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Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Seyed M. Aghili, PE, Professor, Department Head
(337) 475-5863 
Drew Hall 123 
Dr. Aghili is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and currently serving as the Head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Louisiana. Dr. Aghili received his M.S. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. in Industrical Technology-Plant Engineering and M.S. in Management Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. His teaching and research interests are in E-learning in engineering, digital systems design, computer network engineering, network routing algorithms, microcontrollers, fuzzy logic controllers, artificial neural networks, and robotics. Dr. Aghili is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate. He is a two-time Pinnacle Excellence Award recipient.

Dr. Paul Bender, Assistant Professor

Paul Bender
(337) 475-5800
Drew Hall 206
Dr. Bender is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Missouri State University, a M.S. in Computational Mathematics from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from Wright State University. These degrees were completed in 1998, 2004, and 2008 respectively. He is a member of the ACM and IEEE. Dr. Bender's research interests include various topics in operation systems and networking, including adhoc networks, real time systems, multimedia communications, and system security. The focus of his current research is on the application of sensor network technologies to the water driven ecosystems of Southwest Louisiana.

Dr. Michael Connella III, Assistant Professor
(337) 475-5845
Drew Hall 326
Dr. Connella is a graduate of Tulane University with a Ph.D. in Solid State Physics. He has a varied background in Rocket Technology, NASA 1yr; and McNeese, 22 yrs in Physics & Engineering Technology. He has taught various undergraduate courses in physics, instrumentation, electronics, and process technology as well as graduate courses in Electrical Engineering. He has also given several seminars on practical industrial controls. He has worked 22 years in the Petrochemical Industry for Olin Chemicals, ARCO, and Lyondell Companies. Because of his industrial experience, Dr. Connella serves as the distributed control system coordinator responsible for all DCS systems operated by the College of Engineering.

Dr. James Dennison, Professor
(337) 475-5860
Drew Hall 122
Dr. Dennison has been on the Engineering Faculty as a Full Professor of engineering for 19 years at McNeese State University where he has focused on teaching system sciences. During that time period he has also served as a resident Visiting Professor in Germany & Australia and as a resident Senior Fulbright Scholar in Romania. He was a finalist for a Senior Fulbright Scholar position in Indonesia for the 2015 / 2016 academic year. Prior to his McNeese tenure he taught engineering as a visiting professor at 3 different U.S. universities as assignments during his industrial career at IBM. His government experience includes 2 years as an Executive Fellow at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. (he advised the Technology Undersecretary on international competitiveness policy issues). He also served 2 summer sessions in Washington, D.C. as the Faculty Member in Residence guiding WISE interns (selected by all major professional organizations) on Public Policy issues. Jim worked for IBM as a Product Design Engineer and Project Manager for 30 years at several domestic and foreign laboratories. During that period he had multi-year expatriate assignments in Germany, France, and Japan. Jim was the technical Project Manager for several, internationally developed data storage devices; i.e., the IBM 3363 Optical Drive and Media (the world's first writable optical drive embedded in a PC). After his IBM career, he was V.P. in a start-up company to develop an optical RAM device. Dr. Dennison received BSEE, MSEE, & Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State, Syracuse, and Colorado respectively and was honored as an IBM Resident Study Fellow for 3 years at Colorado. His publications include several invention disclosures, many IBM technical articles, a journal article, and a few conference papers.

Brent Garner, Associate Professor
(337) 475-5855
Drew Hall 316
Brent Garner is a graduate of McNeese State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and of Southern Methodist University with an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. His industrial career spanned about a decade, working in the defense electronics industry for Honeywell in New Mexico and for Raytheon in Texas. His primary duties included hardware and software design of microprocessor-based embedded boards and systems, as well as development of automated test systems. He has taught at electronics engineering technology and electrical engineering courses for 20 years at McNeese. Mr. Garner is currently an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology as well as the program coordinator of the electronics and instrumentation programs at McNeese. He previously spent four years as the Department Head of the Dept. of Engineering Technology. His primary areas of teaching include Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs) and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), and he is a member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Mr. Garner has taught PLC courses for engineering technology as well as PLC labs for the engineering programs at McNeese. In addition, he has taught PLC short courses for local engineers and technicians and a 2-week PLC course to Iraqi engineers for a world-wide training company. He has used his industry and education background to teach such courses as electronic/semiconductor devices, op amps, digital circuits with PLDs, and electronic bench instrumentation.

Dr. Kaisar Khan, Assistant Professor

Kaiser Khan
(337) 475-5865
Drew Hall 121
Dr. Khan completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando in 2008. He then went on to join the University of Ottawa as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2012, Dr. Khan joined State University of New York (SUNY) Canton as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. At SUNY Canton he was active in developing power system courses and ABET accreditation process of newly developed four-year program. He joined McNeese as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering in August 2014 and active in developing new courses in power system and energy conversion. Dr. Khan involved in several industry-collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects on computational electromagnetic, power-system planning, high-speed electrical machine design, and optimum control. He has more than 50 publications in peer reviewed journals and international conference proceedings. Prior to resuming his Ph.D. in the USA, Dr. Khan was working as an engineer in the nationalized rural power distribution as well as in state owned telecommunication service provider in Bangladesh from where he completed his electrical engineering undergraduate education. He is also a licensed professional engineer of Ontario, Canada. Dr. Khan is active in professional organization such as IEEE by providing advising to the student branches, participate in conferences and work shop as we as reviewing journal and conference papers. His current research focus is to implement renewable energy sources and co-generation units in the grid connected power system with high reliability and quality of service. 

Kay Kussmann, Assistant Professor

(337) 475-5801
Drew Hall 207
Ms. Kussmann is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Louisiana Tech University, and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Her research interests include databases, data mining, data warehouse, artificial intelligence, robotics, gaming, cloud computing, and computational modeling. She is a past Pinnacle Excellence Award receipient.

Dr. Chengwei Lei, Assistant Professor

Drew Hall 212
Phone #: (337) 562-4222

Dr. Chengwei Lei joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2014. His research interests lie in the broad area of bioinformatics, data mining, network topology analysis, and clustering problems. He received his Ph.D. in August 2014 from the Department of Computer Science in The University of Texas at San Antonio. Before that, he received his M.S. in Computer Science from University of Texas at San Antonio(2008), Computer Science and Technology from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics(2005), and second B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics(2005).

Dr. Qiu Liu, Assistant Professor
(337) 475-5849
Drew Hall 314
Dr. Liu has taught engineering technology, electrical engineering and general engineering courses for 12 years at McNeese. She holds B.S., M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. degree inn industrial engineering. Prior to working at McNeese, Dr. Liu worked in the Department of Electrical Engineering in Sichuan University, China and as a computer engineer for the cement industry. During her Ph.D. studies she served as a teaching assistant for manufacturing and industrial engineering for four years. After completing her PhD, she started her career at McNeese. First she taught electronics and instrumentation courses in the Department of Engineering Technology. As the engineering technology programs are getting phased out, Dr. Liu is transitioning to full time electrical engineering teaching duties. Simultaneously, she does research on engineering education and serves on college and university committees.

Dr. Vipin Menon, Assistant Professor
(337) 475-5806
Drew Hall 204
Dr. Menon received his PhD in Computer Science from Tulane University in 2007 and joined McNeese that year. He is a professional member of the ACM, IEEE, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and American Mathematical Society (AMS). Dr. Menon's primary research interests include Artificial Intelligence, Databases and Data Mining. His secondary interests are Algorithms, Web Technologies, and Computer Science Education. Dr. Menon serves on the Steering Committee of the CCSC-SC (covering Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma) and was Conference Chair at the 25th Annual Conference of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, South Central Region at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas in April 2014. Courses taught by Dr. Menon at McNeese include Csci  180, 281, 308, 102, 284, 241, 309, 419/549, 425/555, 426/556, 415/545, 619, 631, 637, 601, and a variety of special topics courses which are taught as advanced courses at the graduate level such as Neural Networks, Computational Geometry, Complexity Theory, Parallel and High Performance Computing, and Data Mining.

Loretta Spruel, Instructor

(337) 475-5771
Drew Hall 205
Ms. Spruel, an instructor of Computer Science, earned a B. S. degree in Computer Science from Southern University A & M College, a M. Ed. degree in Educational Technology from McNeese State University, and a M. S. degree in Computer Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Spruel’s teaching and research interests are in computer information systems, information systems, database management systems, data mining, E-Learning in computer science and higher education administration. She has taught computer science, computer application and information systems courses for several years. She simultaneously teaches courses in three formats, face-to-face, hybrid, and online.  She is a Certified Online Instructor. Her administrative career spanned over 18 years, including working as a Programmer, System Analyst and Research Analyst in the Institutional Research and Data Processing department; and as a Distance Learning Coordinator in the E-Learning department at McNeese, prior to joining the department.


Dianne Rathbun - Administrative Assistant

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Phone (337) 475-5854
Fax (337) 475-5292
Drew Hall 324