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Faculty: Department

BioEngineering (BioE)
Wei-Chun Chin

Wei-Chun Chin

Associate Professor

SE1 338

Professor Chin's studies have focused on the application of polymer physics, microfabrication and engineering principles to biological systems. The application of the theory and tools from engineering in his work has initiated many innovative and productive research projects. These studies have brought us a better understanding of natural phenomena from the unique perspective of engineering. Professor Chin's current research plans include:

  • Intracellular Ca2+ signaling in acute pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Applications of microfabrication techniques to study microenvironment effects on stem cell differentiation
  • Spontaneous polymer gel assembly in aqueous environment Intracellular and intercellular signaling in unicellular phytoplankton cells

Eva de Alba

Acting Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 382

  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry of macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies (emphasis on inflammation and cellular death)
  • Protein Engineering
  • NMR Spectroscopy

Ariel Escobar

Professor and Chair

SE1 340

  • Cardivascular Physiology
  • New Microscopies
  • Cellular Biophysics

Research Focus:

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of human death all over the world. My laboratory have been focused in understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the development of cardiac arrhythmias during an increase in the heart rate (tachycardia) and after a cardiac infarction (ischemia).

Controlling the development of this cardiac arrhythmias will dramatically improve the rate of survival after a cardiac episode.

  • Bioelectricity
  • Physiological engineering
  • Molecular and cellular cardiology

Arvind Gopinath

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 384

  • Mechanics in biology
  • Biomechanics, Mechanobiology and signaling in Chlamydomonas cilia
  • Phototaxis in algae
  • Biofluids and Biothermodynamics
  • Multicellular motility and mechanics
  • Statistical physics of active systems
  • Biophysic

Changqing Li

Changqing Li

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE1 336

  • Biomedical imaging instrumentation and reconstruction algorithm development, focusing on preclinical imaging
  • X-ray Luminescence Optical Tomography (XLOT)
  • Simultaneous Fluorescence Optical Tomography (FOT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI)/Tomography (CLT)

Victor Muñoz

  • Biophysics
  • Quantitative and synthetic biology
  • Protein folding, evolution and design
  • Protein engineering
  • Optical spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR)
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • Laser spectroscopy and ultrafast kinetics
  • Single molecule fluorescence
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Computational chemistry and biology

Chih-Wen Ni

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE1 326

Spencer Portrait

Joel Spencer

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 381

Professor Spencer seeks to to develop novel optical imaging and sensing systems for applications in tissue regeneration, transplantation, and cancer. 

Current Research Topics:

  • investigating new ways to image the thymus in live mice with subcellular resolution
  • developing faster oxygen sensing methods for in vivo applications
  • applying whole tissue imaging methods for studying immune reconstitution
  • developing imaging assays for regenerative medicine and other applications

Anand Bala Subramaniam

Anand Subramaniam

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

S&E2 Room 291

Professor Subramaniam seeks to understand the fundamental physicochemical mechanisms that govern the assembly and function of biomembranes. His lab group combines experimental tools from soft matter physics, chemistry, and molecular biology to tackle cutting-edge challenges in biomembrane engineering and bottom-up synthetic biology.  

 Current Research Topics:

  • developing methods for high throughput fabrication of semi-synthetic cells 
  • developing cost effective vesicle-based therapeutics and diagnostics to improve public health

Computer Science & Engineering (CSE)

Ahmed Arif

Assistant Professor

  • Smarter solutions for text entry, error correction, and editing on various devices
  • Mobile interaction, tangible user interfaces, child-computer interaction, usable security, and scientific data visualization.

Stefano Carpin

  • Robotics
  • Motion planning
  • Cooperative multi-robot systems
  • Urban search and rescue & service robotics
  • High fidelity robot simulation
  • Artificial intelligence

Miguel Carreira-Perpinan

Professor Carreira-Perpiñán's basic research interests are in machine learning — the estimation of models and representations from data. Most recently, he has been working on topics in the intersection of optimization and machine learning, in particular in learning algorithms for deep neural nets and for nonlinear embeddings. Other topics of interest are dimensionality reduction/manifold learning, clustering, denoising and other unsupervised learning problems, and mean-shift algorithms. He often gets inspiration from problems in speech processing (e.g. articulatory inversion and model adaptation), computer vision (e.g. segmentation, articulated pose tracking, image registration), sensor networks, robotics (e.g. inverse kinematics) and other application areas. In the past, he has also worked on computational neuroscience, specifically on dimension reduction models of the maps of the visual cortex.

Alberto Cerpa

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 221

Professor Cerpa's broad interests lie broadly in the computer networking and distributed systems areas. His recent focus has been systems research in wireless sensor networks, with emphasis in wireless radio channel measurement and modeling, link quality estimation, routing algorithms, topology control, and programming models. Professor Cerpa is also interested in Internet protocols and operating systems issues. In the past, he has been involved in active networking, mobile IP, and protocol design and verification research.

