Meet Pratt's New Faculty for 2016-2018
Duke Engineering is an ambitious community where the best and brightest minds are invited to devise creative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. With 10 outstanding tenured/tenure track faculty joining us in 2016-2018, we continue to add depth and breadth to our research focus areas in health, environmental sustainability, and intelligence and connectivity. Learn more about their exciting work in the profiles below.
INTELLIGENCE AND CONNECTIVITY
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering (July 1, 2016)
Cynthia Rudin’s research focuses on using machine learning, data mining and applied statistics to discover knowledge—Big Data—to improve human decision-making. Her application areas are in energy grid reliability, healthcare and computational criminology. Director of the Prediction Analysis Lab, Dr. Rudin holds faculty appointments in both Duke’s electrical and computer engineering and computer science departments, with secondary appointments in statistics and mathematics.
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering (January 1, 2017)
Xin Li’s research is centered on using advanced statistical methods and machine learning techniques to create new ways to improve engineering designs in areas such as integrated circuits, medical devices and manufacturing processes. The goal of his work is to improve system performance and robustness, while reducing cost. He has also been collaborating closely with biomedical researchers working on brain-computer interfaces.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science (January 1, 2018)
Leila Bridgeman’s research builds on George Zames’s foundational work, exploring how the theory of conic sectors can be used to design controllers that guarantee closed-loop input-output stability when more conventional methods fail to apply. Her work has considered applications in robotic, process control, and time-delay systems. With collaborators, Dr. Bridgeman is working on novel applications of model predictive control in networked systems, vehicle control, heating, and ventilation.
Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering (September 1, 2016)
Mark Borsuk’s research concerns the development and application of mathematical models for integrating scientific information on natural, technical, and social systems. He is particularly interested in risk assessment and valuation techniques that can inform environmental policy and decision-making. He is also the originator of novel approaches to climate and land-use change assessment that combine risk analysis, game theory, and agent-based modeling.
Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering (September 1, 2016)
Andrew Bragg’s research aims to understand turbulent flows through advanced theoretical methods and computational simulations. By combining tools from applied mathematics and statistical physics, he explores complex fluid flows in natural systems, from droplet movement in storm clouds to the dynamics within interstellar nebulae. At Duke, Dr. Bragg will create a fluid dynamics research center. The effort is expected to bring together CEE researchers looking at environmental systems, as well as MEMS faculty working on flutter in turbine engines and BME researchers investigating blood flow.
Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering (July 1, 2017)
Johann Guilleminot’s research focuses on topics at the interface of uncertainty quantification, computational mechanics and materials science. He develops methods to improve the robustness and predictive capabilities of simulations under various types of uncertainties, with applications in design optimization and biomechanics for instance. Recently, he pioneered the construction of information-theoretic probabilistic models in nonlinear mechanics; these novel representations were shown to faithfully reproduce the patient-to-patient variability observed in living tissues, such as the brain and liver.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science (July 1, 2016)
Tony Huang, a leader in the fields of microfluidics, acoustofluidics and lab-on-a-chip technologies, creates new diagnostic tools and treatments based on methods he developed to use sound waves to precisely detect and manipulate particles such as cells, vesicles, DNAs, RNAs and proteins. For example, his research group has developed sonic tweezers which, by manipulating the strength, direction and amplitude of waves, can move and sort cells in a fluidic chamber without contact. The technology shows promise for improving the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cancer and other diseases.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (September 1, 2016)
Junjie Yao is a pioneer in the emerging field of photoacoustic tomography (PAT)–one of the fastest-growing biomedical imaging technologies, and the most sensitive modality for imaging rich optical absorption contrast over a wide range of spatial scales at high speed. He is working to develop state-of-the-art PAT technologies with novel and advanced imaging performance, and to translate PAT advances into diagnostic and therapeutic applications, especially in functional brain imaging and early cancer theranostics.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (July 1, 2017)
Michael Tadross’s research focuses on understanding neural circuits and their dysfunction, while recognizing the difficulties inherent in brain research given the complexity of synaptic and neuromodulatory communication between brain cells. His work at Duke will strive to transform the study of microcircuits by operating at the interface of tool development and deployment—creating novel methods to target molecularly specific drugs to defined cells and synapses.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (July 1, 2018)
Roarke Horstmeyer is interested in exploring new ways to capture and process biomedical images. He develops microscopes, cameras and computer algorithms for a wide range of applications, from forming 3D reconstructions of organisms to detecting neurons deep within tissue. His work lies at the intersection of optics, biology, signal processing and optimization.