Maryam Sarmazdeh

Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh joined the University of Nevada, Reno in July 2019 as an assistant professor. Her research group is focused on biomolecular engineering and synthetic biology to develop novel biotechnology tools and products to solve major issues in human health, sustainability and environment. Dr. Sarmazdeh was a senior research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic, Florida, during which her work was focused on engineering novel protein-based therapeutics based on natural enzyme inhibitors. Prior to her appointment at Mayo Clinic, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware where her research was focused on enzyme and metabolic pathway engineering. Dr. Sarmazdeh earned her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. There, her research was focused on generating site-specific protein immobilization on the surface and protein engineering using yeast surface display and directed evolution.

Jeongwon Park

• Funded research grants from governments and industry
• H-index of 23 (peer review journal articles: 84), and cited more than 4700 times
• Senior Member of IEEE, Professional Engineer
• 6 US patents and 82 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals
• Contributed to high-impact research projects in nanotechnology at the University of Nevada Reno, University of Ottawa, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, San Diego, and Applied Materials, Inc.

Adam Hand

• Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, 1998
• M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, 1995
• B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, 1993
• Registered Professional Engineer: Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon
• Six Sigma Black Belt Certified, CS International Inc.
• Certified Professional Winemaker, University of California, Davis
• University of Nevada, Reno, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Professor (07/22–present).
• University of Nevada, Reno, Civil & Env. Engineering, Associate Professor (07/16–06/22).
• Granite Construction Inc. (GCI), Vice President, Quality Management (2010–2016).
• Granite Construction Inc., Director of Quality Management, (2009–2010).
• Granite Construction Inc., Engineering Services Manager (2006–2009).
• Granite Construction Inc., Alternative Procurement Pavement Designer (2003–2006).
• Granite Construction Inc., Quality Systems Engineer (2000–2003).
• Purdue University, Civil Engineering, Assistant Professor (1998–2000).
• Western Regional Superpave Center (WRSC), University of Nevada, Reno, Research Faculty (1994–1998).
Dr. Hand has over 30 years of construction industry and academic experience in pavement materials, design, construction and sustainability, including horizontal and vertical construction, construction materials, construction management, quality management and forensics on alternative procurement transportation facilities (roads and highways, airfields, rail, tunnel, and mining) across the U.S. Teaching, research and consulting experience includes sustainable pavements and materials, development innovative asphalt pavement technologies, forensic analyses and expert witness. In the VP Quality Management role at GCI he had corporate responsibility for QM 13 AASHTO ReSource accredited labs in the U.S. with annual budgets up to $15M and multiple heavy civil APM projects. He also led the development and ISO certification of the first integrated ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 management system of a construction company in the U.S. Dr. Hand was intricately involved in the materials, mix design, construction, QM, and analysis of the FHWA-sponsored WesTrack full-scale accelerated pavement project and is current a member of the AAPTP Feasibility of Cold Central Plant Recycling (CCPR) Asphalt Mixtures for Airports research team with planned test sections at the William J. Hughes Technical Center.

Dr. Hand has served as a PI or Co-PI on multiple NCHRP, FHWA, FAA, State DOTs, and other projects. He is an active technical community member having delivering over 200 invited presentations and over 150 publications. He is an editorial board member of the ASTM Advances in Civil Engineering Materials Journal. He is also the Past President of AAPT, a member of ASCE, ASTM, ASQ, AAPT, DPS ETG, FHWA TFG, NAPA, NSPE, and TRB. He chairs the Nevada State Public Works Board (Gubernatorial appointment), TRB Asphalt Pavement Construction and Rehabilitation Committee, and NAPA Net Zero Taskforce, and serves on 2 TRB and 2 NAPA committees. Dr. Hand was one of the four founding board of directors of the Greenroads Foundation.

Hao Xu

Dr. Hao Xu’s recent research areas include roadside LiDAR sensing networks, algorithms for processing high-density city cloud points, edge- and cloud-based data processing, connected vehicle communication, all-traffic trajectory generation from roadside LiDAR data, and GIS-based traffic information extraction from LiDAR trajectory data. His research group is a worldwide leader in roadside LiDAR sensing and applications in traffic. Dr. Xu and his collaborators are applyitng the roadside LiDAR technologies and all-traffic trajectory data for connected-autonomous vehicle applications, real-time traffic signal control systems, and performance evaluation of multimodal traffic safety and mobility. He has published 100 research papers and his research team has received more than $6 million in funding and multiple research and paper awards.
Dr. Xu led the implementation of the worldwide first LiDAR-equipped smart and connected intersection in Reno, Nevada, in 2017. Since then, he has been performing innovative research in roadside LiDAR hardware, algorithms, software implementation, data applications, real-time signal systems taking LiDAR data input, and LiDAR data service to CAVs. His research team implemented the worldwide first LiDAR-controlled pedestrian crossing signal, which is the first real-time traffic signal system controlled by cloud point sensing data. Based on Dr. Xu’s research and projects, UNR and Velodyne published a white paper that demonstrates the ability of LiDAR sensors to make transportation infrastructure more efficient, sustainable, and safe. Dr. Xu’s team collected multi-year roadside LiDAR data from various traffic scenarios and now maintains a large roadside LiDAR database as an invaluable data asset for smart traffic research.
Dr. Xu also led several projects on data-driven safety analysis, including street light data collection and safety analysis; safety benefit-cost analysis of roundabouts; before-and-after complete streets data collection; correlation analysis of Nevada crash data and ITS sensor data; automatic horizontal curve identification and estimation; assessment of the influence of driver, vehicle, roadway, and environmental factors on pedestrian and turning-traffic crashes at intersections; and development of a comprehensive crash database for Nevada that can be used with AASHTOWare Safety Analyst.
Dr. Xu’s research has attracted collaboration interest from multiple companies such as Velodyne LiDAR, Intel, Dell, Qualcomm, and Switch. His research and projects have been noted by multiple media publications, such as BBC, USA Today, Yahoo News, Business Wire, AASHTO Journal, and Nevada Today. Multiple traffic agencies have adopted the portable roadside LiDAR platform to collect extensive traffic information that is not available via traditional traffic sensors.

