Committee Members

Committee Members


Chair: Jessica Zhang

Jessica Zhang is the George Tallman Ladd and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with a courtesy appointment in Biomedical Engineering. She received her B.Eng. and M.Eng. from Tsinghua University, China; and M.Eng. and Ph.D. from Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (now Oden Institute), The University of Texas at Austin. She has been a faculty member at CMU since 2007. Her research interests include image processing, computational geometry, mesh generation, finite element method, isogeometric analysis, data-driven simulation and their applications in computational biomedicine, materials science and engineering. Zhang has co-authored over 180 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and received several Best Paper Awards. She also published a book entitled “Geometric Modeling and Mesh Generation from Scanned Images” with CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. Zhang is the recipient of Simons Visiting Professorship from Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach of Germany, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, NSF CAREER Award, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and USACM Gallagher Young Investigator Award. At CMU, she received David P. Casasent Outstanding Research Award, George Tallman Ladd and Florence Barrett Ladd Research Professorship, Clarence H. Adamson Career Faculty Fellow in Mechanical Engineering, Donald L. &R Rhonda Struminger Faculty Fellow, and George Tallman Ladd Research Award. She is a Fellow of AIMBE, ASME, USACM and ELATE at Drexel.


Deputy Chair: Alison Marsden

Alison Marsden is an associate professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and, by courtesy, Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is a member of the Institute for Mathematical and Computational Engineering. From 2007-2015 she was a faculty member in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCSD. She graduated with a BSE degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University in 1998, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2005. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in Bioengineering from 2005-07. She was the recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface in 2007, an NSF CAREER award in 2011, and was elected as a fellow of AIMBE and SIAM in 2018. She has published over 100 peer reviewed journal papers and serves on the editorial board of several leading journals. Her research focuses on the development of numerical methods for cardiovascular blood flow simulation and application of engineering tools to impact patient care in cardiovascular surgery and congenital heart disease.


Treasurer: Lucy Zhang

Lucy Zhang is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, IL. Upon graduation, she joined Mechanical Engineering Department at Tulane as an assistant professor. The department was then closed due to Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, she moved to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research interests are building advanced and robust computational tools and software for reliable and efficient multiphysics and multiscale simulations. The engineering applications involve biomechanics, micro and nano-mechanics, medicine, and defense projects involving impacts. She is now developing open-source tools and technology that can conveniently and efficiently couple any existing solvers for multiphysics and multiscale simulations and analysis.


Secretary: Shaolie Hossain

Shaolie Hossain is an Associate Research Professor at the Oden Institute at the University of Texas at Austin and a Senior Research Scientist at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) in Houston. She spearheads a joint initiative between THI and the Oden Institute for developing simulation technologies that exploit advances in computational methods to further our understanding of vascular disease, and directly guide the conceptualization, development, and clinical evaluation of new therapies. Dr. Hossain is a mechanical engineer by training specializing in computational fluid dynamics, patient-specific modeling and nanoparticulate drug delivery. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, master’s degree from Stanford University and Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, MD Anderson Foundation, The William and Ella Owens Foundation, The Farish Stamp Foundation, UT-Austin|Portugal CoLab, and Abbott Vascular Inc.


Internet Communications Officer: Hesaneh Kazemi

Hesaneh Kazemi received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, and her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. During her Ph.D. she developed computational topology optimization techniques for design of architected materials to achieve superior material properties. She is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California San Diego, continuing her work on design of materials.


Publicity Officer: Pinar Acar


Pinar Acar is an Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Virginia Tech. Her research interests are focused on multi-scale materials modeling, uncertainty quantification, optimization, machine learning, and reduced-order modeling. She received her Ph.D. degree in 2017 from the Aerospace Engineering Department of the University of Michigan. Before joining the University of Michigan, she worked as a Research Assistant at Istanbul Technical University, where she obtained her MSc degree in 2012 and led a team in designing the first satellite de-orbiting system of Turkey. Dr. Acar is the recipient of the prominent International Amelia Earhart Fellowship, which is awarded annually to only a few women around the world in aerospace sciences. She is currently the author and co-author of more than 70 journal and conference papers as well as 2 book chapters for the NATO Science and Technology Organization.


Event Organizer: Shelly Zhang

Shelly Zhang is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering in the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her research focuses on exploring topology optimization, stochastic programming, and additive manufacturing to develop resilient, smart, sustainable, and innovative engineering infrastructure and materials for applications at different scales, from as large as high-rise buildings to as small as material micro-structures. Shelly received her B.S/M.S. from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech.


Awards Officer: Anjali Sandip

Anjali Sandip is a Senior Lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of North Dakota.  Her primary research interest is numerical modeling and its applications, ranging from earth science to 3D printing.  She is currently developing open-source software for multi-physics/phase modeling, optimization and uncertainty quantification.  Prior to her current position, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nebraska where she developed patient-specific computational models of the superficial femoral artery/stent interaction to treat peripheral artery disease.  Anjali earned her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas.


Mentoring Officers: Mary Wheeler, Selda Oterkus

Mary Fanett Wheeler is a world-renowned expert in computational science. She has been a member of the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin since 1995 and holds the Ernest and Virginia Cockrell Chair in the departments of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. She is also director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling (CSM) at the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. Her particular research interests include numerical solution of partial differential systems with application to the modeling of subsurface flows and parallel computation. Applications of her research include multiphase flow and geomechanics in fractured porous media, contaminant transport in groundwater, and sequestration of carbon in geological formations. Dr. Wheeler has published more than 300 technical papers and edited seven books; she is currently an editor of five technical journals. She is a member of NAE and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Selda Oterkus is an associate professor at the department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering at University of Strathclyde, UK. She is also the Vice-Director of PeriDynamics Research Center (PDRC) at University of Strathclyde. She received her PhD degree from the University of Arizona in mechanical engineering with minor degrees in civil engineering and engineering mechanics. She worked both as a research and teaching assistant during her PhD studies. Her research mainly focuses on multi-physics modeling of materials and structures as far as damage and structural failure is concerned. Thus her research interests focuses on computational simulations of damage prediction in materials and structures under various loading conditions such as thermomechanical loading, hygrothermal loading and fluid flow. Dr. Oterkus was a visiting professor at Stanford University (USA), University of Padova (Italy) and Otto von Guericke University (Germany). She is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Peridynamics and Nonlocal Modeling (Springer). 



Nadya Amalia, Yixiang Deng, Mona Eskandari, Lori Graham-Brady, Emily Johnson, Pauline Menoret, Pania Newell, Aishwarya Pawar, Mahsa Tajdari, Qian Ye

Advisory Board:

John Dolbow, Duke University

Thomas J.R. Hughes, Oden Institute, The University of Texas at Austin

Alicia Kim, University of California at San Diego

Rekha Rao, Sandia National Laboratories