Meet the Full-time Faculty Women of Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering

As part of National Women's History Month, we invite you to meet our twenty-six full-time engineering faculty women, Spartans all, and hear what they have to say about engineering and teaching.

 


 

Sheryl Ehrman Our science teacher, Mr. Kimoto, allowed us as 8th graders to design our own science experiment for the last half of 8th grade science. My friend and I decided to test a local reservoir for the presence of sewage pollution. Most of our samples tested positive, which was surprising to us. At that time there were stories in the news about local groundwater pollution, and even stories about worker exposure to chemicals. I started to think about what I could do to help the environment and to make the places people worked safer. I liked chemistry in high school, so I chose chemical engineering as a major, even though I didn't know a single chemical engineer, nor did I know exactly what they did. Once I met a few, and found out what they did for their jobs, I knew more definitely that this was the right major for me.

Sheryl Ehrman
The Don Beall Dean of the College of Engineering

 


 

Magdalini EirinkaiWe might still be underrepresented in terms of numbers but we don't lack any of the skills our male colleagues have. We have lots to offer to our profession and should not be afraid to step up, take initiatives, and be leaders.

Magdalini Eirinaki
Associate Professor, Computer Engineering

 


 

Pat Backer

Pat Backer
Professor, Aviation

Melanie McNeil

Melanie McNeil
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Dahyun Oh

Dahyun Oh
Assistant Professor, Materials Engineering

Younghee Park

Younghee Park
Assistant Professor, Computer Engineering

 


 

Francesca FavaroWhen I was a little girl I was impressed by the movie, “Apollo 13.” In the movie, the astronauts on the shuttle experienced an oxygen leak and a small explosion, and they said: “Houston we have a problem.” The technical engineers at Houston have a meeting, and spread on the table are all the random tools and objects that the astronauts have available on the shuttle. In particular there is a tiny cylindrical piece of pipe, a square pipe and some tape. That is when the chief of engineering says: “This pipe needs to go into that pipe with no leaks, make it happen.” I have always been intrigued by problems, puzzles, and loved math and physics in school, and this one problem (however glamorized in a Hollywood movie) started my passion for aerospace engineering!

Francesca Favaro
Aviation Assistant Professor

 


 

Nicole OkamotoI recommend that all women engineering students get involved with an engineering club. It can feel pretty isolating when you're one of only a very small number of women in your classes. Getting involved in a engineering club can help you make friends with other engineering majors. It can make all the difference to have a group of people going through the same thing with whom you can study, commiserate, and think about plans for the future.

Nicole Okamoto
Chair and Professor, Mechanical Engineering

 


 

Liat Rosenfeld

Liat Rosenfeld
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Melinda Simon

Melinda Simon
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Laura Sullivan-Green

Laura Sullivan-Green
Chair and Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Birsen Sirkeci

Birsen Sirkeci
Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering

 


 

Xiao SuEngineering is a challenging and fascinating field. Earning an engineering degree takes grit and hard work, but your journey will be filled with joy from solving difficult problems and learning to build beautiful engineering systems.

Xiao Su
Chair and Professor, Computer Engineering

 


 

Jinny RheeWhen I was a junior in college, I got a summer internship at General Motors in Michigan. There I got to work with state-of-the-art solid modeling and rapid prototyping. What really piqued my interest was the internal combustion engine. Although I had been a tinkerer all my life, I had never seen a car engine up close and personal, nor participated in the design of one. The thermodynamics I had taken in school came to life, and that was the beginning of my specialization in the thermal and fluid sciences in mechanical engineering.

Jinny Rhee
Associate Dean and Professor, Mechanical Engineering

 


 

Ayca Erdogan

Ayca Erdogan
Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Hongrui Liu

Hongrui Liu
Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Kathryn Gosselin

Kathryn Gosselin
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Peggy Boylan-Ashraf

Peggy Boylan-Ashraf
Assistant Professor, General Engineering

 


 

Lili HeI have been curious about any scientific phenomena since I was young. Engineering and physics help me to understand the world. I am proud to specialize in semiconductor device physics and technology, which plays one of the most important roles in the modern society, and positively impacts people's daily lives. Almost any of today's advancements in science and technology strongly rely on semiconductor innovation. Women engineering students have the talent and ability to go into semiconductors, which will open a miracle window for them to explore the world.

Lili He
Professor, Electrical Engineering

 


 

Claire KomivesMy advice for women engineering students is to put family in first place because ultimately, family is the most valuable thing in life.

Claire Komives
Professor, Chemical Engineering

 


 

Juzi Zhao

Juzi Zhao
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering

Hyeran Jeon

Hyeran Jeon
Assistant Professor, Computer Engineering

Belle Wei

Belle Wei
Professor and Carolyn Guidry Chair, General Engineering

Niranjani Patel

Niranjani Patel
Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

 


 

Winncy DuWhen I was a little girl, I loved mathematics and physics. As soon as I started to do mathematics calculations or solve physics problems, my brain immediately woke up, which brought me into a completely different world. I believe mechanical engineering is the major that transfers abstract knowledge (mathematics) and organized knowledge (physics) into practical and useful products. The more I learn, the more I find everything is mechanical: from DNA to the universe.

Winncy Du
Professor, Mechanical Engineering

 


 

Crystal HanOne of the best choices I made was to major in mechanical engineering. I knew I would fit well in engineering from my experience in learning. Whenever learning equations or concepts, in my mind I was always thinking 'Okay, so what problems can I solve with this?' I really liked the practical aspects and applications of engineering. Especially as a mechanical engineer, it is exciting to see both traditional and emerging fields encompassing design, thermo-fluid engineering, mechatronics, and microsystems serve as the driving thrust for contemporary technology development.

Crystal Han
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering