Santiago Paternain

Assistant Professor
He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Computer and Systems Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Dr. Paternain was a postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and control of dynamical systems. Dr. Paternain was the recipient of the 2017 CDC Best Student Paper Award and the 2019 Joseph and Rosaline Wolfe Best Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Electrical and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Shaowu Pan

Assistant Professor

Shaowu Pan received his B.E. in Aerospace Engineering and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Beihang University, China in 2013. After that, he received M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in April 2021. Then he started as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the AI Institute in Dynamic Systems at the University of Washington, Seattle from 2021 to 2022. His research interests lie in the intersection between computational fluid dynamics, data-driven modeling of complex systems, scientific machine learning, and dynamical systems. He has published his work in journals like the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, AIAA Journal, SIAM Applied Dynamical Systems, Chaos, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Computational Mechanics, etc.

Deepak Vashishth

Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor
Director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), conducting breakthrough research on bones, Deepak Vashishth, PhD, is working to redefine the role of a top tier research university: one that is engaged in public and private partnerships, involved in interdisciplinary research, and providing quality education, all to drive entrepreneurial, sustainable, socially responsible scientific discovery and technological innovation. Administrative leadership: Through his work as a University Center Director, previously as a School of Engineering Department head, and in professional societies he has successfully developed partnerships, Programs, and platforms, to drive translational scientific research across disciplines, sectors,and geographic boundaries. As Director of CBIS he oversees 70 resident and non-resident faculty (from each of the five Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute schools); engages with global partners in the public, private, and academic sectors; and fosters innovative graduate and undergraduate research and education initiatives. In his first two years as CBIS Director he has: envisioned and facilitated the creation of two transformative research centers (Bioimaging Center and Center for Translational Research in Medicine); led the development of an industry partners program to enhance technology transfer and commercialization; and broadened the scope of interdisciplinary research by combining biotechnology with architecture, humanities, and management. As Department Head of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the School of Engineering at Rensselaer, in just 3 years he dramatically grew and strengthened the department: increased tenured faculty tenfold (1 to 10); added a senior endowed chair to its rank; and it became home to 7 NSF career awardees and recipient of more than 10 NIH RO1 awards (from 2 in 2009). As a committee member of the Orthopaedic Research Society, he developed and facilitated a “Symposium in Translational Medicine” designed to accelerate the transition of discoveries from lab bench to bedside by bridging the gap between clinical, basic science & engineering, government agencies (FDA) and industry. Research leadership: Dr. Vashishth’s research interests are in the area of biomolecular science and engineering of extracellular matrix with particular emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and bone tissue engineering. His collaborative, interdisciplinary bone research is redefining how osteoporosis will be diagnosed and treated. In 2012 he was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for contributions to the understanding of how both age and collagen‐modification affect bone fragility (cited over 1000 times). AIMBE fellows represent the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community in the world and are elected based on nomination and vote by AIMBE fellows ( He has opened new avenues for diagnosing and treating osteoporosis by developing a new technique to identify bone proteome from nanoscale samples. The process also has been applied for analyzing precious fossils. He is bringing his breakthrough research to market, co-founding a company (Orthograft plc), to produce the acellular biomimetic grafts for bone repair. Professor Vashishth and his research group have published over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications and conference proceedings in top journals including PNAS, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Plos One and others. His work presented in the form of over 100 invited and contributed lectures has been cited as a “New Hope for Osteoporosis Patients” and “Secret Formula for Bone Strength” in mainstream media. Working in collaboration with others, his research group has identified new structural roles for bone proteins and developed new biomimickry-based strategies for tissue engineering scaffolds. In addition to being a Fellow of and active in the AIMBE, he serves as a member of the National Institutes of Health study section on Skeletal Biology and Skeletal Regeneration. He is a board member of the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials and a regular reviewer for other federal and international funding agencies, private foundations and university grants, and journals. He also is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research and the Orthopaedic Research Society. Educational leadership: Fundamentally focused on education, he is preparing the next generation of researchers and the “faculty of the future” by infusing undergraduate and graduate programs with a more interdisciplinary, collaborative, global perspective on sustainable, translational scientific research. In recognition of his dedication to education, he has won Rensselaer awards for outstanding and innovative classroom teaching including the Class of 1951 Outstanding Teaching award. As CBIS Director, he established new global partnerships, redesigned graduate training programs, and developed a new course, all designed to prepare the “faculty of the future,” focused on sustainable collaborative interdisciplinary research and technology transfer and commercialization. As BME department head (2009-2013): expanded the graduate program three-fold (from 20 to 60 students), attracted more highly qualified graduate students, and promoted early success (National fellowships). He overhauled curriculum, to enhance learning and to improve the undergraduate experience, by reducing class size and providing hands-on education in a technologically connected classroom. Background: He earned his B. Eng with honors from Malaviya National Institute of Technology (India), MS from West Virginia University (USA) and PhD from the University of London (UK). He then conducted post-doctoral research at the Bone and Joint Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital before joining Rensselaer as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering in 1999.

