Fresh ideas in Bio-imaging, Quantum Mechanics, and Nuclear Safety!

Three new faculty members joined the School of Engineering this fall. They come to Rensselaer with PhDs and research experience from world-class Universities, and impressive past accomplishments. Their research is aligned with the highest priorities of Rensselaer in areas of biotechnology and life sciences, in energy and smart systems, and in computational science and engineering. A warm welcome to Assistant Professors Deva Chan (Biomedical Engineering), Hyun G. Kang (MANE/Nuclear Engineering), and Ravishankar Sundararaman (Materials Science and Engineering). I invite you to read about them below.

Dr. ChanDr. Deva Chan

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Deva received her B.S. in Bioengineering from the UC Berkeley in 2004, M.S. in biomedical Engineering from the UC Davis in 2008, and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University in 2012.   In 2013, she received the prestigious Arthritis Foundation Fellowship Award and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago where she applied high resolution imaging for diagnostic and prognostic uses in arthritic diseases. She then joined the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine as a Research Fellow.

At Rensselaer, Dr. Chan will focus on bio-imaging for musculoskeletal research.  She plan to develop noninvasive imaging methods and computational models to assess soft tissue biochemistry and biomechanics in longitudinal studies of injury and repair, and elucidate the wound-healing mechanisms and cellular responses after traumatic joint injury. 

Outside the lab and classroom, Dr. Chan loves photography and hiking, as well as knitting and just curling up on the couch with her husband and their dog. A native of California, she is excited to be living near mountains again.

Dr. KangDr. Hyun Gook Kang

Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering

Dr. Kang received all his degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the prestigious Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (also known as KAIST); his B.S. in 1993, M.S. in 1995, and Ph.D. in 1999.  Dr. Kang served as a Senior Researcher on the research staff of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute.  He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering at KAIST in 2010 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013. He has been a visiting researcher at the Brookhaven National Lab in Long Island, NY and a visiting professor of nuclear engineering at the Khalifa University of Science in Abu Dhabi and at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Dr. Kang’s research is focuses on assessing the risk associated with critical safety functions in design and operation of nuclear reactors.  He is a widely recognized expert on risk analysis for nuclear power systems, including the probabilistic safety/risk assessment of engineering systems in nuclear power plants and other safety-critical systems, digitalization of control and protection of nuclear power plants, the design of safety systems based on risk, the design and evaluation of operation procedures and national disaster management systems. 

At Rensselaer, Dr. Kang will focus on the development of innovative methodologies which can drastically enhance the safety of next generation nuclear power plants, with special focus on on-line integrity monitoring of standby safety components, human error in a computerized environment and driving force uncertainty analysis.  

Hyun Gook is a father of three lovely teenagers; so, when he is not doing research or teaching, you can find him on the road driving for them. He enjoys hiking and bicycle riding. Hyun Gook was born and grown up in Korea and has traveled the world. He likes to read books on the culture and history of various societies, as well as on economy and energy issues.

Dr. SundararamanDr. Ravishankar Sundararaman

Materials Science and Engineering

Dr. Sundararaman received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 2007.  He graduated at the top of his class and was awarded the President’s Gold Medal – a rare honor! Prior to this he was a gold medalist at the International Physics Olympiad in 2002. He received his Ph.D. degree in Physics from Cornell University in 2013, where he developed advanced techniques and software combining electronic structure calculations with statistical mechanical theory of liquids.  Dr. Sankararaman was a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and California Institute of Technology under the direction of two world-renowned scientists, Professor William Goddard III and Harry Atwater.  He developed advanced theoretical and computational methods based on electronic structure theory to predict material properties and phenomena in nanoscale systems with applications to energy conversion and storage. 

Ravishankar’s research group at RPI will develop “ab initio multi-physics” methods to quantitatively predict the properties of nanoscale systems starting from quantum simulations of electrons in materials, and use these methods to design nanoscale materials with properties inaccessible in conventional materials for applications including electronic devices, sensing, energy conversion and storage.

Shankar was exposed to the great outdoors during his graduate studies at Cornell, where he spent most of his summer weekends bicycling around the lakes in the finger-lakes region, and later in the mountains of Southern California.  He also enjoys hiking and plans to resume the pursuit of becoming an Adirondack 46er.  Additionally, Shankar dabbles in bread making and classical piano.

Shekhar Garde
Shekhar Garde
 is the Dean of Engineering and Elaine S. and Jack S. Parker Endowed Chaired Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.