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New Engineering Faculty

New Faculty at the Bourns College of Engineering

(November 5, 2004)

Four new professors have been hired to join UC Riverside’s Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering this academic year.

Three will have appointments in the mechanical engineering department and another, who will start her appointment in January 2005, will work in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.

“These outstanding new faculty members will be invaluable to our college as we move toward our goal of becoming a nationally recognized leader in engineering research and education,” said Mark Matsumoto, interim dean of the college.

Established in 1989, UCR’s College of Engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering schools in the UC system. The student population is expected to increase from just a little less than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students to 3,000 students by 2010. The number of faculty is expected double to 120 during that time.

Construction on the Engineering II building is scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2005. The new 100,000-square-foot building will house the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering. A 75,000-square-foot Material Science and Engineering building is in the planning stages and is expected to be completed within the next five years.

Javier Garay, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from UC Davis in 2004. Professor Garay’s research interest is in the area of advanced material synthesis and processing, with a particular emphasis in nanocrystalline materials. Processing techniques include electric field assisted material synthesis, sintering and spark plasma sintering (SPS). He is also interested in fundamental investigations of solid-state processes including mass transport, nucleation, electric current effects and defects in materials. During his doctoral research, he collaborated with scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Marko Princevac, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Arizona State in 2003. Professor Princevac’s area of interest is in fundamental and applied fluid mechanics research, particularly in the application of fundamental turbulence concepts to studies in environmental flows. His early research was focused on “engineering flows”, specifically a (?) ship’s propulsion and resistance. He is currently focusing on field experimental research on urban flows, specifically on urban dispersion (pollutants or toxic releases, industrial disasters or terrorist attacks) and parameterizations of turbulence within urban canyons.

V. Sundararajan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received his Ph.D. in manufacturing engineering from UC Berkeley in 2000. Professor Sundararajan’s research is in the area of manufacturing systems. Before joining UCR, he was an associate specialist at the Berkeley Manufacturing Institute at UC Berkeley. During his post-doctoral research, he worked with Ford Motor Company to develop advisory systems for gear designers of automotive transmissions. The software he designed to aid in the prediction of transmission error and noise in transmissions is currently being tested at Ford. His research interests include computer-aided design, process planning, computer-aided manufacturing, manufacturing system integration, sensor networks application for automotive applications, embedded systems and distributed computing and control.

Sharon Walker, assistant professor, chemical and environmental engineering, will arrive in January 2005. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Yale University in 2004. Professor Walker’s research interest lies at the intersection of physical, chemical, and biological processes in natural and engineered aquatic systems. In particular, her work has focused on understanding the factors controlling bacterial adhesion and transport in subsurface environments. The overall goal of Walker’s work is to optimize effective water treatment and distribution, wastewater reclamation, and to understand mechanisms controlling microbial transport in aquatic environments.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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