His research group develops and deploys sensor networks that address some of the grand challenges in science and engineering, mostly in the energy, health and instruments for scientific discovery domains. Some of his projects include developing instruments for solar radiation mapping, energy and occupancy monitoring in smart buildings and exercise physiology monitoring and modeling.

Wan Du Portrait

Wan Du

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 208

  • Cyber physical systems
  • The Internet of Things
  • Networked Embedded Systems
  • Wireless and Mobile Networking

Sungjin Im

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 214

  • Design and analysis of algorithms and their applications
  • Approximation algorithms
  • Online algorithms
  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Scheduling algorithms
  • Game theory


  • Geometric modeling
  • Computer graphics
  • Computer animation
  • Autonomous agents
  • Robotics Artificial intelligence

Dong Li

Dong Li

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 211

  • High performance computing
  • Fault tolerance/resilience in large-scale parallel and distributed systems
  • Power-aware computing
  • Performance modeling and optimization

Shawn Newsam

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 215

  • Image processing
  • Computer vision
  • Pattern recognition
  • Machine learning
  • Content-based information retrieval
  • Digital libraries, data mining and knowledge discovery in spatio-temporal, multimedia and scientific datasets

Florin Rusu

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 210

  • Large scale data management
  • Database systems design and implementation
  • Data aggregation methods
  • Approximation and randomized algorithms

Mukesh Singhal

  • Distributed computing
  • Cloud computing
  • Security
  • Networks

Ming-Hsuan Yang

Ming-Hsuan Yang

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 216

  • Computer vision
  • Pattern recognition
  • Machine learning

Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE)
Roger Bales

  • Hydrology
  • Snow and ice hydrochemistry
  • Climate impacts on water resources
  • Climate changes over polar ice sheets

Marc Beutel

Marc Beutel

Associate Professor

SE1 210

  • Surface Water Quality
  • Lake and Reservoir Management
  • Mercury Cycling in Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Natural Treatment Systems

Raymond Chiao

Raymond Chiao

Professor Emeritus

Castle Suite 880 South

Raymond Chiao is a professor jointly in the UC Merced schools of Natural Sciences and Engineering. Previously, he was a professor for 38 years at UC Berkeley, where he earned international acclaim (including the Willis E. Lamb Medal and the Einstein Prize for Laser Science) studying nonlinear and quantum optics. At UC Merced, is pursuing a new line of groundbreaking research on gravitational radiation.

Martha Conklin

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Metal cycling
  • Surface water/shallow groundwater interactions
  • Organic chemical distribution in soil and groundwater
  • Chemical processes in snow K-12 environmental education

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology development
  • Energy systems modeling Increasing geographic specificity in LCA
  • Climate change mitigation strategies
  • Renewable energy systems

  • risk-based decision-making
  • renewable energy (solar, wind and geothermal)
  • bio-based fuels and water desalination
  • carbon management and sequestration
  • energy efficiency 
  • and pollution prevention, multiphase flow and process control

Thomas C. Harmon

  • Contaminant transport in aquatic systems
  • Soil and groundwater remediation
  • Development and use of environmental sensors

Female portrait-blonde

Erin Hestir

Assistant Professor

SE1 212

Aquatic ecosystems under threat from competing pressures to meet societal needs for water and food security while sustaining biodiversity and other ecosystem services; expertise in geospatial analytics, hyperspectral and satellite remote sensing, and sensor networks in inland and coastal waters and wetlands

Mark Matsumoto

Mark Matsumoto

Dean, School of Engineering

SE2 315

  • Water and wastewater treatment, especially land-based treatment systems
  • Hazardous waste site remediation

Josué Medellín-Azuara

Acting Associate Professor, Associate Director UC Agricultural Issues Center

Lab Site

SE1 214

  • Large scale hydro-economic modeling for water management and policy analysis
  • Water management for agricultural, environmental and urban uses
  • Agricultural production adaptation to drought and climate change
  • Sustainable agroecosystems for water and food security
  • Water informatics, consumptive water use in agriculture using remote sensing
  • Impact analysis using partial and general equilibrium models

Colleen Naughton

Assistant Professor


  • Food-Energy-Water Systems (FEWS)
  • Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA)
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in developing communities
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Integration of Anthropology and Engineering
  • Science Policy

Thomas W. Peterson

Thomas Peterson

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor | Professor

Atmospheric aerosols

Robert Rice

LPSOE | Project Scientist

COB 365

  • Snow science
  • Mountain hydrology
  • Water resources
  • Sensor networks
  • Remote sensing
  • Climate change

