Department of Chemical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Pankaj ChandraComing Soon!
Office: Drew Hall 104
Dr. Dimitrios DermisisComing Soon!
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.
Dr. Zhuang "John" LiDr. 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).
Dr. Richard RobinsonThe goal and objectives of any course I teach is to aid in developing engineers that are successful in their careers. In order to be able to accomplish this success, the student must not only acquire knowledge in the subject matter but more importantly must develop analytical and critical thinking skills for solving problems in new situations and/or in new areas as would be expected of a practicing engineer. To be able to think and function as would a successful engineer, a student must not only be able to solve the problems at the end of the chapter (where the scope of the material is quite restricted) but also must be able to integrate this material with material from other courses.
In a student's engineering college experience there should be a gradual transition from problems of very restricted form and subject matter, as freshmen, to more opened ended and integrated problems in the senior year. In the freshman year the student might only be expected to know how to apply the equations in a particular chapter given the needed data. A senior however should be ultimately expected to solve problems using not only the current course material but material from previous courses that has not necessarily been highlighted in the current chapter of the text. In some situations the senior is expected to analyze the data for its accuracy and completeness. The solving of a distillation problem might demonstrate this change. A sophomore would have to use only material and energy balances, i.e. the subjects being covered in the course. The student would be given only correct data that is needed to solve the problem and no extraneous data given. A senior might be ask to look at the problem incorporating the concepts of mass transfer and fluid mechanics which had been studied in preciously courses but had not been emphasized in the current course. Extensive plant data might be given to the student much of which is not required for the problem solution and some of which maybe erroneous. For seniors this may initially be out of their comfort zone but as the student is exposed to more of the real world problem environment the student's confidence and success should increase. This emphasis on course integration will help students in their preparation for professional registration (FE exam) and for success in their work place.
In a professional engineering environment, an individual is in general not asked to solve a quantitative problem in fifty minutes testing their speed and accuracy. They could be assigned projects in which they would budget their time or work extra to determining a solution. They might be asked to a meeting to give an impromptu qualitative answer. In the classroom environment, I try to replicate both of these situations. First by giving student the extra time they may need to complete a test thus making it a question not of speed but of the students understanding of the concepts. Second I ask questions to class as a whole or to individuals for qualitative answers that show basic understanding of the subject. With this approach the student should be better prepared to be successful in their engineering career.
Dr. Jonathan SullivanComing Soon!
LTC Ted ThompsonComing Soon!
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.
Dr. Ning ZhangDr. 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.
Nancy BrignacSecretary to the Department of Chemical, Civil, & Mechanical Engineering
Office: Drew Hall 140
Phone #: (337) 475-5874
Fax #: (337) 475-5286
Dennis BennettMechanical Laboratory Technician
Office: ETL 116
Phone #: (337) 475-5872
New Faculty Members Starting Fall 2013
James Bernard, Visiting Instructor in the Department of Chemical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering,
M.S. in Technology, Purdue University