New Faces: Lassonde welcomes eight new faculty members

Bergeron Centre
Bergeron Centre

The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University welcomes eight new faculty members this fall: Thomas Cooper, Neil Tandon, Isaac Smith, Hina Tabassum, Gene Cheung, Ping Wang, Terry Sachlos and Andrew Maxwell.

“On behalf of our students, staff and faculty, I am delighted to welcome our new colleagues to the school,” said Interim Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, Richard Hornsey. “They will expand and enrich Lassonde’s learning and research environments, and will continue to propel the school forwards with passion and perspective.”

Thomas Cooper
Thomas Cooper
Thomas Cooper

Thomas Cooper received his BASc in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, and his MSc and DrSc in mechanical engineering from ETH Zurich. Prior to joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty at the Lassonde School of Engineering, Cooper was a postdoctoral associate in the NanoEngineering group at MIT. His research unites the fields of thermal science, optics and materials, with the goal of realizing new systems for efficiently harvesting solar energy and converting it into useful forms: electricity, heat and fuels. He received the ASME Solar Energy Graduate Student Award, the ETH Medal, the Hans Eggenberger Prize and the Chorafas Prize for his work on low-cost solar energy technologies. He is also a recipient of the PGS-M and PGS-D Fellowships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and an Early Postdoc Mobility Fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Neil Tandon 
Neil Tandon
Neil Tandon

Neil Tandon has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Cooper Union and professional experience as a satellite systems engineer at Boeing. In 2013, Tandon obtained his PhD in applied physics and applied mathematics from Columbia University under the supervision of Professor Lorenzo Polvani. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Professor Paul Kushner at the University of Toronto, funded partially by the Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution (CanSISE) Network. From 2016 to 2018, he was a postdoctoral Fellow in the Climate Research Division of Environment and Climate Change Canada. He joins the Earth and Space Science and Engineering Department at Lassonde.

Tandon’s research focuses on climate dynamics. He uses a combination of models, observations and mathematical analysis to investigate how motions in the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean influence climate. His work has helped to clarify the physical processes driving long-term changes in the atmospheric circulation, with implications for desertification, cloud abundance, extreme precipitation and Arctic sea ice motion. He also investigates variability in the ocean circulation and its relationship to other aspects of climate variability.

Isaac Smith
Isaac Smith
Isaac Smith

Isaac Smith joined York University as an assistant professor, CRC Tier II in Planetary Science on July 1 and is a faculty member in the Earth and Space Science and Engineering Department at Lassonde. Smith is a planetary scientist who concentrates on atmospheric, surface and subsurface processes on Mars, especially related to ice. He is a co-investigator on the SHARAD instrument and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He comes to York University from the Planetary Science Institute, where he joined as a postdoctoral researcher in 2016 and was promoted to research scientist in 2017. He completed his PhD at the University of Texas in 2013 and afterward received a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique at Sorbonne University in Paris.

At York, Smith intends to continue his ongoing research and add laboratory and field components to his study of ice processes and behaviour. For field work, he would like to study permafrost features and morphology in the Canadian Arctic and relate the analogue landforms to permafrost features found on Mars. In the lab, he aims to constrain the rheological properties of CO2 ice to study its behaviour as glaciers and albedo effects of CO2 ice as it sinters due to incident solar radiation. Working with other ice, such as N2 and CH4, two common types of ice on Pluto, are longer term goals. 

Hina Tabassum
Hina Tabassum
Hina Tabassum

Hina Tabassum joined York University as an assistant professor in the Lassonde School of Engineering’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in July. Since 2013, she had been a research Fellow in the area of wireless communications in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Manitoba. She obtained her PhD from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia in 2013. Tabassum has published more than 50 technical articles in well-reputed IEEE journals, magazines and conferences. She has been serving as a lead guest editor and technical program committee member in various IEEE venues. She has been recognized as an exemplary reviewer by IEEE Transactions on Communications in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Tabassum has received various awards and honours throughout her career. She is a senior member of IEEE and a registered professional engineer in Canada.

Gene Cheung
Gene Cheung
Gene Cheung

Gene Cheung received his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. He was a senior researcher at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories Japan in Tokyo from 2000-09. He was an assistant, then associate professor, at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo from 2009-18. He has been an adjunct associate professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) since 2015. He joins York University as a faculty member in Lassonde’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department.

Cheung has served as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia (2007-11), the DSP applications column in IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (2010-14) and IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology (2016-17). He currently serves as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (2015 to present).

Cheung is a co-author of the best student paper award in IEEE Workshop on Streaming and Media Communications 2011 (in conjunction with ICME 2011), ICIP 2013, ICIP 2017 and IVMSP 2016; best paper runner-up award in ICME 2012; best paper finalists in ICME 2011, ICIP 2011 and ICME 2015; and IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) Japan best paper award 2016.

Ping Wang
Ping Wang
Ping Wang

Ping Wang received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 1994 and 1997, respectively, and her PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2008, all in electrical engineering. She joined York University as an associate professor in 2018 in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. Before that, she worked with the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, from 2008.

Her research interests are mainly in the area of wireless communications and networking. Wang has done research in radio resource allocation, network design, performance analysis and optimization for heterogeneous wireless networks. Her scholarly works have been widely disseminated through top-ranked IEEE journals/conferences and influenced research directions of scientific communities.

Wang intends to develop innovative techniques for next-generation wireless communications networks in supporting the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In particular, she will address challenging issues in IoT networks, such as ultra-low-power communications, providing the needed variety of radio access techniques to facilitate ubiquitous network access to a large number of sensors in the IoT, accommodating massive traffic demand and low latency required for IoT applications, as well as gaining resilience against cyber attacks, sensor faults and unexpected operating conditions.

Terry Sachlos
Terry Sachlos
Terry Sachlos

Terry Sachlos is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the associate director of the Bergeron Entrepreneurs of Science and Technology (BEST) Program at Lassonde. His research interests lie in stem cell engineering and regenerative medicine, with a specific focus on engineering the bone, hematopoietic and leukemic stem cell micro-environments to regulate stem cell fate decisions.

Prior to joining Lassonde, Sachlos received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in tissue engineering and 3D printing and conducted stem cell postdoctoral research at Harvard, MIT and McMaster. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed articles, including a publication in the top-tier journal Cell, which have collectively garnered over 2,700 citations to date. He is also a serial academic entrepreneur, having filed eight patent applications and co-founded several startup companies to commercialize his research findings.

While at Lassonde, Sachlos co-developed the BEST Program and led the approval of the undergraduate BEST Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship. He also championed bringing the FIRST Robotics Competition to York University and developed a new graduate course in Disruptive and Exponential Technologies that, for the first time, merges Lassonde graduate engineers with Schulich MBA students.

Andrew Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell is the Bergeron Chair In Technology Entrepreneurship, director of the BEST Program and a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his PhD in technology entrepreneurship from the University of Waterloo in 2011, winning the Academy of Management’s Heizer Award for the top PhD in his field. He is also a journal editor for the Journal of Business Venturing.

While at Waterloo, Maxwell taught the capstone technology entrepreneurship class, helping numerous technology entrepreneurs get their start. Prior to this, he worked for three years in the technology transfer office at the University of Toronto (also teaching at Rotman and UTM). Maxwell’s work experience includes founding four technology companies and working in two technology multinationals. He has an MBA from the London Business School and a BSc in electrical engineering from Imperial College London.