Donald Schwendeman

Professor, Department Head and Director, Center for Modeling, Optimization and Computational Analysis (MOCA)
Dr. Schwendeman received his B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) under the supervision of Professor G.B. Whitham, FRS.  Dr. Schwendeman took a one-year postdoctoral research position at Caltech working with Professor H.B. Keller, before joining the faculty in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Rensselaer as an assistant professor in August, 1987.  Dr. Schwendeman received promotions to associate professor with tenure and then professor, and was named the Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 2012. Dr. Schwendeman's research focuses on the development and analysis of numerical methods for systems of partial differential equations (PDEs) that arise in applications of science and engineering.  A significant portion of his work has centered around the development of numerical methods for systems of PDEs modeling wave phenomena in reactive and nonreactive flows.  This work has included numerical studies of shock wave focusing and convergence, transonic and hypersonic aerodynamics, and multi-phase and multi-material high-speed reactive flow.  In recent work, Dr. Schwendeman has developed a class of new numerical methods for fluid-structure interaction problems.  All of this work has been in collaboration with researchers at national labs (Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore) and at Rensselaer. Dr. Schwendeman is also actively involved in undergraduate and graduate education and career development.  He is a leader among the consortium of universities organizing the Mathematical Problems in Industry Workshop (1993-present), and the originator and lead organizer of the Graduate Student Mathematical Modeling Camp (2004-present).  Dr. Schwendeman is also an active member of the NSF-funded Research Training Grant (RTG) program in the department, which supports the research and education of several graduate students and postdoctoral research fellows.

Jonas Braasch

Professor and Associate Director for Research, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)
Jonas Braasch is a Professor at the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and teaches in the Graduate Program in Architectural Acoustics. His research interests span collaborative virtual reality systems, binaural hearing, auditory modeling, multimodal integration, sensory substitution devices, aural architecture and creative processes in music improvisation. For his work, he has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, DFG (German Science Foundation), the European Research Council, New York State Council on the Arts, the Christopher and Dana Reeve and Craig H. Neilsen Foundations. He obtained a master’s degree from Dortmund University (Germany, 1998) in Physics and two Ph.D. degrees from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (2001, 2004) in Electrical Engineering/Information Science and Musicology. As a soprano saxophonist, he has worked with Curtis Bahn, Chris Chafe, Stuart Dempster, Mark Dresser, Zach Layton, Francisco Lopez, Pauline Oliveros, and Doug van Nort – among others. Within his saxophone practice, Jonas Braasch developed his horn of sounds concept, which is the first method for wind instruments to use different sound generators to create a palette of sounds and styles using one main instrument to achieve an enhanced awareness of internal diversityJonas Braasch is an acoustician, musicologist, and sound artist who teaches courses in Acoustics, Music, and the Doctoral Seminar at the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He obtained a master's degree from Dortmund University (Germany, 1998) in Physics and two PhD degrees from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (2001, 2004) in Electrical Engineering/Information Science and Musicology. Mr. Braasch is the co-founder and director of the Communication Acoustics and Aural Architecture Research Laboratory (CA3RL) which is part of RPI's Architectural Acoustics Program. His research interests include Binaural Hearing, Multi-channel Audio Technology, Telematic Music Systems, Perceptual Audio/Visual Integration, Intelligent Systems, and Musical Acoustics. Jonas Braasch (co-)authored more than 60 journal and conference papers and 3 monographs. For his work, he has received funding from the NSF, NSERC, DFG (German Science Foundation), and NYSCA. As a soprano saxophonist and sound artist, he has on-going collaborations with Curtis Bahn, Chris Chafe, Michael Century, Mark Dresser, Pauline Oliveros, Doug van Nort, and Sarah Weaver - among others. In 2006, he has been awarded with the Lothar-Cremer Prize, the highest recognition of the German Acoustical Society for young investigators.

