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Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Department of Chemical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Jacob Borden, Assistant Professor
(337) 475-5917
Drew Hall 132

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. 

Dr. Pankaj Chandra, PE, Professor, Department Head
(337) 475-5856
Office: Drew Hall 142
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 and MS degrees from IIT Roorkee, India and PhD from Texas A&M 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 at Texas A&M, 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. He received the Faculty Excellence Award in 2013 and the Distinguished Alumni Faculty Award in 2001.

Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis, Assistant Professor

Dimitrios Dermisis, Ph.D.
(337) 475-5859
Office: Drew Hall 133
Dr. Dermisis has taught at McNeese 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.

Dr. John Griffith, PE, Professor
(337) 475-5858
Drew Hall 134
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.

Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, Professor, Dean

Dr. Nikos Kiritsis
(337) 475-5857
Drew Hall 145
Dr. Kiritsis is Dean of the College of Engineering and director of the Institute for Industry – Education Collaboration. Prior to that Dr. Kiritsis taught mechanical engineering courses and served as interim director of the Research Services and Sponsored Program office. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Being dean of the college, Dr. Kiritsis oversees all outreach and recruiting activities and serves as the main liaison between industry and the College of Engineering. He is one of the founding members of the McNeese State University Innovation Center where he teaches Innovation Engineering courses and serves on the managing board of the McNeese Student Business Incubator. Dr. Kiritsis also holds an Incubator Management Certificate from the National Business Incubator Association.

Dr. Zhuang "John" Li, Associate Professor
(337) 475-5869
Drew Hall 115
Dr. Li received his Ph.D degree from Auburn University in 2005. He joined McNeese 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).

Dr. Jonathan Sullivan, PE, Associate Professor
(337) 475-5871
Drew Hall 124
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. 

LTC Ted Thompson (Ret), PE, Visiting Lecturer

Ted Thompson Photo
(337) 475-5864
Drew Hall 106
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.

Dr. Faye Transvalidou, Visiting Assistant Professor
(337) 475-5250
Drew Hall 120
Dr. Transvalidou received her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, followed by M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 1992 and 1996, respectively. Dr. Transvalidou joined Eastman Kodak Company in the summer of 1996 where she worked on assignments for various divisions of Eastman Kodak’s R&D organization contributing to product development teams until 2006. In October of 2006 Dr. Transvalidou joined Sun Chemical Corp. where she led ink/coating development projects. Dr. Transvalidou joined the engineering faculty at McNeese State University in 2015, where she currently serves as Instructor of Chemical Engineering. Her main interests are in nanotechnology, and novel materials and their applications.

Dr. Jay Uppot, PE, Professor
(337) 475-5868
Drew Hall 135
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.

Dr. Ning Zhang, Associate Professor

(337) 475-5873
Drew Hall 119
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, 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).


Nancy Brignac - Administrative Assistant

Department of Chemical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering
Phone (337) 475-5874
Fax (337) 475-5286
Drew Hall 140

Dennis Bennett - Mechanical Laboratory Technician

Staff Photo Dennis Bennett
Phone (337) 475-5872
ETL 116