College of Engineering welcomes six new faculty

Sundial on the Pew Engineering Quad

This spring semester, Cornell Engineering welcomed six new faculty members. While their fields of study run the gamut from computer design to geochemistry, they share a commitment to combining leading-edge research with innovative teaching.

Each of them answered some questions about their research, their inspirations, and what they are looking forward to at Cornell. Below are some highlights, and you can click each individual’s name to see their full Q&A.

Semida Silveira, Systems Engineering: "Together with cities, industries, and policymakers, I want to find entry points to accelerate the innovation of energy systems, mitigate environmental impacts and the effects of climate change, and promote sustainable development."

Valla Fatemi, Applied and Engineering Physics: "Schoolwide, there is a deep bench of colleagues who are world leaders in nanodevices, quantum physics, and materials physics. I hope to fruitfully hybridize their various expertise in my research program."

Mohamed Abdelfattah, Electrical and Computer Engineering: "I am looking forward to creating multiple collaborations with both academic researchers and industrial partners, and I hope to take full advantage of open-ended academic research in pursuing forward looking research ideas that are not necessarily tied to short-term industrial goals."

Nicole Fernandez, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences: "I am most looking forward to learning from and having the opportunity to collaborate with our faculty who are some of the most prominent minds in their respective fields. It’s really a privilege in this regard to come to work every day and be surrounded by such amazing faculty."

Karan Mehta, Electrical and Computer Engineering: "Building up a group is an exciting challenge, and in research I’m always looking to find new directions to pursue. I look forward to being able to do this together with the great students, staff, and faculty here."

Sarah Dean, Computer Science: "The hype surrounding ‘big data’ and ‘AI’ technologies obscures their limitations, which calls for teaching students how to take a critical perspective. I'm looking forward to facing these challenges head on when I teach Introduction to Reinforcement Learning this spring."


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