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Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Department of Chemical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering




Dr. Jacob Borden

Dr. Borden received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1997 followed by a master’s degree from Auburn University in 1999.  Dr. Borden joined Degussa Corporation (now Evonik) in the summer of 1999 as Assistant Superintendent at their chemicals facility in Mobile, AL.  Dr. Borden worked in multiple operating units during his time at Degussa, and he also earned an MBA from Springhill College in 2002.  Dr. Borden enrolled at Northwestern University in the fall of 2003, and earned a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2007.  Also in 2007, Dr. Borden joined BP as a project engineer for BP’s Refining and Technology unit.  He managed multiple internal R&D projects before transferring to the Biofuels business unit in 2009, where he served as the lead design engineer for BP’s sugar-derived diesel (S2D) process development program.  Dr. Borden joined the engineering faculty at McNeese State University in 2014, where he currently serves as Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering.  His academic focus is the development of advanced energy technologies including petroleum and renewables. 

Office: Drew Hall 132
(337) 475-5856
pchandra@mcneese.edu

Dr. Pankaj Chandra

Dr. Pankaj Chandra, PE (Department Head)

Dr. Chandra has taught mechanical engineering and general engineering courses for 28 years at McNeese.  During that time he has taught almost all required mechanical engineering courses in the curriculum, plus many of the general engineering courses.  He holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering.  Prior to working at McNeese, Dr. Chandra worked for eight years in Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants of India (MECON). There he was involved in project management dealing with steel industry. During his graduate studies he served as a teaching assistant for engineering thermodynamics over a two-year period and as a lecturer teaching mechanics and thermodynamics for two years. In addition Dr. Chandra was instrumental in developing a combined pipe-stress, heat transfer and a solar lab.  The heat transfer experiments are used for the required mechanical labs as well as for research. The pipe-stress lab utilizes CAESAR II pipe-stress analysis software that is useful for working in petrochemical industry.  Dr. Chandra has obtained many research grants including from NSF and NASA and has published many journal papers. Dr. Chandra has also coordinated several Professional Engineering review courses at McNeese. 

Office: Drew Hall 142
(337) 475-5856
pchandra@mcneese.edu
Dimitrios Dermisis, Ph.D.

Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis

Dr. Dermisis teaches at McNeese State University since 2012.  He received his B.Sc. degree from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2004 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Iowa in 2007 and 2012, respectively. His research interests are hydraulic structures, river engineering, upland erosion processes, and coastal engineering.  During his graduate studies he served as a teaching assistant for engineering labs over a four-year period as well as a research assistant on various projects for an eight-year period. He has published more than five journal papers and numerous conference papers.  He has received various awards and he is currently a CITGO Petroleum Endowed Professor.  He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, International Association of Hydraulic Research, Soil and Water Conservation Society and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He also serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering and the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society and he is a scientific editor for the Journal of Mountain Science.

Office: Drew Hall 133
(337) 475-5859
ddermisis@mcneese.edu
Dr. John Griffith

Dr. John Griffith, PE 

Dr. Griffith has taught chemical engineering and general engineering courses for 24 years at McNeese.  During that time he has taught all required chemical engineering courses in the curriculum, plus many of the general engineering courses.  He holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering and an MS in applied statistics.  Prior to working at McNeese, Dr. Griffith worked for five academic terms as a co-op student in the phosphate fertilizer industry.  There he made process improvements relating to environmental stewardship, reactor design and materials accountability.  During his graduate studies he served as a teaching assistant for engineering thermodynamics over a five-year period with increasing levels of responsibility. After completing his PhD, he worked for three years as a U.S. patent examiner in the fields of bio-analytical instrumentation and chemical reactor apparatus. In addition to chemical engineering, while at McNeese, Dr. Griffith developed a graduate program (Master’s level) in process control that trains chemical and electrical engineering students in various aspects of control systems including model-based control, DCS systems, and statistical process control.  Many of his former students are now senior control engineers at the local industries and beyond.  Since 2002, Dr. Griffith has coordinated the process safety study group at McNeese, which sponsors four half-day seminars per year for local safety professionals.  Material presented at these seminars is frequently discussed in his classes.


Office: Drew Hall 122
(337) 475-5858
griffith@mcneese.edu
Dr. Zhuan "John" Li

Dr. Zhuang "John" Li

Dr. Li received his Ph.D degree from Auburn University in 2005. He joined McNeese State University in 2008.  He is also serving as the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration.  His research interests are in acoustics, mechanical vibration, and advanced signal processing.  He has published more than twenty journal papers and book chapters.  He has chaired various conference sessions. In the last seven years Dr. Li has been awarded research and educational funds of more than one million dollars.  He also received the Faculty Excellence Award in 2009 and the Pinnacle Award twice in 2011 and 2014.   He is a member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), IIAV (International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration), and ASA (Acoustical Society of America).

