7 Sep

The Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences at West Virginia University Institute of Technology welcomed seven new faculty members and celebrated two faculty promotions at the start of the academic year.

“One of the distinguishing features of our college is the quality of our faculty. While our faculty possesses impeccable academic credentials, they also bring a wealth of professional experience into the classroom,” said Z. Torbica, dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences.

Dr. Brian Dickman is an assistant professor in the department of civil engineering. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990 and 2008 respectively. Prior to joining Tech he was a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University. Dickman is a professional engineer in the State of Georgia.

Dr. Philip Howard, a visiting assistant professor of computer science, earned his Ph.D. degree at Portland State University in 2012. He has over 15 years of business experience as a small business owner, independent software contractor, member of technical staff at Hughes Aircraft and intern at Intel.

Dr. Mingyu Lu joined the department of electrical & computer engineering as an assistant professor. He obtained his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. Lu has been successful in securing over a million dollars in research grants. He holds two patents, has authored two book chapters, 28 journal publications and 60 conference publications.

Dr. Amr Mohammed is an assistant professor in the department of civil engineering. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2007. Mohammed is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, Canada. He has significant international experience as a transportation and traffic engineer/planner gained in Egypt, UAE and Canada.

Dr. Houbing Song joined the department of electrical & computer engineering as a visiting assistant professor. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2012. Song is the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cyber-Physical Systems and the associate editor of Network Protocols and Algorithms. He is a co-editor of two books, co-author of four book chapters, author of two pieces of software and has published nearly 50 journal articles, conference papers and presentations, and reports.

Dr. John “J.T.” Hird joins the department of mathematics as an assistant professor. He earned his M.S and Ph.D. degrees from North Carolina State University in 2009 and 2012 respectively. His research interests are in combinatorics, Lie and Leibniz algebra, representation theory and number theory.

Dr. John Neary is a visiting assistant professor in the department of biology. He earned his Ph.D. degree in microbiology from SUNY Buffalo in 2005. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Miami University in Ohio.

“We are thrilled that these seven extremely talented colleagues have joined our team. I am particularly pleased with our demonstrated ability to attract and successfully hire such an outstanding group of professionals. This is a testament that we will continue to be offering an excellent undergraduate education in engineering, engineering technology, sciences and mathematics,” explained Torbica.

In addition, two faculty members in the college have been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor: Dr. Bernhard (Bernie) Bettig (department of mechanical engineering) and Dr. Kourosh Sedghisigarchi (department of electrical and computer engineering).

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