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Provost announces promotion of 8 Auburn Engineering faculty members

By Sylvia Masango

Published: Apr 18, 2019 8:08:00 AM

The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering gates The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering gates

Auburn University Provost Bill Hardgrave has announced the names of faculty who have been awarded promotion, tenure or both at Auburn University for 2019. The following Auburn Engineering faculty received promotions or tenure:

Mark Adams, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was promoted to associate professor with tenure. Adams joined the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2014 after working in the defense and healthcare industries for more than a decade. He is also the founder and managing member of Systems Visions LLC, a veteran-owned small business focused on research, development, engineering, consulting and training specializing in custom solutions for commercial and defense applications. Adams’ research interests include sensors and transducers, micro/nano fabrication, photonics, wireless communications and antennas, quantum systems, and biomedical devices. He created the Sensors, Transducers, Optics, RF and MEMS (STORM) laboratory to engage in interdisciplinary research across the university.

David M. Blersch, assistant professor of biosystems engineering, was promoted to associate professor with tenure. He teaches courses in ecological engineering, aquaculture and aquaponics engineering, and algae systems engineering. Blersch has research interests in algae cultivation for pollutant recovery and biomass production; aquaculture and aquaponics food production systems; and ecological systems modeling. He is principal investigator for the Auburn University Algal Systems and Ecological Engineering Laboratory, and is a founding PI for the Auburn University 3D-Printed Bio-Surfaces (3D-PBS) Laboratory. Blersch has research supported in environmental and ecological engineering from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. He is the author or co-author of 21 publications and more than 100 presentations on ecological engineering for resource utilization in agricultural systems. Blersch holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree and doctorate in biological resources engineering from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2013, Blersch served as a research assistant professor of environmental engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Gopikrishna Deshpande, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was promoted to full professor. He is part of the core faculty at the Auburn MRI Research Center and an adjunct faculty in the Department of Psychology. Deshpande joined the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering.  At Auburn, he is also associated with the Center for Neuroscience, the Center for Health Ecology and Research, and the Alabama Advanced Imaging Consortium. His research interests include signal/image processing, functional magnetic resonance imaging, machine learning, multimodal data fusion, and neuroscience and neuroimaging. Deshpande is a recipient of the President's Outstanding Collaborative Units Award. He has been published in 90 peer-reviewed journals and obtained membership in six professional organizations and societies.

Michael C. Hamilton, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was promoted to full professor. Hamilton joined the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor. His research interests include technology for packaging and integration of dense high-speed/high-power systems, signal and power integrity of advanced integrated systems, application of micro and nanostructures for enhanced performance of RF and microwave systems, packaging for extreme environments (both high and low temperature) and superconducting electronics technologies. Hamilton has served as director of the Alabama Micro/Nano Science and Technology Center since 2016.

Carolina Rodezno, assistant research professor at the National Center for Asphalt Technology, was promoted to associate research professor. Rodezno began her career as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University before joining the NCAT research faculty in 2011. Her research areas include balanced mix design, sustainable pavement materials, advanced asphalt materials characterization, modified asphalt mixtures, field performance evaluation, and asphalt test procedures. Rodezno has had more than 20 journal and conference publications, and has been a recipient of more than $5.7 million in sponsored research over her career.

Nima Shamsaei, associate professor in mechanical engineering, has been awarded tenure. Shamsaei joined the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2016 as an associate professor and was named director of Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) in 2018. He transferred to Auburn University from Mississippi State University and has been instrumental in bringing several millions of dollars of external funding for additive manufacturing research to Auburn. Shamsaei’s research interests include additive manufacturing, fatigue and fracture, mechanical behavior of materials, microstructure-property relationships and failure analysis.

Cheryl Seals, associate professor of computer science and software engineering, was promoted to full professor. Seals joined the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2003 as an instructor initially prior to completing her doctorate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2004. Her research interests include human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, game design, user interface design, healthcare applications, computer ethics and computer science education. Seals was previously the acting director of the Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program and has several published book chapters and more than 70 refereed journal and conference publications. She has research funding including collaborative grants in excess of $13.6 million, with Auburn University’s share $3.1 million, through 24 funded grants.

Rick Williams, lecturer of mechanical engineering, was promoted to senior lecturer. Williams has taught at Auburn since 2013 and was named director of Auburn University’s Nuclear Power Generation Systems program in 2017. A Georgia Tech graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, Williams earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Auburn. His research interests include thermal design, heat exchangers, heat pipes, additive manufacturing, fluid systems and engineering education. Williams recently became a recipient of the William F. Walker Teaching Award.

Media Contact: Chris Anthony,, 334.844.3447

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