Office: Drew Hall 115
(337) 475-5869
zli@mcneese.edu
Dr. Jonathan Sullivan

Dr. Jonathan Sullivan, PE

Dr. Sullivan has been teaching general engineering and chemical engineering courses at McNeese since 2006. His chemical engineering Ph.D. dissertation research involved significant materials characterization work under the supervision of a metallurgical engineer. After graduation, Dr. Sullivan worked as a plant process engineer at the Farley Nuclear Power Plant in Columbia, Alabama. His work at the nuclear plant involved significant mass and energy balance calculations as part of routine system monitoring. His next job was as a research engineer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Materials Science and Engineering Department. 

Office: Drew Hall 124
(337) 475-5871
jsullivan@mcneese.edu
Ted Thompson

LTC Ted Thompson (Ret), PE

Mr. Thompson has taught civil engineering and general engineering course at McNeese, since January, 2000, in his role as a visiting lecturer.  During that time he has taught general engineering courses of Introduction to Engineering and Computing, Statics, and Project Management; as well as Civil Engineering Course of Pavement Design, Transportation Engineering, and Structural Analysis.  He holds BS and ME degrees in Civil Engineering from McNeese State University. LTC Thompson (Ret) has also taught a graduate level course at the US Army's Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, in addition to the Army's Command and General Staff Officer's Course at Ft Leavenworth and Ft Sill, OK. He has over forty years engineering experience, in the construction industry, working from entry-level position of project engineer up to running the local company where he was first employed.  LTC Thompson (Ret) has experience in construction survey, form work design, estimating, cost control, scheduling, safety, and nearly thirty years as a project manager and group project manager.  He is currently semi-retired, working part time, as a civil engineer/project manager, for another local construction company. Additionally, he is the first McNeese graduate to hold the State Presidents office of the Louisiana Engineering Society, and in 2014 was designated a Fellow by NSPE.  Ted is a registered Civil and Environmental Engineer and Land Surveyor-in-training, and currently is the Board Chairman, for the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board.  He is also a volunteer member of the NCEES' Fundamentals in Engineering Exam writing committee.

Office: Drew Hall 106
(337) 475-5874
tthompson@mcneese.edu
Dr. Jay Uppot

Dr. Jay Uppot, PE

Dr. Uppot is a civil engineer with specialization in Geotechnical Engineering.  He received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from University of Madras and University of Roorkee, India. His Ph.D is from University of Missouri- Rolla. Dr. Uppot has been teaching engineering for 32 years in India, Liberia, Mexico, and the US where he taught at University of Missouri-Rolla, University of New Haven and McNeese State University (teaching civil engineering and surveying courses since 1986). He has practiced civil engineering for 12 years, 2 years in India and 10 years in Mexico City, Mexico.  His areas of interest are geotechnical, highway and pollution control engineering. Being a registered civil engineer, Dr. Uppot consults in geotechnical engineering where he involves students in field-work and design.


Office: Drew Hall 135
(337) 475-5868
juppot@mcneese.edu
Dr. Ning Zhang

Dr. Ning Zhang

Dr. Zhang has been a research scientist in the field of computational fluid dynamics with applications in mechanical, aerospace, and hydraulic engineering for the past 15 years. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University in 2005. He continued his postdoctoral research at the Urban Operational Laboratory, a United State Marine Corps (USMC) sponsored program from 2006 to 2008, where he was the lead scientist in two USMC funded projects to research and develop enhanced non-lethal capabilities and protective technologies for modernization of the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad (MERS). Dr. Zhang joined the Department of Engineering at McNeese State University in 2008. At McNeese State University, Dr. Zhang led research including sediment and oil-spill transport in coastal water systems, aerodynamics of micro aerial vehicles, and simulation–based hydro turbine optimizations. Dr. Zhang has achieved national and international acclaim among his peers, particularly through numerous publications at peer-reviewed international journals, presentations at international conferences, as well as organizing numerous technical symposiums. He has served as Chair of ASME Computational Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee since 2014 (Vice Chair from 2012-14). Dr. Zhang has also served as the McNeese Institutional Coordinator to Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE), and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON).

Office: Drew Hall 119
(337) 475-5873
nzhang@mcneese.edu

Staff


Nancy Brignac

Nancy Brignac

Administrative Assistant
Department of Chemical, Civil, & Mechanical Engineering 
Office: Drew Hall 140
Phone #: (337) 475-5874
Fax #: (337) 475-5286
nbrignac@mcneese.edu
Dennis Bennett

Dennis Bennett

Mechanical Laboratory Technician
Department of Chemical, Civil, & Mechanical Engineering 
Office: ETL 116
Phone #: (337) 475-5872
dbennett@mcneese.edu 

New Faculty Members Starting Fall 2014


Dr. Jacob Borden, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering,
Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University