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The College of Engineering Welcomes Five Talented and Accomplished New Faculty Members

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Jun Yao

Jun Yao

Ashish Kulkarni – Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department

Dr. Ashish Kulkarni comes to UMass Amherst after serving as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate bioengineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Kulkarni obtained a B. Tech. in Chemical Technology from the University of Mumbai and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. During Ph.D. studies, Kulkarni worked on the design and development of biologically inspired and chemically defined synthetic glycans for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Later Kulkarni joined Harvard Medical School and MIT as a postdoctoral fellow. Kulkarni’s research efforts were focused on the development of structure-activity, relationship-inspired nanomedicine for cancer therapy. As an independent faculty member at Harvard, Kulkarni has been working on the development of platform technologies for immunotherapy applications. Kulkarni is a recipient of the Hearst Foundation Young Investigator Award, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Career Development Award, American Association of Cancer Research Scholar-in-training Award, American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Young Scientist Award, the Junior Faculty Mentor Award, and the Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award.

Yeon Sik Noh – Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Dr. Yeon Sik Noh comes to UMass Amherst with a joint appointment in the College of Nursing and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. In recent years, Noh has published one book chapter and 11 peer-reviewed journal articles in addition to making 10 oral conference presentations and 23 conference poster presentations. Before coming to UMass, Noh was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut, a senior hardware engineer at Mobile Sense Technologies, Inc., and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Noh’s research expertise is in: wearable personalized health monitoring systems; smart healthcare systems based on sensor and communication networks; and individualized and personalized health management systems based on sports medicine. Noh earned Ph.D., M.S., and B.E. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Yonsei University in South Korea.

Yadi Eslami – Senior Lecturer, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Dr. Yadi Eslami’s academic experience includes serving as an assistant professor at West Virginia University Institute of Engineering Technology and an adjunct faculty member at the College of Western Idaho Department of Business and Economics. Eslami’s industrial experience includes working as a design engineer at DRAM R&D, Micron Technologies Inc., Boise, Idaho, and as a system design engineer at SciTech AAG, Inc., in Toronto, Ontario. Eslami has a total of 11 articles and presentations in refereed journals and conferences and also holds four patents. Eslami earned a Ph.D. in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, an M.Sc. from Isfahan University of Technology in Iran, and a B.Sc. from Shiraz University in Iran. Eslami’s research interests are reconfigurable processor architectures, special-purpose processors, digital circuits and systems, and VLSI memories.

Jun Yao – Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Dr. Jun Yao has garnered 30 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is also named on six patents. Before coming to UMass Amherst, Yao served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University working on: the synthesis, assembly, and characterization of low-dimensional nanomaterials; integrating nanomaterials for computing systems (e.g., constructing the first nanowire nanocomputer); developing novel mechano/electronic biosensors (e.g., inventing 3D multifunctional cellular bioprobes); and developing implantable biomedical and bioelectronical  systems (e.g., syringe-injectable flexible electronics). Yao earned a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Rice University, and an M.S. in Physics and B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Fudan University in China.

Chengbo Ai – Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

Dr. Chengbo Ai comes to UMass after serving as a research engineer and a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. So far, Ai has ten published articles in scientific journals, nine refereed conference articles, and thirteen technical reports. Ai also has two U.S. patents pending. Ai’s interdisciplinary research focuses on transportation asset and infrastructure management, pavement preservation and pavement management system, geometry design and roadway safety, work-zone safety and mobility, remote sensing and spatial analysis, and underground utility tunnel management. He aims his continuous effort towards establishing a comprehensive, spatially-enabled transportation infrastructure and asset data platform through employing the emerging sensing technologies (e.g., light detection and ranging or LiDAR, computer vision, continuous scanning laser, etc.), and developing computational data analysis techniques (e.g., image processing algorithm, geographic information system or GIS, spatial analysis, etc.). Ai earned a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2013 and a B.S. in Electrical and Computing Engineering from Peking University in Beijing, China, in 2007.