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Outside view of Engineering Systems Building.

Batten College Welcomes New Faculty

By Sherry DiBari

The Batten College of Engineering and Technology welcomes six new faculty members to Old Dominion University. Their diverse research interests and expertise range from autonomous systems, robotics, machine learning, and power systems to biomechanics and modeling aquatic toxicity.

Three of the faculty hires will bolster the Engineering Fundamentals Division in preparation for our new common first-year program.

"We are excited to welcome this talented cohort of innovative scholars to the College," said Kenneth Fridley, dean of the Batten College. "Our students will benefit greatly from their expertise, both in the classroom and in research opportunities."

Logan Beaver is a new assistant professor of autonomous systems in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He joins us from a postdoctoral associate position in the Division of Systems Engineering at Boston University. Beaver works in the area of control systems and is broadly interested in any system that contains feedback control. His current research interest is in applying optimization-based control to multi-agent systems - particularly robot swarms. Beaver earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering, minoring in mathematics from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, master's in mechanical engineering (shock physics) from Marquette University and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (robotics and controls) from the University of Delaware.

Cong Wei, a new assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, joins us from a postdoctoral associate position at the Maryland Robotics Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. Wei's research interests include nonlinear control and marine robotics/observation. Wei earned his bachelor's degree in marine engineering from Ningbo University, (Ningbo, China) master's degree in naval architecture and ocean engineering from Harbin Engineering University (Harbin, China) and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware.

Hyoshin "John" Park, a new associate professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, joins us from North Carolina A&T. Park earned his bachelor's in urban engineering and master's in transportation engineering from Yonsei University (South Korea) and his doctorate in transportation engineering from the University of Maryland. Park's research interests include advancing data-driven and physics-informed machine learning for personalized decision-making by creating predictive digital twins.

Elizabeth Devore is a new lecturer in the Engineering Fundamentals Division. She joins us from Auburn University where she was a doctoral student and instructor. Her research interests are engineering education, power systems and power quality. Devore earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Auburn University and will finish her doctorate at Auburn this academic year.

Nathan Holland is a new lecturer in the Engineering Fundamentals Division. He previously worked as the lead graduate teaching assistant and instructor for ODU's Materials Science Lab. Before joining ODU, Holland was an adjunct instructor and director of Hampton University's School of Engineering Summer Bridge Pre-College program. Holland's research interests include lower extremity biomechanics and machine learning application and engineering education. Holland earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Master of Engineering in Acoustics from Pennsylvania State University. He will finish his doctorate in engineering, with a concentration in mechanical engineering, at ODU in December.

Kathy Boone is transitioning to a lecturer position in the Engineering Fundamentals Division. She was previously an adjunct in ODU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as a research associate with the University of Delaware. Her research interests are in modeling aquatic toxicity and pedagogy practices in STEM. Boone earned her bachelor's in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech, a master's in environmental engineering from North Carolina State University and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Delaware.

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