Wolfgang Rogge

Wolfgang Rogge

Associate Professor

SE1 260

  • Air pollution engineering and science
  • Release, transport, transformation, and fate of environmental air pollutants
  • Impact of air pollutants in urban, rural and remote areas
  • Chemistry and dynamics of organic and inorganic pollutants
  • Stationary and mobile emission characterization and source marker determination
  • Indoor air quality
  • Air pollution dispersion modeling
  • Global pollution and climate change


Mohammad Safeeq

Assistant Adjunct Professor

Lab Site

  • Climate Change and Water Sustainability
  • Climate Change and Hydrologic Extremes
  • Watershed and Regional Scale Hydrologic Modeling
  • Water Resources Sensitivity and Scenario Analysis
  • Role of Vegetation Dynamics on Future Water Resources under Climate Change
  • Agriculture and Forest Management Options for Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability
  • Application of Remote Sensing and LiDAR in Hydrologic Modeling and Natural Resources Evaluation and Management

Samuel J. Traina

Samuel Traina

Vice Chancellor for Research

Lab Site

KL 330A

Using a wide range of analytical methods (infra-red spectroscopy, electron microsocpy, x-ray absorption spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy), Professor Traina's group studies:

  • Chemical transformations of pollutants in soils, surface and ground water
  • Linkages between chemical form or speciation of particular pollutants and their relative toxicities in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Roles of geoparticle surfaces and bacteria in pollutant fate

Current projects include the study of:

  • Contaminants at Department of Energy waste sites (Cr, Pu and U)
  • Role of Fe(II) and HSe- in transformations of nitroaromatic pesticides in wetlands
  • Fate of pharmaceuticals in the surface waters of National Parks

Professor Viers is a watershed scientist with expertise in resource management and environmental decision making. His areas of watershed science research include:

  • Agroecology and Conservation Agriculture Planning and Implementation
  • Climatic and Hydrological Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategies
  • Ecosystem Service and Biodiversity Inventory, Assessment, and Restoration
  • Geospatial Technologies (Geographic Information Systems / Remote Sensing);
  • Informatics; Database Design and Data Mining
  • Water and Watershed Management; Water Footprinting

Roland Winston

Distinguished Professor | Director, UC Solar

Castle Bldg. 1200, RM 96

Director, UC Solar 

  • Solar power and renewable energy
  • Elementary particle physics
  • Non-imaging optics

Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
Lilian P. Davila

Lilian Davila

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

COB 386

  • The structure of materials
  • Nanostructures and nanomaterials for applications in technology and medicine
  • Biomaterials and environmental materials

Her research studies involve experimental and computational methods.

Female portrait-brunette

Sarah Kurtz


Lab Site

Castle 1200-46

  • Understanding trends of growth of renewable energy and research issues that need to be tackled to support continued improvements
  • Identifying the latest research challenges as the solar industry is growing rapidly and addressing these through partnerships with companies
  • Understanding performance of PV systems and how the performance of the system and the grid it feeds into can be improved
  • Understanding and addressing reliability issues with PV systems

  • Electron microscopy
  • Nanomaterials for application in technology and the environment

Jennifer Lu

Associate Professor

+1 (209) 228-4755

SE2 285

Professor Lu's Functional Materials Laboratory conducts fundamental scientific investigation aiming for creating new transducer materials, capable of efficiently converting one type of energy (or force) into another. Through design, synthesis, fabrication and characterization of molecular- and nano- building blocks that are arranged in a spatially predefined manner, these new platforms could enable technological breakthroughs in fields spanning from life science to green energy to soft robotics. Current research projects are:

  • Low-energy Driven Thermal Contraction Polymer System
  • 3D Nanocarbon Monolith for Sustainable Energy
  • Dynamic hydrogel for exerting spatiotemporal forces for Stem Cell Differentiation

Kara E. McCloskey

Kara McCloskey

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE1 344

Tissue engineering is a sub/cross discipline that focuses on the design, development and maintenance of tissue products that are used for repairing, improving or restoring tissue function. This field is still in its infancy, and many problems and challenges exist that have yet to be overcome before safe, high-quality engineered tissue products are available in the marketplace. Therefore, my research focuses on:

  • Deriving and characterizing pure populations from stem cells in vitro
  • Comparing the function of such cells with mature cells derived in vivo
  • Using these cells towards regenerative medicine applications
  • Tissue engineering and cell therapy approaches
  • Cardiovascular cell lineage, but plan to expand into other cell systems long-term

  • Biomolecular materials (design of materials synthesis, assembly, processing and physical optimization strategies based on examples from nature)
  • Physical science and engineering of polymers and liquid crystals (structure-property-processing relationships)

