Committee Members

SanFran01Chair: Hyunsun Alicia Kim

Alicia is Professor of Structural and Material Optimization at the University of California San Diego, USA and the Cardiff University, UK. Alicia’s research is in topology optimization and her currently interests in level set based methods and coupled multiscale and multiphysics problems. She is interested in formulating multiscale topology optimization for simultaneous design of integrated material and structural systems. Alicia received her PhD and Bachelors degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Rao Rekha 1516 25 yrDeputy Chair: Rekha Rao

Rekha Rao is a developer of mathematical models and finite element software for computational fluid dynamics and multiphysics applications including non-Newtonian rheological models and free and moving boundary problems with a focus on complex, multiphase fluids. She has worked on a variety of projects during her 26 years at Sandia National Laboratories, including flow-through porous media, viscoelastic flows, coating flows, polymerizing suspensions for encapsulation, and mold filling of slurries. Her current projects involve the development of foam process models and nanoparticle transport in vivo to understand biodistribution. Rekha is one of the founding developers of Goma 6.0 (, a multiphysics software package that was recently licensed as “open source” and received an R&D100 award in 2014. Rekha is a Chemical Engineer with a BS from UC Berkeley and a PhD from the University of Washington.

Lucy_ZhangTreasurer:  Lucy Zhang

Dr. Lucy Zhang is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, IL in 2003. Upon graduation, she joined Mechanical Engineering Department at Tulane as an assistant professor in July of 2003. The department was then closed due to Hurricane Katrina. In August 2006, she moved to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research interests are building advanced and robust computational tools and software for reliable and efficient multiphysics and multiscale simulations. The engineering applications involve biomechanics, micro and nano-mechanics, medicine, and defense projects involving impacts. She is now developing open-source tools and technology that can conveniently and efficiently couple any existing solvers for multiphysics and multiscale simulations and analysis.

Secretary:  Daman Panesar Daman

Dr. Panesar is an Associate Professor and Erwin Edward Hart Professor in Civil Engineering, at the University of Toronto.  She joined the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto in 2008 after completing her PhD from McMaster University in 2007. Panesar’s current and recent research activities are focused on advancing concrete technology, cement chemistry, material characterization and long-term durability performance of cement-based materials. One broad objective of the research program is to advance reinforced concrete technologies and concrete composites aimed to extend service life of structures and infrastructure, reduce environmental impacts, and improve the economic feasibility.  Application of her research is in context with a range of structures, including underground infrastructure, nuclear facilities and transportation infrastructure.


Internet Communications Officer: Maria Pastrama 

Dr. Maria Pastrama received her PhD in 2016 from the Vienna University of Technology. Her research was focused on the experimental determination of the mechanical properties of bone, as well as on the coupling of mathematical modeling and multiscale poromicromechanical modeling for simulation of bone remodeling. She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Leuven in Belgium, where she is looking into adaptive modeling of the healing process of cartilage defects.

W_PingPublicity Officer:  Ping Wang

Dr. Ping Wang obtained her Ph.D degree at Lanzhou University, China, in 2011. She took an advanced study in Department of Fluid Mechanics, Tsinghua University, China in 2012 and then visited Flow Control Laboratory, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as a postdoctoral scholar in 2013. She is now an associated professor in Department of Mechanics, Lanzhou University. Her research interests are multiphase flow, direct numerical simulation and large-eddy simulation of wall-bounded turbulence.

I-Ling_ChangAwards Officer: I-Ling Chang

I-Ling Chang is a professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan. Her research area is in nanomaterial/nanostructure characterization, phononic crystal, and acoustic metamaterial. Recently, she is interested in nanoscale heat transfer. I-Ling received her Ph.D. and master degree from Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering of Purdue University, USA.

Pania Newell-Sandia10142016Event Organizer:  Pania Newell

Pania’s research is in computational multi-physics, multi-scale systems. Her main interest is investigating multi-physics, multi-scale phenomena through integrating theoretical, experimental and computational analysis. For instance, solid-fluid interaction within a heterogeneous porous media, the impact of chemical corrosion at the fracture tips, etc. She is an assistant professor at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the U, she was a senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, where she started as a post-doc. She obtained her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Yi GuilianEvent Organizer:  Guilian Yi

Dr. Guilian Yi received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Beijing University of Technology in China in 2014. She also studied at the University of Florida in the United States as a visiting PhD student from 2011 to 2013. She has been a post-doctoral research fellow in the Laboratory for System Health and Risk Management at the Seoul National University in the South Korea since 2015. Her research interests are Structural Optimization Design; Topology optimization; and Statistical Model Verification and Validation.

SVK-4 smallMentoring Officer & Fundraising Officer: Svetlana Komarova

Svetlana Komarova completed undergraduate education in physics at the Moscow State University, Russia, and obtained a doctorate in biophysics from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Pushchino, Russia. After postdoctoral training at NASA Ames Research Center, University of Cincinnati and University of Western Ontario, she is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University. Her main research interest is in bone-centered physiology, in particular in understanding how mechanical, biochemical, and cellular microenvironment shapes the function of bone cells; and how the function of bone cells in turn alters micro- and macroenvironment of the organism. In addition to in vitro and in vivo experimental techniques, she uses computational modeling to understand the complex interactions between mechanical and biological components of bone.