This story is published in YFile’s New Faces Feature Issue 2019, part two (see part one here). Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments.
The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University welcomes six new faculty members to the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science this fall: Marina Freire-Gormaly, Cuiying Jian, Reza Rizvi, Hamzeh Khazaei, Pirathayini Srikantha and Song Wang.
“The Lassonde School of Engineering is only as strong as its people – and we are so fortunate to be welcoming six new faculty hires for the upcoming academic year,” said Lassonde Dean Jane Goodyer. “Innovating engineering and science education is a key priority and we look to hire those that think a little differently, bringing their own creativity and unique perspectives to their research and teaching. Our new hires exemplify exactly those qualities.”
Freire-Gormaly’s team’s research focuses on the development of stand-alone solar powered reverse osmosis water treatment systems and energy recovery systems for remote communities that lack access to grid electricity. She completed her MASc and PhD at the University of Toronto in mechanical engineering.
Freire-Gormaly was drawn to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lassonde for her career in academia based on the vibrant community of researchers, staff and students, the cutting-edge research facilities, and the transdisciplinary research environment that both the Faculty and the University offer. She is looking forward to working with colleagues at York University to develop innovative, collaborative tools and solutions that will help resolve water and energy challenges in Canada’s remote Indigenous communities.
Jian is a postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She joined York University on Aug. 1 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The young and vibrant atmosphere provided by Lassonde inspires her to pursue an academic career at York University.
Prior to joining MIT, Jian served as a sessional instructor at MacEwan University and worked as a postdoctoral Fellow as well as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta (U of A). She received her PhD in mechanical engineering (2015) from U of A and her MS in mechatronics engineering (2011) and BS in mechanical engineering (2009) from the Harbin Institute of Technology.
Her research interests lie in engineering carbonaceous materials for applications in energy, environment and electronics. She is looking forward to joining Lassonde for the next chapter of her career.
Prior to joining York University on July 1, Rizvi was an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Toledo in Ohio. He is a PhD graduate from the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and a BASc graduate from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto. He joins Lassonde’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Previously, Rizvi held a prestigious Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council postdoctoral fellowship in the Chemistry Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before that, he held the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence TVN interdisciplinary fellowship at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.
His past work includes developing materials for non-slip winter footwear, flexible pressure-sensing nanocomposites and fully bio-based green composites for the automotive industry, and consulting for the automotive industry’s environmental testing of rubbers and plastics.
Khazaei was an assistant professor in software engineering and intelligent systems in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the University of Alberta, where he was also the founding director of the Dependable Distributed Systems Lab. He joins Lassonde’s Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science as an assistant professor.
Previously, he was a research associate at the University of Toronto. He received his PhD in computer science from the University of Manitoba in 2013, where he extended queuing theory and stochastic processes to accurately model the performance and availability of cloud computing systems.
His research on cloud, performance modelling, big data management, and intelligent systems has attracted a lot of attention from government, media and the research community through increased funding, frequent citations, partnerships with various industries, a number of best paper awards and spotlight recognitions from top-tier journals and conferences.
Srikantha received her BASc in systems design engineering in 2009 and her MASc in electrical and computer engineering in 2013, both from the University of Waterloo. She obtained her PhD from the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto in 2017. She is a certified professional engineer (PEng) in Ontario.
Her main research interests are in the areas of game theory, large-scale optimization, and distributed control for enabling adaptive, sustainable and resilient power grid operations.
She was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Western University. She joins York University as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and is excited to join the vibrant academic environment and actively participate in fostering today’s “renaissance engineers.”
Wang received his PhD in computer engineering from the University of Waterloo. His research interests include software engineering, software reliability, program analysis and machine learning, with a focus on developing automated systems that combine machine learning technologies and program analysis to predict and detect software bugs for improving software reliability.
The tools and techniques developed by him have already been integrated into practice and helped detect hundreds of true bugs on a large number of open-source and commercial projects.
At Lassonde, Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.