Jonathan Dordick

Institute Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences, NAE

Jonathan S. Dordick is Institute Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with joint appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences, and an adjunct appointment at Rockefeller University. Dr. Dordick is Co-Director of the Rensselaer-Mount Sinai Center for Engineering and Precision Medicine. He received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At Rensselaer, he served as the Vice President for Research, the Director of the Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies, and Department Chair. He is the co-Director of the Heparin Applied Research Center and is the Director of the SARS-CoV-2 Testing Laboratory for Rensselaer. Prior to joining Rensselaer, he was Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa, where he also served as the founding Associate Director of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. He has served the biochemical engineering community as a previous chairman of the Biotechnology Division of the American Chemical Society and as an Editor of Biotechnology & Bioengineering. Professor Dordick is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers.

Jose Holguin-Veras

William H. Hart Chair Professor and Director, Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment (CITE)
Dr. José Holguín-Veras is the William H. Hart Professor, and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment; and the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) Center of Excellence on Sustainable Urban Freight Systems at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1981; his M.Sc. from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1984; and his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1996. He has been a faculty at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, City College of New York (1997-2002), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2002-present). His work has received numerous awards, including the 2013 White House Champion of Change Award for his contributions to freight transportation and disaster response. His research emphasizes the integration, synthesis, and projection of the knowledge that exist in multiple disciplines to produce solutions to the complex and multifaceted problems—which have proven to be too complex to be solved by single-disciplinary approaches—that impact freight transportation and humanitarian logistics. His research taps into the knowledge of social sciences to build more realistic mathematical models of humanitarian logistics, and integrate cutting edge economic principles into freight transportation modeling, so that a complete picture could be developed on the broader impacts of transportation activity on the economy and the environment; and on the most effective ways to conduct post-disaster humanitarian logistics. His research blends field research and measurements, applied and basic research to ensure that theory relates to reality; and, ultimately, to a set of actionable policy recommendations that contribute to the betterment of the economy and society. Current research activities focus on three major areas: freight transportation demand modeling, sustainable freight policy, and humanitarian logistics. His work on freight demand modeling focuses on enhancing the realism of spatial price equilibrium (SPE) models, and development of simplified modeling techniques. His work on sustainable freight policy studies the interactions between the agents (e.g., shippers, carriers, receivers) involved in freight activity, to define ways to exploit these interactions to foster sustainable development and operations. An important third area, of profound human impact, focuses on the development of novel forms of humanitarian logistics. His research group has pioneered the multidisciplinary study of post-disaster humanitarian logistic operations. His research has: identified the key lessons learned from the response to the largest disasters of recent times; translated these lessons into actionable policy recommendations; and shared these suggestions with disaster response agencies. As part of the field work, his research group has conducted detailed analyses of the most prominent disasters of recent times, including: Hurricane Katrina, the Port-au-Prince earthquake, the tornadoes in Joplin and Alabama, Hurricane Irene, and the Tohoku disasters in Japan. His contributions to the solution of regional and national problems are numerous as they span modeling, policy, and research. In particular, his ability to transition research into practice—navigating complex implementation environments—has been recognized with appointments to prestigious positions. As a member of the Board of the New York State Thruway Authority—as the only researcher and Hispanic American in the board’s history—he helps oversee toll policy and the replacement of the $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge, one of the largest construction projects in the US. He is overseeing all-electronic-toll-collection, toll setting, financing, asset management, and helps the agency reach a higher level of efficiency. His policy contributions also cover disaster response; as a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Disaster Research Roundtable, he advises the federal government in disaster response on the basis of his field research after large disasters and catastrophic events. He