Pitt | Swanson Engineering
NEW FACULTY, PROMOTIONS IN THE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

PITTSBURGH (December 9, 2016) … The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering welcomes three new assistant professors to the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS). John Whitefoot, Wei Xiong and Hessam Babaee joined the faculty this fall, and Patrick Smolinski will become the new director of the Engineering Science Program. 

“John, Wei and Hessam represent diverse areas of study and expertise, but we are certain the University of Pittsburgh is the right environment for them to thrive and make a substantial impact with their work. They are welcomed additions to the department,” said Brian Gleeson, Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and Chair of MEMS.

Hessam BabaeeHessam Babaee, Assistant Professor
Dr. Babaee earned his PhD from Louisiana State University (2013) and previously was a Post-Doctoral Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, multi-physics modeling, multi-fidelity modeling, stochastic modeling, uncertainty quantification, high performance computing and flow instability. Uncertain operating conditions, material properties, or uncertainties that arise from modeling are frequent in engineering designs. Quantifying the effects of these uncertainties in the design are now at the forefront of research in engineering practice. His research at Pitt will primarily focus on computational modeling of uncertainty in engineering systems, particularly on reducing the cost of computation in undertaking such studies.

John WhitefootJohn Whitefoot, Assistant Professor
Dr. Whitefoot earned his PhD from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (2012), prior to which he spent seven years in the automotive industry. He most recently was a General Engineer with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. His research interests include energy system optimization, transportation and design policy, and transportation/energy integration. As a teaching professor within the MEMS department, Whitefoot’s roles include classroom instruction, development of new courses and research on engineering education. He has instructed four MEMS courses: Applied Thermodynamics, Thermal Systems Design and Mechanical Measurements I & II.

Wei XiongWei Xiong, Assistant Professor
Dr. Xiong received his PhD from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden (2012) and previously was a Research Associate at Northwestern University. His research interests include advanced materials and processing design based on methodologies of materials by design and accelerated insertion of materials; predictive-science based model development for process-structure-property relation in advanced manufacturing; additive manufacturing of high performance titanium alloys and steels using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM). 

Patrick SmolinskiPatrick Smolinski, Director of Engineering Science Program (promotion)
Dr. Smolinski, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science , has been named director of the Swanson School's Engineering Science Program. Smolinski will succeed Professor John Barnard. The Engineering Science Program offers students flexible curricula with concentrations in engineering physics, nanotechnology and nuclear engineering. The program emphasizes an ability to think across disciplines and tackle future technical challenges that require a thorough understanding of disciplines in the physical sciences and mathematics combined with engineering. Smolinski is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

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Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer, 12/9/2016

Contact: Paul Kovach