I arrived at Penn State in August 2013, following the completion of my Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Before that, I spent 8 years as a Safety and Reliability Engineer in the aerospace and defense industries working on projects ranging from astronaut exercise equipment and air quality monitors to aircraft radar and mail sorting machines. During that experience as a professional I became aware of the need for better data-focused analytical tools for engineers seeking to mitigate safety and environmental risks.
My teaching and research here at Penn State is broadly focused on improving how engineers and policy makers understand and manage environmental health and safety (EHS) risks associated with technology.
My current research objectives range from better quantifying the exposure risks associated with engineered nanoparticles, ambient mixtures of particulate matter, and consumer aerosols; to evaluating potential policy responses to protect occupational and public health and safety; to better understanding how engineers make actual decisions regarding questions of risk.
I work with my graduate and undergraduate students to investigate air quality impacts of Marcellus shale gas production, the relative toxicity of engineered nanoparticles, the exposure risks from consumer aerosols, the application of new tools, instruments, and data analysis techniques to better quantify particulate exposure risks, the effectiveness of government safety regulations, and the psychology and cognitive biases of engineering decision making around risk.
Underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply to work with my group. As a result of a stroke I suffered in 2017, I acquired a vision-related disability, and so I have gained a new understanding of some of the challenges faced by prospective students and researchers in similar circumstances.
Graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to contact me to discuss current opportunities to get involved. The research page includes short descriptions of example projects that are on going or recently completed. You can find more information on the courses I teach, too.
From 1998 to 2000, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching Math and Physics in Kankalabé, Guinea, West Africa (you can read more about this experience here).
I hold a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University (1998) and Rice University (2007) respectively. I am a Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE), and a Certified Safety Professional (CSP).
If you are a prospective student, researcher, client, collaborator, or industry partner, please contact me.