Speakers & Committee

Organizing Committee

Dr. Bahram Nassersharif,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.9335
 images RTEmagicC_rg.png Bahram Nassersharif, Ph.D. Conference Chair, ASEE Northeast Section 2016 Distinguished University Professor & Nuclear Engineering Program Coordinator Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Systems Engineering University of Rhode Island
Dr. Sigrid Berka,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.4700
Email: sberka@uri.edu
 images RTEmagicC_rg.png sberka
Dr. Mayrai Gindy,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.5587
Email: gindy@egr.uri.edu
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Dr. K. Wayne Lee, PE,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.2695
Email: lee@egr.uri.edu
Dr. Nicole Martino,
Roger Williams University
Email: nmartino@rwu.edu
Dr. Stephen Mecca,
Providence College
Tel: 401.865.2099
Email: smecca@providence.edu
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Dr. Carl-Ernst Rousseau, PE,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.2542
Email: rousseau@uri.edu
Dr. Richard Vaccaro,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.5816
Email: vaccaro@ele.uri.edu
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Mr. Jared Abdirkin,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.5985
Email: jabdirkin@uri.edu
Dr. George Veyera,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.2692
Email: gveyera@uri.edu
 images  Veyera
Mr. Charles Watson,
University of Rhode Island
Tel: 401.874.4976
Email: hitman@uri.edu
 images  webwatson
Dr. Navarun Gupta,
University of Bridgeport
Tel: 203.576.4117
Email: navarung@bridgeport.edu
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Dr. Cristian Craciun,
Fairfield University
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Dr. Bala Maheswaran,
Northeastern University
Tel: 617.373.5905
Email: mahes@coe.neu.edu
  RTEmagicC_rg.png  maheswaran-b
Dr. Saeid Moslehpour,
University of Hartford
Tel: 860.768.4211
Email: moslehpou@hartford.edu
 images RTEmagicC_rg.png  saeid_moslehpour_photo

Special Guests

ASEE National President
Dr. Joseph J. Rencis, P.E., F.ASEE, F.ASME,
Tennessee Technological University
Dean of Engineering
Clay N. Hixson Chair for Engineering Leadership
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Tel: 931.372.3172
Email: jjrencis@tntech.edu
images  RTEmagicC_rg.png  Dr-Rencis-1560-x-2147

Dr. Joseph J. Rencis was born and raised in Northwestern New Jersey. He attended Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), where he received his A.A.S. and B.S. degrees in Architectural and Building Construction Engineering Technology. From there, Dr. Rencis went on to earn his M.S. from Northwestern University and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Civil Engineering.

From 1985 to 2004, he served as Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He was Director of Engineering Mechanics at WPI from 1995 to 2004.

From 2004 to 2010 he was Department Head and the inaugural holder of the Twenty-first Century Leadership Chair in Mechanical Engineering from 2007 to 2010 at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. At Arkansas, Dr. Rencis was also a tenured Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is an inaugural fellow of the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium Leadership Development Program. Since 2011, he has served as the Dean of Engineering, the inaugural holder of the Clay N. Hixson Chair for Engineering Leadership, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tennessee Tech University.

In the course of his career, Dr. Rencis’ principal research interests have been in boundary elements, finite elements, mechanics of materials, multiscale modeling, and engineering education. His research has been supported by National Science Foundation and industry. Dr. Rencis has published over thirty five journal articles and over one hundred and ten conference articles. He is an associate editor of the International Series on Advances in Boundary Elements and Journal of Online Engineering Education. Dr. Rencis also serves on the editorial board of Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements, The Open Mechanics Journal, and International Scholarly Research Notices. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and Wessex Institute of Great Britain.

Rencis is the recipient of the ASEE New England Section Outstanding Teaching Award and ASEE Mechanics Division Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award. He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts. Dr. Rencis is active in various professional organizations at the local and national levels. Rencis currently serves as ASEE President and on the ASEE Board of Directors. He is also a member of the ASEE Engineering Deans Council Public Policy Committee, and Board of Directors for Advancement Scientific and Engineering Technology of Tennessee. Rencis was the Chair and Vice Chair of the ASME Mechanical Engineering Department Heads Committee and a member of the ASME Center for Education Board of Directors.

Other past positions include Chair ASEE Professional Interest Council III, Chair ASEE Mechanical Engineering Division, Chair ASEE Mechanics Division, and member ASME National Nominating Committee. Dr. Rencis has been a ABET program evaluator and has conducted reviews of new M.S. and Ph.D. programs. He has served on the advisory boards of United Arab Emirates University, John Brown University (past President), and three high schools. Dr. Rencis received the ASEE New England Section Outstanding Leader Award, ASEE Mechanics Division James L. Meriam Service Award, and ASEE Midwest Section Outstanding Service Award. He is listed in several Who’s Who publications.

Keynote Speaker,
Dr. George Hazelrigg,
National Science Foundation,
Deputy Division Director of the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation
Tel: 703.292.7068
Email: ghazelri@nsf.gov

George Hazelrigg enjoyed designing and building things when he was young, so he decided to go to college to study engineering. He obtained a BS in mechanical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology) and went to work for Curtiss-Wright. There, he found that his education had utterly destroyed his ability to do engineering design. So he felt it necessary to get a master’s degree. He completed an MS in mechanical engineering, also from NCE, but still hadn’t regained his design abilities. While getting his MS, however, he did some teaching and liked it. So he figured that, if he couldn’t do design, the next best thing would be to teach it. Five years later, he had obtained MA, MSE, and PhD degrees in aerospace engineering from Princeton University.

Now, in addition to not knowing how to do design, he couldn’t teach it either. For the next 25 years, he roamed industry and academe in an attempt to understand the theory of engineering design, including time spent at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, General Dynamics, Princeton University and a consulting firm of which he was a co-founder. He also spent a year in Korea helping to found the Systems Engineering Department of Ajou University. He joined the National Science Foundation in 1982 and, in 1996, became program director for the Engineering Design program where, for eight years, he provided support to others in the field. In 1996, he spent a month as Station Science Leader of the U.S. South Pole station. In 2004, he became Program Director for the Manufacturing Machines and Equipment program and subsequently Program Director of the Sensors and Sensing Systems program. Since the formation of the CMMI Division, he has been Deputy Division Director.

For relaxation, he spends his weekends soaring over the Shenandoah Valley, and he is a certified flight instructor in gliders (CFI-G) with about 1,800 total flying hours.