The College of Engineering is pleased to announce five tenure-track faculty promotions, effective at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
Richard Cairncross, PhD, has been promoted to professor of chemical and biological engineering. He joined Drexel in 1997 as assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2003. Cairncross has established himself as a thought leader in the area of sustainability and engineering, earning the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1996 and a Fulbright Fellowship in 2010, through which he collaborated with professors at the University of El Salvador to develop a sustainability curriculum.
Vibha Kalra, PhD, has been promoted to professor of chemical and biological engineering. She joined the faculty in 2010 and was promoted to associate professor in 2016. Kalra’s research is focused on the design of novel electrode architectures for supercapacitors and next-generation batteries with an understanding of equilibrium and non-equilibrium material assembly. She is an NSF-CAREER awardee, received the 2015 AIChE Delaware Valley Section Outstanding Faculty Award, and earned the 2020 Provost Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Scholarly Productivity.
Antonios Kontsos, PhD, has been promoted to professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics. He came to Drexel in 2009 and was promoted to associate professor in 2015. His research focuses on the fatigue and failure of various materials using a combination of finite element and adaptive and real time material analysis. More recently, he has been adapting these tools for additive manufacturing applications. He is the recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award and a 2016 Provost Award for Outstanding Early-Career Scholarly Productivity.
Li-Hsin (Leo) Han, PhD, has been granted tenure and promoted into the role of associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics. Han joined the College in 2014 as assistant professor. His research involves biomaterial design, tissue engineering and rapid prototyping. In 2016, he received an Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials at the 10th World Biomaterials Congress.
L. James Lo, PhD, has been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering. After working in the private sector for eight years, Lo received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the college as an assistant professor in 2014. His research is focused on the field of building
autonomy, which includes studies on computational fluid dynamics and building airflow simulations and dynamics.
Two non-tenure track faculty also received promotions, effective this new academic year.
Richard Grandrino, an instructor in the Department of Engineering Leadership and Society, has been promoted to teaching professor. Grandrino, an active professional engineer in Pennsylvania, is involved in recruiting students to the Naval Systems Engineering Certificate program and is currently working to establish a Hardware Systems Engineering Graduate Certificate as a program targeted for Lockheed Martin employees. Additionally, he has worked on an articulation agreement with the University of California Irvine. He serves as the faculty advisor for the Drexel International Council on Systems Engineers (INCOSE) student chapter organization. In 2020, he was recognized with a Meritorious Service Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Michael Walters, who joined Drexel in 2014 as a Lab Manager in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and became an assistant teaching professor, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor. He serves as a member of the CBE Undergraduate Committee, the CBE Safety Committee, and the CBE Undergraduate Laboratory Subcommittee. He has also served on the CBE Teaching Faculty Search Committee, leads lab tours for visiting students, and has helped co-op students make connections with pharmaceutical companies.