Yue (Jessica) Wang

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 283

  • 3D printable functional polymers
  • Biomimetic electronic materials
  • Organic structural metamaterials
  • Wearable and implantable (bio)electronics

Graduate Group:

Biological Engineering and Small-Scale Technologies (BEST)

Mechanical Engineering (ME)

Venkattraman (Venkatt) Ayyaswamy

Assistant Professor

+1 (209) 228-2359

SE2 278

  • Stochastic methods for engineering applications
  • Non-equilibrium fluid mechanics and plasma physics
  • Simulating plasma processing of nanostructured materials
  • Nano/microfluidics and microplasma


Mehmet Z. Baykara

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

+1 (209) 228-3371

SE2 280

  • Nanomechanics
  • Nanotribology
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy
  • Surface Science

Graduate Groups:

  • Mechatronics Control systems
  • Unmanned aircraft systems
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Applied fractional calculus

Po-Ya Abel Chuang

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 277

  • PEM fuel cell
  • Heat exchanger
  • Thermal management
  • Two-phase heat transfer and fluid flow
  • Loop heat pipe
  • Porous material 
  • Carbon fiber

Gerardo Diaz

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 275

  • Energy conversion systems
  • Dynamic simulation and control of thermal systems
  • Adaptive thermal networks
  • Absorption chillers and heat pumps
  • Vapor compression systems with alternate refrigerants
  • Microchannel heat exchangers
  • Artificial neural networks and genetic algorithm for optimization of thermal components

Reza Ehsani


SE2 282

  • Engineering systems for agriculture 
  • Automation and intelligent machines for production and postharvest of agricultural crops 
  • Precision agriculture technology 
  • Sensors for biotic and abiotic plant stress detection 
  • Mechanical harvesting machines and robotic systems for fruit and nut trees

Sachin Goyal

Sachin Goyal

Assistant Professor

SE2 271

  • Computational dynamics, mechanics and controls, with applications primarily in micro-scale biological systems
  • Continuum-dynamics- and multi-body-dynamics-based modeling, and inverse modeling, of DNA and proteins, and their interactions
  • Constitutive law modeling of bio-filaments from their molecular dynamics simulations

Min Hwan Lee

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 276

  • Electrochemical energy conversion and storage (e.g., fuel cells and batteries)
  • Next generation non-volatile memory (e.g., resistive switching memory)
  • Electrochemical nano-patterning
  • Nanoscale electrochemistry
  • Nanoscale material interface and surface phenomena
  • Scanning probe microscopy based observations

Yanbao Ma

Yanbao Ma

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 279

  • Mesoscale non-diffusive heat transfer
  • Mesoscale mass and energy transport in energy systems
  • Thermal management of electronics and energy systems
  • Environment-friendly water desalination systems

Ashlie Martini

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SE2 272

Tribology: Friction, wear and lubrication

Michael Modest

  • Radiative heat transfer
  • Heat transfer in combustion
  • Heat transfer in hypersonic plasma

James Palko

James Palko

Assistant Professor

Lab Site

SE2 281

Thermal and electrokinetic transport processes with applications in:

  • Thermal management
  • Energy storage
  • Water purification
  • Advanced manufacturing

  • Vibrations
  • Noise Control
  • Industrial Automation
  • Sensors
  • Actuators
  • Bio-Mechanics
  • Physical Rehabilitation

Management of Complex Systems (MCS)
Female portrait

Anita Bhappu

Acting Associate Professor

SSM 233

  • collaborative consumption
  • employee engagement and inclusion
  • organization-sponsored sharing platforms
  • service delivery and digital retailing
  • team collaboration and workplace diversity

Jeffrey Jenkins

Assistant Professor

Social Sciences and Management 202B

  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Critical resource geography
  • Landscape values
  • Participatory mapping
  • Public lands and protected areas

Catherine Keske

Associate Professor

Lab Site

SSM 231

  • Applied economics in mountainous and semi-arctic ecosystems
  • Coupled natural and human systems
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Sense of place
  • Food security and food sovereignty
  • Biomass, bioenergy, and biochar

Tea Lempiälä

Assistant Professor

SSM 206A

  • Service science
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Distributed cognition

Russ McBride

Assistant Professor

SSM 202A

Entrepreneurship theory with elements of cognitive science and philosophy

  • Innovation
  • Careers
  • Complexity
  • Models of science


LeRoy Westerling


Lab Site

+1 (209) 756-8793

SSM 232

  • Applied climatology
  • Climate-ecosystem-wildfire interactions
  • Statistical modeling for seasonal forecasts, paleofire reconstructions and climate-change impact assessments
  • Resource management and policy

Lisa Yeo

Assistant Professor

SSM 204A

  • Economics of information systems
  • Security and privacy
  • Knowledge management
  • Decision support
  • Behavioral operations