Mustafa Hadj-Nacer

Dr. Mustafa Hadj-Nacer is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR). Dr. Hadj-Nacer’s research is focused on applying and developing experimentally benchmarked computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for several applications ranging from Nuclear Packaging to Enhanced Heat Transfer and Cooling systems.

Dr. Hadj-Nacer received a Ph.D. from Aix-Marseille University, France. His research included gas-surface interaction in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and the measurement of the mass flow rate through micro-tubes of different cross-section shapes and materials. He also developed analytical and numerical approaches to calculate the mass flow rate in the slip, transitional and free molecular flow regimes.

Elnaz Seylabi

I am an assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Nevada Reno. Before joining UNR in 2019, I was a postdoctoral scholar at the Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department at the California Institute of Technology (2017-2019). I received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (with a major in Structural Mechanics and a minor in Applied Mathematics) from the University of California Los Angeles, an M.Sc. in Earthquake Engineering, and a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology. My research focuses on risk-informed engineering of geostructural systems, near-surface characterization, and computational methods for efficient performance-based engineering and uncertainty quantification.

Xiaoliang Wang

Dr. Wang’s overarching research theme is to understand air pollutant emissions, transformations, and impacts. Specifically, his research interests include physical and chemical characterization of aerosols, pollution source emission measurement, and aerosol instrument development.
Dr. Wang has developed several widely used aerosol instruments. He is a co-inventor of nanoparticle aerodynamic lenses for efficiently delivering particles into aerosol mass spectrometers and the TSI DustTrak DRX Aerosol Monitor for measuring size-segregated aerosol mass concentrations in real time. He led the design of the DRI Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) that has been used for characterizing gases and particles from vehicle exhaust, stack emissions, biomass burning, and biomass-derived syngas. Dr. Wang also led the design of the DRI Model 2015 Multiwavelength Thermal/Optical Carbon Analyzer that has been commercialized and used worldwide.
Dr. Wang has been studying real-world emissions from pollution sources with the goal of improving air quality management. His projects include researching dust emissions in underground coal mines, tailpipe and non-tailpipe (i.e., brake and tire wear, as well as road dust) emissions from vehicle traffic, toxic gas and particle emissions from the open burning of household solid waste in South Africa, smoke emissions from burning lithium-ion batteries and spacecraft-relevant materials, and mining fleet/industrial stack/fugitive dust emissions in the oil sands region of Canada. Recently, he participated in several projects to study the impact of visibility, air quality, and atmospheric deposition of particles generated from wildfires and prescribed burns in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Dr. Wang is an active participant in several scientific organizations. He conducts peer reviews for scientific publications and funding agencies. He served as co-chair and chair of the Instrumentation Working Group of the American Association of Aerosol Research (AAAR) annual conferences and chair of the Young Investigators Committee of the AAAR.
Dr. Wang has been granted three patents and published three book chapters and 90+ peer-reviewed journal articles. He is the recipient of the 2020 AAAR Benjamin Y. H. Liu Award that recognizes outstanding contributions to aerosol instrumentation and experimental techniques. Most recently, he received the 2021 DRI Science Medal for his outstanding scientific contributions.

Shengjie Zhai

Dr. Shengjie (Patrick) Zhai is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research expertise is centered around five key areas: 1) Novel nanomaterials and patterning techniques for bioelectronics, optoelectronics, and photovoltaics, 2) Plasmonic-enhanced biosensors for single-molecule biomedical analysis, 3) Micro/Nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), 4) Physiological organ biomimetic systems built on microfluidic chips and multi-external driven, scaffold-free engineered human tissue models, and 5) Artificial intelligence-assisted health assessment.
His research contributions include the development of micro-engineered multichannel organ-on-a-chip devices, AI-reinforced biomimetic biosensors, and novel biomaterials for low-noise, comfortable personal health wearable monitor bioelectronics (PHWMB). Dr. Zhai has authored over 20 peer-reviewed articles published in respected journals such as Advanced Optical Materials, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, and IEEE COMPSAC, and holds nine patents in his field.
Among his accolades, Dr. Zhai is a recipient of two National Science Foundation Fund Awards (2021, 2019), the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development Fund Award (2020), the NASA-Colgate Funding Award (2019), and a Department of Energy Research Award (2022). He has also served as an editor for the Journal of Renewable Materials and as a contributing reviewer for the Royal Society of Chemistry Advances. His academic services extend to numerous other academic journals, and he has participated as a panelist for NSF, DOE, and NASA grant review processes.

Mohamed Trabia

Dr. Mohamed Trabia is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering since 2000 at UNLV. His research interests include design and optimization of mechanical systems, characterization of material properties under dynamic loading, system identification and control of smart actuators. Dr. Trabia has been the author of more than 200 technical journal and conference papers. He was involved in multiple funded research projects. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).