New 2013 Lee College of Engineering Faculty

Date Published: 
September 24, 2013

The William States Lee College of Engineering

New 2013 Faculty

The William States Lee College of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte proudly welcomes 11 new faculty members in 2013. As educators and researchers, these new hires bring credentials from some of the finest universities in the country and a wealth of professional experience from industry. With UNC Charlotte and Lee College of Engineering enrollments increasing steadily during the past 10 years, these new faculty members will be vital in educating the next-generation of engineers and technologists.


Kent DayKent Day
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science (Motorsports Engineering)
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, 2002

Dr. Day comes to the Lee College of Engineering with 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, the last 18 of which have been in professional motorsport. Most recently, he was the technical director at Richard Childress Racing (RCR). In that capacity, he was responsible for the technical development of RCR’s race cars for competition in NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup Series. Prior to RCR, Dr. Day was the chief engineer at Penske Racing where he managed the engineering group supporting their NASCAR racing division. During his motorsports career, Dr. Day has played a significant role in developing and applying state-of-the-art simulation tools in the racing environment. As a doctoral student at Clemson, Dr. Day was one of the initial engineers working in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series to use and apply vehicle dynamics simulation.

Research interests:

  • Vehicle modeling and simulation
  • Driver modeling
  • Tire testing and modeling
  • Handling assessment and metrics
  • Influence of multi-car aerodynamics on vehicle handling
  • Vehicle stability
  • Driver simulators

Wei (David) Fan
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ph.D. in Civil Engineering - Transportation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2004

Dr. Fan comes to the Lee College of Engineering with seven years of full-time teaching experience and more than 20 years of research experience in transportation engineering, operations research (including optimization, statistics, simulation) and computer software development (using C/C++, Visual Basic and Java). He worked as a senior analytical optimization software developer in the research and development department at SAS Institute Inc. in Cary, North Carolina, from June 2004 to August 2006. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, he was a tenured faculty member of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Tyler from 2006 to 2013. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions – Intelligent Transportation Systems and sits on several transportation research board (TRB) committees.

Research interests:

  • Urban transportation planning and system analysis
  • Transportation network modeling and optimization
  • Transportation system operations and control
  • Pavement management systems and optimization
  • Multimodal transportation systems
  • Simulation computer software development using C/C++/Java.

Tao Hong
Assistant Professor, Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
Associate of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC)
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Operations Research, North Carolina State University, 2010

Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Dr. Hong was the head of energy forecasting at SAS, where he led research, development, sales, marketing, consulting and education activities involving the company’s Energy Forecasting solution offerings. He is the founding chair of IEEE’s Working Group on Energy Forecasting and the general chair of the Global Energy Forecasting Competition. He has provided consulting and education services to more than 100 organizations across all sectors of the utility industry. The long-term spatial load forecasting methodology implemented in his master’s thesis and the short-term forecasting methodology proposed in his Ph.D. dissertation have been commercialized and deployed to many utilities worldwide.

Research interests:

  • Energy forecasting
  • Power systems planning and operations
  • Renewable integration
  • Risk management
  • Trading strategy

Terry Jordan
Director, Industrial Solutions Laboratory
Associate of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC)
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 1976

In his new position as head of the Industrial Solutions Laboratory, Mr. Jordan will be leading the college’s Senior Design Program. Mr. Jordan has extensive industrial experience, including more than 30 years in the electric power industry. In that capacity, he was involved in the design, construction and operation of all mechanical engineering aspects for power plants from initial conception to operation.

Research interests:

  • Alternative energy sources
  • Power plant reliability and efficiency
  • Emissions from conventional energy sources

Olya Keen
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ph.D. in Civil Engineering - Environmental, University of Colorado – Boulder, 2012

The focus of Dr. Keen’s research is the treatment of pharmaceutical pollutants in wastewater to prevent their release into the environment. She studies the chemistry of pharmaceuticals on the molecular level, as well as works on making advanced treatment technologies more affordable for wastewater treatment plants.

