Engineering Makes a World of Difference
Vol. 3 No. 2 - Fall 2020
Updates in the College of Engineering
The William B. Burnsed Jr. Mechanical Engineering Department is now the William B. Burnsed Jr. Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Department (MABE).

Starting this Fall, the College of Engineering is offering a Masters of Science degree in Systems Engineering. For more information, go to Programs in Systems Engineering.
Save-the-Date Alumni!
The University of South Alabama will be holding a virtual Alumni Reunion on October 2, 2020. More details will be sent out soon.
Faculty in the News
Dr. Stephanie Smallegan, assistant professor in the Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering Department was named a recipient of the 2020 Gulf Research Project early-career fellowship. This fellowship comes with a $76,000 financial award that does not have to be designated for any specific project. Read More

Dr. Min-Wook Kang, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Coastal, & Environmental Engineering recently published a book with World Scientific Publishing entitled Artificial Intelligence in Highway Location and Alignment Optimization - Applications of Genetic Algorithms in Searching, Evaluating, and Optimizing Highway Location and Alignments. Dr. Kang co-authored the text with Dr. Paul Schonfeld, Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • Dr. Samantha Islam, Associate Professor in the Civil, Coastal, & Environmental Engineering Department was appointed Member of the Transportation Research Board.
  • Dr. Henry Lester, Assistant Professor in Systems Engineering, was elected President of the Society of Engineering & Management Systems (SEMS).
Welcome to our New Faculty Members
Dr. Melike Diszbay-Onat
Dr. Melike Disbay-Onat joined the William B. Burnsed, Jr. Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Department faculty in 2019. She holds master's degrees in both physics and electrical and computer engineering from Auburn University. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering) Material Science and Engineering/Public Health) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She continued her academic career as a postdoctoral scholar at UAB prior to joining USA. Her postdoctoral research focus was on STEM education. Her Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies led to numerous posters, presentations, and awards such as the outstanding postdoctoral award, an NSF-EPSCoR grant for three consecutive years and a pilot grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She has recently been awarded with the Research and Scholarly Development Grant (RSDG) at USA. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi Honor Society.
Dr. Dizbay-Onat's primary research interests are filtration materials that are derived from sustainable/biomass materials and their applications such as water purification, energy storage, and sound absorption. With the emergence of high demand on filtration materials, these research areas have gained increasing research interests and special importance due to carbon footprint reduction and being environmentally friendly. Outside of professional interests, she loves diamond painting, swimming, traveling, and enjoys strolling along the beach with her husband, Dr. Levent Onat who has a Ph.D. in environmental, health, and safety engineering.
Dr. Mohamed Shaban is an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of South Alabama. He has received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2016 and 2012 respectively. He has also received both an M.S. degree in Electrical Communications Engineering and a B.S. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Mansoura University, Egypt in 2010 and 2006 respectively. He served as an assistant professor of computer science at Southern Arkansas University from 2016 to 2019. His current research interests are in the fields of signal and image processing for medical applications, machine, and deep learning applications.
Dr. Shaban is an IEEE senior member and a member of the IEEE signal processing and IEEE engineering in medicine and biology societies. He has served as a track chair at IEEE MWSCAS 2018, IEEE MWSCAS 2019, and IEEE WF-IoT 2020. Furthermore, he has chaired the IoT Experimental Results and Deployment Scenarios session at the IEEE WF-IoT 2020.
Dr. Aref Yadollahi
Dr. Aref Yadollahi is an assistant professor of the William B. Burnsed Jr, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Department. His main research focus is additive manufacturing (AM) of metallic materials, with particular interest in quantifying their reliability, and developing tools for predicting their fatigue performance. Dr. Yadollahi earned his Ph.D. (2017) in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU). He completed post-doctoral training at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at MSU (2017-2020) before joining USA. Dr. Yadollahi is a member of ASTM Committee E08 on Fatigue and Fracture and F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies for developing and revising standards. He is also a recipient of several prestigious awards, including ASTM International Graduate Fellowship and MSU Best Graduate Student Research Award. His research interests include metal additive manufacturing, fatigue and fracture mechanics, solid mechanics, and materials characterization. His extracurricular activities and hobbies include reading philosophy, playing musical instruments, and camping.
Students in the News
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Fellowship - Evan Mazur, c/o 2020 from the Civil, Coastal, & Environmental Engineering Department was selected as a Walter & Adelheid Hohenstein Fellow.
Engineer Rolls to General Motors - Gaelyn Angus-Barker, c/o 2020 from the William B. Burnsed Jr. Mechanical, Aerospace, & Biomedical Engineering Department started her first job amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Completionist Finds Way to Mechanical Engineering - Once uncertain of what to study, Bryant Baldwin is now in his second year of the Mechanical engineering Masters' program.
2nd Annual Cast in Steel Competition - The University of South Alabama Cast in Steel Team partnered with the Howell Foundry LLC to produce "Model J28" bowie knife. The team received the Best Video Award, one of the three main awards for the competition.
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Internship - Despite COVID-19 complicating internship/co-op opportunities for our students Summer 2020, Mechanical Engineering senior, Darcey D'Amota had a phenomenal experience interning in the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
AL EPSCoR Recipient - Electrical engineering student, MM Reazul Haque Tanmoy, was awarded this graduate fellowship for 2020.
Within the Plasma Universe - Alumni, Thanh Dang (c/o 2020) and Tanner Hickman (c/o 2019) were featured due to their involvement in research and internship involvement.
Interested in being a guest speaker or hosting an information session for your company?
We are currently looking for guest speakers interested in sharing their engineering experiences with our current students as well as companies interested in discussing what they are looking for in future employees. Currently all meetings are schedule virtually through Zoom.

Please contact Nani Perez Uribe at for more information.
College of Engineering
150 Student Services Dr. - Shelby Hall 2114
Mobile, AL 36688