New Faculty: Fall 2011 – Spring 2012

Omar I. Abdul-Aziz, Ph.D.Omar I. Abdul-Aziz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Omar I. Abdul-Aziz is an Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering. He earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA, a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Following his Ph.D. in 2008, Dr. Abdul-Aziz worked as a post-doctoral Research Associate with the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere & Ocean at the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to joining FIU, he was a Scientist with the United States Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Center at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Dr. Abdul-Aziz possesses a rare expertise on both mechanistic and empirical modeling in a wide spectrum of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Engineering. He conducts highly interdisciplinary research, incorporating topics related to the coupled human-natural systems and sustainability sciences and engineering from at-site to regional to global scales. His research emphasizes the hydrological, biogeochemical, ecological, and water quality aspects of Water Resources Engineering. His current research projects include developing robust, user-friendly models for assessing and predicting (i) wetland greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, and (ii) urban water quality and ecosystem health under different climate and land use change scenarios. Dr. Abdul-Aziz’s team aims to develop sustainable Ecological Engineering guidelines and designs by incorporating biological and ecological sciences into the traditional physical/chemical science based Water Resources Engineering for achieving sustainability at variable time and space.



Hesham Ali, Ph.D., P.E., CPMHesham Ali, Ph.D., P.E., CPM
Green Paving Professor of Practice
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hesham has 21 years of Civil Engineering experience, mostly in pavement design, analysis and construction. He published more than 30 papers and participated in the delivery of hundreds of roadway and airport construction projects in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Florida.  Hesham has 10 years of executive experience at FDOT where he participated in the delivery of $3 Billion of highway construction and maintenance projects. He holds a Masters and Ph.D in Civil Engineering from The City University of New York.  Hesham has been involved in the technical development and promotion of pavement recycling.

Shekhar Bhansali, Ph.D.Shekhar Bhansali, Ph.D.
Alcatel-Lucent Professor and the Chair
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Shekhar Bhansali, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of South Florida, has been appointed as the Alcatel-Lucent Professor and the Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Dr. Bhansali comes to us with wealth of experience in building bridges between academia, industry and the foundations to advance graduate education amongst minorities.” said Amir Mirmiran, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.

Dr. Bhansali has received numerous awards including the 2009 William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund, 2009 Mentor of the Year Award from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 2004 Outstanding Mentor Award from the McKnight Foundation, and 2003 NSF CAREER award. Dr. Bhansali is on the editorial boards of Recent Patents in Nanotechnology, and Technology and Innovation. He received his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, his masters in Aircraft Production Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India, and his bachelor’s degree with Honors in Metallurgical Engineering from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur, India.



Michael Bienvenu, Ph.D.Michael Bienvenu, Ph.D.
Professor of Concrete Sustainability
Civil and Environmental Engineering

With an undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Dr. Bienvenu earned a Masters and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, as well as a Juris Doctorate, from North Carolina State University. His background spans the realm of the public, private and educational arenas. Dr. Bienvenu has worked with the United States Department of Transportation on transportation needs for developing countries in the Caribbean community and has an extensive career with the Florida Department of Transportation which included service as a Pavement Evaluation Engineer, District Materials Engineer, District Maintenance Engineer and District Director of Transportation Operations. Dr. Bienvenu has taken that knowledge and worked as an educator at institutions such as North Carolina State University, Florida Atlantic University, Miami-Dade College and FIU. His involvement in professional associations and his recognitions are numerous and he has also practiced as an attorney and holds 3 patents.



Benjamin Boesl, Ph.D.Benjamin Boesl, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Dr. Benjamin Boesl is a new addition to our faculty. His research has focused on material response and design of multiscale hierarchically designed composites including the use of 3D weave technology and nanoparticle fillers. His future research will address the development of novel experimental testing procedures using electron microscopy, materials development, and the advancement of dynamic computational tools and progressive failure techniques to improve the accuracy and scope of material modeling in defense, energy, and biomedical applications.

