Ford Motor Company’s Greenfield Labs. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he won the Carl G. Sontheimer award for best Ph.D. thesis.
Setareh Rafatirad, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Rafatirad’s research interests cover several areas including big data analytics, data mining, knowledge discovery and knowledge representation, internet security and applied machine learning. Currently, she is supervising multiple research projects focused on applying machine learning and deep learning techniques on different domains. She received her Ph.D. in computer science from UC Irvine and was an associate term professor of teaching in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University prior to joining UC Davis.
The new faculty members virtually introduced themselves at this year's Celebration of Faculty Excellence event: