Meet the New Samueli School Faculty

Eight assistant professors join the Samueli School in 2011-12 Academic Year


The Henry Samueli School of Engineering is pleased to welcome eight new assistant professors to the School and UC Irvine during the 2011-12 academic year.

Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Anna Grosberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joining Spring 2012)

Grosberg will join The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology and is expected to provide new and synergistic expertise in applying multiscale computational modeling and tissue engineering to stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells), cardiac morphogenesis (development of structure), and cardiac function. Her interests in stem cell biology will create new collaborative opportunities with the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and her multiscale and integrative modeling interests will provide meaningful interactions with the Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS).  Grosberg received dual B.S. degrees in biomedical engineering and in chemical engineering with a minor in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 2002.  She earned her Ph.D. in bioengineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2008 and is currently completing postdoctoral research at Harvard University.

Jered B. Haun, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joined Fall 2011)

Haun received his B.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota in 2000, his M.S.E. in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2003, and his Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008.  His research focuses on developing nanoparticle technologies that utilize specific molecular interactions to obtain new insight into biology and to diagnose or treat diseases.  His interests also include designing nanosensor platforms for molecular detection of rare cells and targeting strategies to monitor molecular processes inside of cells in real-time.  Haun’s work aligns well into several primary focus areas of BME, specifically biophotonics, bio-microelectricalmechanical (bioMEMS) and cardiovascular technology.  His expertise in developing nanoparticles for targeting tumor markers and studying cell biology in vivo has strong synergy with the Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS) and the Institute of Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS).

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (ChEMS)

Alon A. Gorodetsky, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joined Fall 2011)

Gorodetsky received dual B.S. degrees in materials science and engineering and in engineering physics from Cornell University in 2003 and completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 2008. Since that time, he has served as a National Science Foundation (NSF) American Competitiveness in Chemistry Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Columbia University. Gorodetsky has made impressive research contributions in a variety of areas related to materials science, including materials design for energy-efficient lighting and photovoltaic devices, and to biochemical engineering, including development of electrical biosensors for monitoring enzyme/DNA interactions. His research focus will be the development of organic nanoelectronics to address questions of fundamental interest to human health and renewal energy.


Allon I. Hochbaum, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joining Winter 2011-12)

Hochbaum received his B.S. degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry at UC Berkeley.  His research interests in sustainable energy materials build on UC Irvine’s strengths in environmental research and will develop broad collaborations that relate energy and sustainable resources to societal needs.  He plans to establish programs in earth-abundant materials chemistry and electrochemistry at bio-inorganic interfaces with applications in clean energy technologies.  Currently, he is completing a postdoctoral research fellowship in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Amir AghaKouchak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joined Fall 2011)

AghaKouchak received his B.S. and Master’s degrees in civil engineering from the K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2003 and 2005, respectively.  In 2010, after completing his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, he came to UC Irvine as a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS).   AghaKouchak‘s research is interdisciplinary and crosses the boundaries between hydrology, climatology, statistics and remote sensing to address critical global water resource issues.His long-term research objective is to utilize continuously growing satellite data along with ground-based observations to develop/improve integrated drought, flood and landslide modeling, prediction and decision support systems.His focus in the area of hydrologic extremes (flood/landslide/draught) has the potential for cross-over into other hazards that are of interest to CEE, including those of a structural and geotechnical nature.


Anne Lemnitzer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joined Fall 2011)

Lemnitzer is a sought-after expert on geotechnical earthquake engineering topics.  The importance of her work on bridge columns and bridge foundation systems is at the interface of geotechnical and structural engineering and is reflected not only by publication in the top disciplinary journal for this area but also by consequential changes to Caltrans design standards.  Lemnitzer completed her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil and environmental engineering at UCLA in 2007 and 2009, respectively. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and comes from California State University, Fullerton, where she was appointed as an assistant professor.

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)

Jacob “Jack” Brouwer, Ph.D.,Assistant Professor (Appointed Assistant Professor Summer 2011)

Brouwer received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993.  From 1993 to 1997 he served as a research assistant professor at the University of Utah and was a member of the technical staff at Reaction Engineering International.  He came to UC Irvine in 1997 as associate director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC), concurrently holding appointments as lecturer, assistant and then associate adjunct professor.  His primary research focus since joining UC Irvine has been high temperature electrochemical dynamics and integrated energy systems research that includes fuel cells, gas turbines, electrolyzers, solar and wind power. Brouwer is a highly recognized researcher in the area of alternative energy and is expected to make strong contributions to UC Irvine’s stature in the field of energy and the environment and to make leading research and teaching contributions to MAE and to the Environment Institute.

Timothy J. Rupert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Joined Fall 2011)

Rupert earned his B.S. and M.S.E. in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2007 and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011.  His research combines cutting-edge experimental and numerical techniques to uncover new structure-property relationships in advanced nanostructured materials.  At UC Irvine, Rupert intends to expand his research interests to include the dynamic behavior of nanostructures under various applied driving forces; grain boundary engineering at the nanoscale; and the development of improved nanostructured materials for hydrogen storage, fuel cells, batteries and thermoelectric devices.

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