Research interests:

  • Emerging contaminants (detection, fate, treatment, environmental and human health effects)
  • Advanced wastewater treatment and water reuse
  • UV based technologies (photolysis, advanced oxidation)
  • Mass spectrometry applications

William Lindsey III
Lecturer/Advisor, Office of Student Development and Success
BISyE – Inventory and Control Systems, Georgia Tech, 1975; M.B.A., University of Virginia, 1977

Prior to joining the Office of Student Development and Success, Mr. Lindsey served as lab manager for the Mechanical Engineering Technology and Fire Safety Engineering Technology programs. He was also an instructor for Machine Shop Practices, a senior design mentor and the machine shop manager for Senior Design II students in the prototyping phase of their projects. Before joining UNC Charlotte in 2006, he served in various industrial and management positions related to manufacturing and manufacturing engineering.


Alain Miatudila
Faculty Associate, Engineering Technology and Construction Management
Ph.D. (in progress) in Infrastructure and Environmental Systems, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Mr. Miatudila has worked in the Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Management programs for the past five years as a research operations manager, teaching courses and laboratories. He has more than 10 years of industry experience, including a wide range of civil engineering design projects involving infrastructure, design of highways, and storm, sewer and potable water pipeline networks. He also has experience in all phases of site land development engineering, surveying, construction materials, geotechnical testing and residential architectural design.

Research interests:

  • Traffic and highway engineering
  • Traffic control devices / traffic simulation
  • Highway and traffic safety
  • Human factors transportation engineering
  • Land development engineering

Mike Ogle
Assistant Professor, Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University, 1994

Dr. Ogle comes to UNC Charlotte after 15 years with the MHI trade association (a material handling, logistics, and supply chain focused association). As the MHI vice president of Educational and Technical Services, he managed the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education, the Order Fulfillment Solutions Council, and the Conveyor and Sortation Systems Group. He also managed all of MHI’s ANSI accredited national and international standards activities, including those focused on pallets, freight containers and packaging.

Research interests:

  • Order fulfillment systems
  • Flexible, reconfigurable automation
  • Physical internet, internet of things and M2M
  • Material handling, logistics and supply chain standardization
  • Systems simulation

Robin Pottathuparambil
Lecturer, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, UNC Charlotte, 2013

Dr. Pottathuparambil joins the ECE faculty team to teach and perform research in the area of embedded systems, reconfigurable computing and high-performance computing. Prior to his graduate studies he worked for three years building embedded system for medical equipment, home security systems and wireless sensor nodes. His research focuses on building FPGA-based hardware accelerators for computational science applications.

Research Interests:

  • Embedded systems
  • High-performance computing
  • Designs for living computational science applications
  • Algorithmic trading
  • High-performance trading

Nicholas Tymvios
Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology and Construction Management
Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Oregon State University, 2013

Dr. Tymvios’s research interests include safety in construction and the application of prevention-through-design principles during the construction process. He is involved in the investigation of safety and productivity concerns during highway maintenance and construction operations, and the applications of sustainability to construction. His experience also includes a variety of work with temporary construction structures, construction systems and processes, and statistical applications in construction.

Research Interests

  • Safety
  • Prevention through design
  • Highway work zones
  • Sustainability in construction
  • Construction systems and processes
  • Temporary construction structures
  • Statistical applications in construction

Haitao Zhang
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2005

Dr. Zhang has worked as a research faculty member at UNC Charlotte since 2005, with expertise in materials synthesis and characterization, materials property measurement, and device fabrication and testing. He starts this new appointment with his current research focuses on thin films and nanostructures of functional materials in energy applications.

Research interests:

  • Thin films and nanostructures of functional materials
  • Synthesis, characterization and measurement
  • Energy harvesting, conversion and storage
  • Energy-efficient optics and electronics