Bogdan Carbunar, Ph.D. Bogdan Carbunar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Bogdan Carbunar is an assistant professor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at the Florida International University. Previously, he held various research positions within the Applied Research Center at Motorola. His research interests include distributed systems, security and applied cryptography. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University



Bilal El-Zahab, PhD. Bilal El-Zahab, PhD.
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Dr. El-Zahab is an expert in the area of nanomaterials for energy applications. He obtained his B.S. from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and his Ph.D. from the University of Akron, both in chemical engineering. His doctoral work focused on nanomaterials for applications in biofuel synthesis and carbon dioxide utilization. In his postdoctoral research at Louisiana State University he developed new fluorescent, magnetic, and other functional nanomaterials composed of ionic liquids. In his postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. El-Zahab worked on the development of electrolytes and polymeric separator membranes for secondary lithium-ion batteries.

He was also part of a team developing a new rechargeable lithium-ion semi-solid flow battery that utilizes liquid lithium suspension “fuel” aimed at applications in automotive. Dr. El-Zahab has published 26 research journal articles, 2 review journal articles, and has 3 pending patents. He brings in expertise in nanofabrications, ionic liquids, and energy storage to build a vibrant research group centered on the development of advanced materials addressing energy problems.



S. Sitharama Iyengar, Ph.D.S. Sitharama Iyengar, Ph.D.
Ryder Professor and Director
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Dr. Iyengar is a Member of the European Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a Fellow of the Society for Design and Process Science (SDPS). He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Science, the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Achievement Award, and the IEEE Golden Core Member award.

Dr. Iyengar is a pioneer in the field of distributed sensor networks, computational aspects of robotics, and oceanographic applications. He is best known for introducing novel data structures and algorithmic techniques for large scale computations in sensor technologies and image processing applications. His work has had significant impacts in buy-at-bulk network design problems which further affect a wide range of practical applications including the areas of communication and transportation networks. He has also pioneered a universal technique for finding the Price of Anarchy of every bottleneck congestion game, extending the game theory to applications in network routing, scheduling and cloud computing.



Xia Jin, Ph.D., AICP.Xia Jin, Ph.D., AICP.
Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Jin is an Assistant Professor with the Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Florida International University. Her research specializes in the areas of travel demand and behavior analysis, land use‐transportation interactions, travel survey methods, and geographic information systems (GIS). She is working on various projects sponsored by the tier I and regional University Transportation Research Centers and the Florida Department of Transportation, spans the areas from travel behavior analysis across weekdays to traffic management center best practices. Previously, Dr. Jin was employed with Cambridge Systematics, and provided modeling expertise to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) on various aspects of modeling operations and transportation planning. Dr. Jin received a Doctorate degree in Transportation Engineering after the Master’s degrees in Transportation Engineering and Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.



Youngcheol Kang, Ph.D. Youngcheol Kang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
OHL School of Construction Management

Youngcheol Kang joined FIU in 2011. He holds a B.S in civil engineering from Yonsei University (2002), M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2010) in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include information technology implementation, benchmarking and performance measure, productivity, and sustainability. He has participated in multiple research projects sponsored by Construction Industry Institute (CII), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). He is licensed as a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.


Cheng-Xian (Charlie) Lin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Dr. Lin is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering at FIU. He directs the Computational Fluids and Energy Sciences (CFES) Laboratory and Sustainable Energy and Transport Systems (SETS) Laboratory. His previous positions include Associate Professor and Associate Director in UT CFD Lab at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Summer Faculty Fellow in Air Force Research Laboratory at WPAFB, and Program Manager in the Applied Research Center at Florida International University. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and has authored and co-authored over 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. His current research interests include Computational Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, Combustion, Multiphase Flows, HVAC, Solar and Geothermal Energy Utilization. His projects have been funded by government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense (AFOSR, ONR), and commercial companies, including Pratt & Whitney and ASHRAE. He serves on the review panels of NSF, DOE, and DoD, and on the editorial boards of two international journals. He is an active member of the ASME, ASHRAE, AIAA, and ASEE. Among his recent awards and honors is the Outstanding Reviewer Award by ASME in 2011.


next page