has been member of numerous panels for the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other agencies. His research, routinely implemented by practitioners, has been impactful. His work on freight generation and freight trip generation has led to the development of freight trip generation models—to be incorporated in the next edition of the ITE Trip Generation Manual—that are more accurate than any currently available. Equally transformative has been his research on freight tour models, freight origin-destination estimation, and others that are being incorporated into transportation modeling packages such as TRANSCAD, TRANUS, among others. One of his most visible contributions is the NYC off-hour-delivery project, which is having a transformative effect on urban freight policy. This project has blossomed into a potent freight demand management tool that has won the enthusiastic support of the private sector. It is estimated to lead to economic savings of 100-200/million dollars per year, and reductions of: 202.7 metric tons (t)/year of CO, 40t/year of HC, 11.8t/year of NOx, and 69.9 kg/year of PM10). Recognizing these significant impacts, the City of New York adopted OHD as part of its sustainability plan, and the Federal Highway Administration created a program to foster OHD, based on the one pioneered in NYC, and to replicate it in other US cities. Because of its impacts, TIME magazine identified off-hour deliveries as one of the “10 Ideas that Make a Difference” in traffic congestion. His leadership positions include: President of the Scientific Committee of the Pan-American Conferences of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research, Elected Member of the Council for the Association for European Transport, member of the International Organizing Committee of the City Logistics Conferences, member of technical committees at numerous professional organizations, and member of the editorial boards of the leading journals. He has led dozens of technical sessions, and has participated in numerous technical committees at the Transportation Research Board (e.g., Intermodal Freight, Urban Freight, Freight Economics, Freight Planning and Logistics, Road Pricing, Task Force of Freight Demand Modeling), European Transport Conference, World Conference of Transport Research, Pan-American Conference of Transport and Traffic Engineering, and others. He is a member of a number of high level public sector committees and boards. His current appointments include: United States Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee (2013-2015), Board of the New York State Thruway Authority (2010-present), National Academy of Sciences’ Disaster Research Roundtable, National Academy of Sciences’ Committee for Review of USDOT Truck Size and Weight Study (2013-2014), Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Core Group on Community Engagement (June 2011-present), Advisory Panel for the NY-NJ-CT-PA Regional Catastrophic Planning Group (March 2010-2013), and Advisory Panel of the Mohawk Corridor Multimodal Transportation Study (2010-2012). The list of awards he has received includes: the 2013 White House Champion of Change Award, CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (2001-2006); the Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award in 1996, from the Council on University Transportation Centers, the Salute to the Scholars Award from the City University of New York (in 2000 and 2001); the 2006 Robert E. Kerker Research Award in recognition of Excellence in Research of Special Importance to Practitioners and Scholars of Public Administration and Policy in New York State; the 2007 School of Engineering Research Award; and a Proclamation from the Council of the City of New York (2001). He is a fellow of: State Academy of Public Administration (2006), International Road Federation (1991), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (1989), and the Organization of American States (1982-1984). According to Google Scholar, he is the most widely published and cited freight researcher in the world. He has more than 150 technical publications in the most prestigious venues, and, reflecting his influence, his work has been cited more than 1,300 times by his peers. He has given 15 plenaries, 40 invited lectures, and hundreds of presentations in professional conferences. As a Principal Investigator (PI), he has managed about $13.4 million in competitively awarded contracts from the most prestigious funding agencies: USDOT ($8.2 million), NSF ($3.9 million), New York and New Jersey State Departments of Transportation ($1.3 million), among others. These projects have focused on freight research ($8.4 million), disaster research ($2.8 million), road pricing ($1.2 million), and others ($1.0 million). As a Co-PI, he has worked on about $10 million in projects. He has extensive professional experience in both developing and developed countries. His professional experience includes the analysis of the intermodal alternatives for the trans-isthmian corridor that runs parallel to the Panama Canal, and the development of numerous national and regional transportation plans in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and other countries. He has been consultant in transportation planning, modeling, and economics for international companies and financial institutions, such as The World Bank, United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank, among many others.

