Rice Engineering awards Future Faculty Fellowships to students, postdocs pursuing academic careers

Second-year program will help prepare fellows for interviews and enhance teaching skills.

Future Faculty Fellows headshots

For the second year in a row, the George R. Brown School of Engineering has awarded Future Faculty Fellowships to support Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers interested in pursuing academic careers.

Six engineers in four departments will attend workshops designed to prepare them for faculty interviews. To enhance teaching skills, fellows will complete a practicum in which they teach or co-teach a course in their disciplines.

Tracy Volz, director of the school’s Engineering Communications Program, will support fellows in preparing their written statements, curriculum vitae and faculty interview presentations. Faculty panels and workshops developed by that program and the Center for Teaching Excellence will teach strategies for securing faculty positions.

The dean of engineering and chairs of the fellows’ departments will conduct mock faculty interviews and provide feedback to strengthen interview skills.

The Future Faculty Fellows for 2020-21 are:

Souptik Barua

Souptik Barua is a postdoctoral research associate in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) working in the Scalable Health Lab and advised by Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor of ECE. He earned his bachelor and master of technology degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur in 2012, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rice in 2019. His research, at the intersection of machine learning and medicine, focuses on building computational tools for enhanced understanding of such diseases as diabetes and cancer, and strategies for personalized treatment.

Sutanu Bhowmick

Sutanu Bhowmick is a doctoral student in civil and environmental engineering (CEE). He earned his B.S. from Jadavpur University in India in 2013 and his M.S. from Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur in 2015, both in civil engineering. He works in the research group of Satish Nagarajaiah, professor of CEE and mechanical engineering. His research interests include vision-based, full-field measurements for estimating structural system parameters, and the detection and quantification of structural damage using video measurements from unmanned aerial vehicles.

Zachary Kingston

Zachary Kingston is a doctoral student in computer science (CS), working in the research group of Lydia Kavraki, Noah Harding Professor of CS. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in CS from Rice in 2016 and 2017, respectively. His research interests lie in algorithmic robotics, focusing on robot manipulation planning and planning with constraints. In 2017, Kingston was awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

Mojdeh Nazari

Mojdeh Nazari is a postdoctoral research associate in mechanical engineering (MECH). She earned her B.S. in material science and engineering from Imam Khomeini International University in Qazvin, Iran, in 2010; her M.S. in the same field from Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran in 2013; and her Ph.D. in MECH from the University of Houston in 2020. Her research focuses on nanoscale temperature mapping using electron microscopy. She is trained in device fabrication, thermal-fluid experimentation and materials characterization.

Vishwanath Saragadam

Vishwanath Saragadam is a postdoctoral research associate in ECE. He earned his B. Tech. in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras in 2014, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in ECE from Carnegie Mellon in 2o14 and 2020, respectively. His research interests include the broad field of computational photography, with emphases in compressive sensing, adaptive imaging and hyperspectral imaging. His central focus is porting several complex linear algebra operations to optical domain, achieving compression and reduced measurement time.

Mohammad Shourijeh

Mohammad Shourijeh is a postdoctoral research associate in MECH working in the lab of B.J. Fregly, professor and CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research. He earned his B.S. in MECH from Sharif University of Technology in Iran, his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran, and his Ph.D. in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa in Canada and worked in the industry in Denmark before coming to Rice in 2018. His work focuses on neuromusculoskeletal model personalization and optimization of treatment for patients with movement disorders.