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Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Department of Chemical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Pankaj Chandra

Coming Soon!

Office: Drew Hall 104
(337) 475-5856
Dimitrios Dermisis

Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis

Coming Soon!

Office: Drew Hall 133
(337) 475-5859
John Griffith

Dr. John Griffith, Department Head

I am fortunate to have the privilege of contributing to the education and training of future engineers.  In doing so, I bring to my classes and advising sessions a philosophy that an engineering graduate should be a changed person, interested in his or her craft, with skills to handle complexity and a sense of responsibility to contribute to the community at large.

First of all, the educational experience should be interesting to the student.  I try to find examples of engineering in the students' everyday experience to reinforce topics learned in class.  By looking under the hood of their car, or just turning on a garden hose, a student can tap into relevant engineering systems.  I believe that If you can't find interest and enthusiasm in the topics you are learning, you should find another field to study - you'll be doing this all of your life, and you should earn your living doing something you truly enjoy. 

Secondly, the engineering educational experience should change the student.  I have had many students that are brighter than I am, and yet I still have to find ways to challenge them, stretch them, and make them more versatile through the learning process.  This change should be progressive, beginning in the freshman year, and clearly observable as the student approaches graduation.  I see the student not as a cup to be filled with knowledge, but rather as an engine to be tuned.  An engineering student must develop skills in organization and logical thinking so as to handle the complex systems necessary to a heavily populated world.  Today an engineering student may solve problems involving complex calculus and physics, under deadlines with real consequences to their grade.  Tomorrow, the same student will solve problems not involving calculus, but with a similar diligence and thought process, to produce and manage systems under deadlines with real consequences to the safety and well-being of many people.

This brings up the final element in my philosophy of education - that the student, the 'tuned engine', will purposefully harness himself/herself to the community at large.  It is nice to earn a good living, but somewhat more satisfying to see your work make a real difference in the world.

Office: Drew Hall 134
(337) 475-5858
Zhuang Li

Dr. Zhuang "John" Li

Dr. Zhuang Li, an Associate Professor of Mechancial Engineering, 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. He also received the Faculty Excellence Award in the first year of his teaching career and the Pinnacle Award in 2011.  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
Jonathan Sullivan

Dr. Jonathan Sullivan

Coming Soon!

Office: Drew Hall 124
(337) 475-5871

Ted Thompson

LTC Ted Thompson

Coming Soon!

Office: Drew Hall 106
(337) 475-5874
Jay Uppot

Dr. Jay Uppot

Teaching is a noble profession.  It is an activity where you impart knowledge to your students, without you loosing anything.  In fact you gain by discussing the knowledge with your students.  Many a time I get new insights by looking from the point of view of my students. Thus you learn by teaching.

The most important thing in teaching is that you must be prepared. The students must know that you are the master of the subject.  That would mean not just delivering the subject matter from the text book, but adopting it to make it more interesting by practical examples, humor and making them think. You must capture their attention by your presentation of the subject. A professor may have all the knowledge on a topic, but if it is not delivered properly the students will not catch it.  I know if the students are with me when I am teaching just by looking at their faces.  They will ask questions. There will be discussions among them in the class.
After I teach a class, I come to my office and do an autopsy of my performance, so I can improve next time.  I treat each class as a live show where I must shine.

Make the students think.  I do not give everything away in the class.  That will be spoon feeding.  Hold something back.  Challenge them to figure it out. Weekly quizzes are the best way of making them think and get answers.

I teach from the point of view of practice.  I discuss real field problems in the class. I discuss several case histories pertaining to the topic being taught. 

My exams will contain easy to difficult questions. It will follow the normal distribution curve.  One of my exams will be modeled after the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam so it will serve as a practice for the FE exam which they have to take.

I go at least five minutes early to my class.  I return the graded assignments on time and discuss them in the class.  When giving back the exams, I write the whole range of scores on the board so that the students will know where they stand.

I use overhead transparencies taken from the text book and from other sources.  If taken from other sources, I give the students copies of the transparencies.

In solving problems, hand calculations come first for me. Use of computer programs comes later.

I am always available for the students, not just during my posted office hours. I take  a real interest in their learning process and always go out of my way to help them.  I make sure that when they take a course from me they learn something.  I always tell that if they like my course, tell others and if they don't, tell me.

Office: Drew Hall 135
(337) 475-5868
Ning Zhang

Dr. Ning Zhang

Dr. Ning Zhang, an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, received his Ph.D. degree from Kansas State University in 2005.  He continued his postdoctoral research at the Urban Operational Laboratory, a United States 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).  He 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.  Dr. Zhang joined McNeese State University in 2008, where he 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.  Dr. Ning Zhang is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).  He has served as Vice Chair of ASME Computational Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee since 2012.  Dr. Zhang has also served as the McNeese Institutional Coordinator to Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE), Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), and Coastal Sustainability Consortium Technical Council.

Office: Drew Hall 119
(337) 475-5873



Nancy Brignac

Secretary to the Department of Chemical, Civil, & Mechanical Engineering 
Office: Drew Hall 140
Phone #: (337) 475-5874
Fax #: (337) 475-5286

Dennis Bennett

Mechanical Laboratory Technician
Office: ETL 116
Phone #: (337) 475-5872 

New Faculty Members Starting Fall 2014

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