Juergen Hahn

Professor and Department Head

Juergen Hahn is the department head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in addition to holding an appointment in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering. He received his Diploma degree in engineering from RWTH Aachen, Germany, in 1997, and his MS and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Chair for Process Systems Engineering at RWTH Aachen, Germany, before joining the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, in 2003 and moving to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2012. His research interests include systems biology and process modeling and analysis with over 140 peer-reviewed publications in print. Dr. Hahn is a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship (1995/96), received the Best Referee Award for 2004 from the Journal of Process Control, the CPC 7 Outstanding Contributed Paper Award in 2006, was named Outstanding Reviewer by the journal Automatica in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010 CAST Outstanding Young Researcher, and has been elected as an AIMBE Fellow in 2013, an AIChE Fellow in 2020, and a Fellow of BMES in 2022. He served on the IEEE CSS Board of Governors in 2016 and has been a CACHE Trustee since 2014. He is currently serving as deputy editor-in-chief for the Journal of Process Control, as editor for the journal Optimal Control: Applications and Methods, and as associate editor for the journals Control Engineering Practice, the Journal of Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

Karyn Rogers

Associate Professor and Director, Rensselaer Astrobiology Research and Education Center (RARE)
Dr. Karyn Rogers joined the faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2013 after serving as a Research Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, and a Deep Ocean Exploration Institute Postdoctoral Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Rogers completed her PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, with previous degrees awarded from Stanford University (M.S. 2001) and Harvard University (A.B. 1996). Dr. Rogers is a member of the New York Center for Astrobiology (NYCA) and the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA). Dr. Rogers’ research focuses on the relationships between microbial communities and environmental conditions in extreme ecosystems, and is broadly applied to understanding the nature of the origin of life on Earth, the potential for life throughout the solar system, and the extent of life in modern extreme environments. To advance our understanding of environmental microbiomes in these systems, Dr. Rogers research program includes field research in early Earth and Mars analog environments as well as laboratory experimental studies of microbial behavior under extreme conditions. Additionally, the group is exploring the viability of abiotic synthesis of biomolecules over a range of early Earth conditions. The driving question in this research is how realistic environmental conditions combine to form habitable niches that can both support the early emergence of life as well as the long-term survival of life in these environments. Dr. Rogers’ fieldwork includes several terrestrial hydrothermal systems including Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua, the Vulcano shallow marine hydrothermal system in Italy, and several modern deep-sea mid-ocean ridge environments. These field endeavors are combined with extensive laboratory analytical and experimental techniques to develop a holistic picture of functional microbial ecosystems. More specifically, laboratory techniques include cultivation of extremophiles under high pressure, high temperature, acidic, and anaerobic conditions; a next-generation genomics approach to determine the functional environmental microbiome in extreme systems; geochemical analyses and modeling of environmental and bioenergetics parameters; and the synthesis of these datasets using novel data analytics. Dr. Rogers’ research program currently includes two postdoctoral associates, four graduate students (in both Earth & Environmental Sciences and the Department of Biological Sciences), and several undergraduate researchers. The laboratory is housed in Jonsson-Rowland Science Center and includes a state of the art high-pressure microbial cultivation facility. Additionally, Dr. Rogers is the US Lead for the Deep Carbon Observatory’s (Sloan Foundation) High Pressure Sampling, Transport, and Cultivation User Facility and the co-chair of the UNOLS Deep Submergence Science Committee New User Program. Dr. Rogers teaches courses in Geobiology, Aqueous Geochemistry, the Origin of Life, Advanced Geomicrobiology, and Planetary Habitability.