12 Rice Engineering faculty members promoted

Among the promotion is Jacob Robinson to full professor of electrical and computer engineering with tenure

Lovett Hall aerial at sundown

Twelve faculty members in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice have been promoted, effective July 1.

“Their commitment to excellence,” said provost Amy Dittmar in announcing the promotions, “has helped these faculty members establish national and international reputations in their respective fields.

Jacob Robinson

Promoted to full professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) with tenure is Jacob Robinson. He earned his Ph.D. in applied physics from Cornell in 2008 and joined the Rice faculty in 2012. His research interests include development of nanofabricated devices to study the structural and functional dynamics of living neural circuits.

Promoted to associate professor with tenure are:

Ang CHen

Ang Chen in computer science (CS) earned his Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, the year he joined the Rice faculty. As a computer scientist his research is devoted to designing secure, efficient and reliable networked systems.

Pedram Hassanzadeh

Pedram Hassanzadeh in mechanical engineering (MECH) earned his Ph.D. in MECH from the University of California at Berkeley in 2013 and joined the Rice faculty in 2016. His work involves problems related to environment and energy, including extreme weather events, reduced-order modeling, atmospheric turbulence and climate modeling.

Shengxi Huang

Shengxi Huang in ECE earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 2017, served as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford and joined the Rice faculty in 2022. She works with low-dimensional materials, light-matter interactions, chemical and bio sensing, quantum optical emission and quantum sensing.

Lan Luan

Lan Luan in ECE earned her Ph.D. from Stanford in 2011, followed by three years at Harvard as a postdoctoral fellow in physics and five years at the University of Texas at Austin as a researcher. In 2019 she joined the faculty at Rice where her research focuses on developing multimodal neural interfaces combining electrical, optical and other technologies to monitor and manipulate brain activity.

Todd Treangen headshot

Todd Treangen in CS earned his Ph.D. in CS from Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain, in 2008. Before joining the Rice faculty in 2018, he worked as a research scientist at the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on open-source software tools to tackle computational research specific to biosecurity, infectious disease and microbiome analysis.

Omid Veiseh

Omid Veiseh in bioengineering earned his Ph.D. in materials science, engineering and nanotechnology from the University of Washington in 2009. He completed postdoctoral research at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He came to Rice in 2016 when the university won a $2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

Haotian Wang

Haotian Wang in chemical and biomolecular engineering joined the Rice faculty in 2018 after earning his Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford in 2016. His research focuses on renewable energy technologies, including novel electrocatalysts for carbon dioxide reduction and CO2 thermal hydrogenation catalysis.

Kaiyuan Yang

Kaiyuan Yang in ECE earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in ECE from the University of Michigan in 2017. That year he joined Rice, where he heads the Secure and Intelligent Micro-Systems Lab. In 2022 he received an NSF CAREER Award to study the reliability and security of wireless, battery-less, minimally invasive bioelectronics.

Promoted to associate research professor of ECE is:

Paul Cherukuri

Paul Cherukuri, vice president for innovation and adjunct professor of management and entrepreneurship at Rice. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Rice in 2007. Since returning to Rice in 2014, Cherukuri has served as a research scientist in chemistry and for more than six years as executive director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering.

Promoted to associate research professor of materials science and nanoengineering:

Evgeni Penev

Evgeni Penev earned his Ph.D. in 2002 from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany. His research focuses on the computational materials science of carbon-based systems and low-dimensional materials. His interests include semiconductor nanostructures, superconductivity and biological systems.

Promoted to associate teaching professor:

Elizabeth McGuffey

Elizabeth McGuffey earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics (STAT) in 2012 and 2015, respectively, from Texas A&M. Before joining the Rice faculty in 2020, she worked for five years as an assistant professor of STAT at the U.S. Naval Academy, where she developed a biostatistics course and a project-based capstone course.