Meet Pratt's New Faculty for 2016-2017

October 21, 2016

Duke Engineering is an ambitious community where the best and brightest minds are invited to devise creative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. With 8 outstanding tenured/tenure track faculty joining us in 2016-2017, we continue to add depth and breadth to our research focus areas in health, environmental sustainability, and intelligence and connectivity, while enhancing teaching and mentorship for our students. Learn more about the exciting work of our newest faculty members in the profiles below.


Cynthia Rudin: Digging Deep into Energy and Health Data

Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering (July 1, 2016)

Cynthia Rudin’s research focuses on using machine learning, data mining and applied statistics to discover knowledge—Big Data—to improve human decision-making. Her application areas are in energy grid reliability, healthcare and computational criminology. Director of the Prediction Analysis Lab, Dr. Rudin holds faculty appointments in both Duke’s electrical and computer engineering and computer science departments, with secondary appointments in statistics and mathematics.

Hai "Helen" Li: Modeling the Future of Computing After the Human Brain

Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering (January 1, 2017)

Hai "Helen" Li's research interests include brain-inspired computing systems and neuromorphic design, memory design and architecture based on conventional and emerging technologies, and device/circuit/architecture co-design for low power and high performance.

Yiran Chen: Integrating Tomorrow’s Technology into Today’s Devices

Associate Professor Electrical & Computer Engineering (January 1, 2017)

Yiran Chen will work to integrate emerging software/hardware solutions into commercial applications. With industry experience developing award-winning performance simulation tools for new microchip designs, his recent research has focused on emerging memory technologies, power-saving techniques for mobile devices, and brain-inspired computing systems.

Xin Li: Pushing Integrated Circuits to New Heights and New Frontiers

Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering (January 1, 2017)

Xin Li’s research is centered on using advanced statistical methods and machine learning techniques to create new ways to improve engineering designs in areas such as integrated circuits, medical devices and manufacturing processes. The goal of his work is to improve system performance and robustness, while reducing cost. He has also been collaborating closely with biomedical researchers working on brain-computer interfaces.


Mark Borsuk: Valuing the Invaluable, Predicting the Unpredictable

Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering (September 1, 2016)

Mark Borsuk’s research concerns the development and application of mathematical models for integrating scientific information on natural, technical, and social systems. He is particularly interested in risk assessment and valuation techniques that can inform environmental policy and decision-making. He is also the originator of novel approaches to climate and land-use change assessment that combine risk analysis, game theory, and agent-based modeling.

Watch his New Faculty Lecture, "Clear Decision-Making in an Increasingly Murky World."

Andrew Bragg: Making Sense of Chaos in Environmental Systems

Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering (September 1, 2016)

Andrew Bragg’s research aims to understand turbulent flows through advanced theoretical methods and computational simulations. By combining tools from applied mathematics and statistical physics, he explores complex fluid flows in natural systems, from droplet movement in storm clouds to the dynamics within interstellar nebulae. At Duke, Dr. Bragg will create a fluid dynamics research center. The effort is expected to bring together CEE researchers looking at environmental systems, as well as MEMS faculty working on flutter in turbine engines and BME researchers investigating blood flow.


Tony Jun Huang: Developing Lab-on-a-Chip Technologies to Improve Health Care

Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science (July 1, 2016)

Tony Huang, a leader in the fields of microfluidics, acoustofluidics and lab-on-a-chip technologies, creates new diagnostic tools and treatments based on methods he developed to use sound waves to precisely detect and manipulate particles such as cells, vesicles, DNAs, RNAs and proteins. For example, his research group has developed sonic tweezers which, by manipulating the strength, direction and amplitude of waves, can move and sort cells in a fluidic chamber without contact. The technology shows promise for improving the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Watch his New Faculty Lecture, "Acoustofluidics - Merging Acoustics and Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications."

Junjie Yao: Listening into the Body through Light

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (September 1, 2016)

Junjie Yao is a pioneer in the emerging field of photoacoustic tomography (PAT)–one of the fastest-growing biomedical imaging technologies, and the most sensitive modality for imaging rich optical absorption contrast over a wide range of spatial scales at high speed. He is working to develop state-of-the-art PAT technologies with novel and advanced imaging performance, and to translate PAT advances into diagnostic and therapeutic applications, especially in functional brain imaging and early cancer theranostics.


New Faculty Members from 2015-2016

New Faculty Members from 2014-2015