Learn More About Illinois Institute of Technology’s New Faculty

Armour College

Harry R. Smith

  • Joins the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering as a lecturer
  • Is an accomplished aeronautical engineer well versed in both computational and experimental aerodynamics
  • Since 2014 has worked at the Aircraft Research Association in Bedford, England, where he provides rotary aerodynamic expertise in both computational and experimental testing; his work ranges from writing numerical models for customers to directing multimillion-dollar testing in the facility’s 30MW transonic wind tunnel
  • Holds a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, where his research explored aircraft propellers in off-design conditions; he also taught Propeller Aerodynamics to undergraduates and delivered lectures in aeroelasticity in addition to tutorials and laboratories across the aerospace syllabus

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Shannon Burke

  • Joins the college as a visiting assistant professor
  • Was the professional development and pro bono manager at Chapman and Cutler in Chicago; she was also an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University and DePaul University
  • Clerked on the Illinois Appellate Court and on the Michigan Supreme Court, and has written several pieces for the CBA Record and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, among other publications, on issues of civil procedure and family law
  • Holds a J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law and a B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Daniel Birk

  • Joins the college as a visiting assistant professor
  • Came to Illinois Tech from Eimer Stahl, where he litigated in both federal and state courts
  • Wrote “The Common-Law Exceptions Clause: Congressional Control of Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction in Light of British Precedent,” forthcoming in the Villanova Law Review and “Adverse Interests and Article III: a Reply,” with James Pfander, in the Northwestern University Law Review
  • Holds a J.D. from Northwestern University, an M.A. in English education from Brooklyn College, and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame

Emily Aleisa (LAW ’14)

  • Joins the college as a visiting assistant professor in legal writing, having previously taught evening sections of Law 1 and 2
  • Served on the Chicago-Kent Law Review
  • Was an assistant counsel for the Illinois Bankers Association
  • Served as staff attorney for the Illinois 18th Judicial Circuit Court

Jean M. Wenger

  • Joins the college as a senior lecturer and director of the law library
  • Is a well-known leader in the law library community who has served as president of the American Association of Law Libraries and chair of the Legal Information Preservation Alliance Board of Directors
  • Worked for 30+ years at the Cook County Law Library and additional academic law libraries
  • Holds an M.L.I.S. from Dominican University, a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, and a B.A. from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

College of Architecture

Jennifer J. Park

  • Joins the college as a visiting assistant professor and coordinator of the second-year undergraduate studios
  • Is the founder and principal of Jurassic Studio in Chicago and is part of the collaborative exhibition design team working on the Obama Presidential Center; she was acknowledged in 2015 as one of the “9 Women Who Are Changing Chicago” in Michigan Avenue magazine
  • Believes in teaching students how to think critically about the social and political environment as part of the design process; her research is tied to how current economic forces shape perceptions of urban design and architecture
  • Holds a B.A. in architecture and art history from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles

College of Science

Maggie X. Cheng

  • Joins the Department of Applied Mathematics as an associate professor with tenure
  • Held tenured appointments in the computer science department of Missouri University of Science and Technology and in the Martin Tuchman School of Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Has expertise in network data analytics, in particular, anomaly detection and network inference; her research is on developing optimization and data analytics algorithms for networks and cyber-physical systems, and takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining mathematics, statistics, and computer science
  • Has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National University Transportation Centers

Sergey Nadtochiy

  • Joins the Department of Applied Mathematics as an associate professor
  • Is a well-recognized researcher in the areas of mathematical finance, stochastic analysis, stochastic processes, and game theory
  • Has been supported with research funding from the National Science Foundation including the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award
  • Holds degrees from Moscow State University and Princeton University, was a postdoc at Oxford University, and served on the faculty of the University of Michigan

Ola Tannous

  • Joins the Department of Computer Science as a senior lecturer
  • Worked as an engineer in R&D at Caterpillar Inc.
  • Conducts research involving the reliability analysis of warm standby systems using various methods
  • Holds a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Rujia Wang

  • Joins the Department of Computer Science as an assistant professor
  • Does research that involves designing secure and reliable memory architectures for future computing systems; her interests span multiple areas, including novel memory architecture, secure computing architecture, system reliability, and high-performance computing
  • Holds Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.E. from Zhejiang University

Lewis College of Human Sciences

Xiaoqian Li

  • Joins the Department of Humanities as an assistant professor of digital humanities who will be teaching courses in social network analysis, communication and media theory, and user experience
  • Performs research that focuses on access to digital technology in disadvantaged communities, digital privacy, and social networking among Chinese international students
  • Was the project manager for the digital inclusion evaluation segment of the Unlocking the Connection Initiative, a program funded, in part, by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin and the Ford Foundation
  • Has produced seven publications and has several works under review; she has received several awards including the outstanding research assistant award in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin (UTA)
  • Holds a master’s degree in statistics and a Ph.D. in media studies from UTA

Naum Neskoski

  • Joins the Department of Humanities as a lecturer; he has served for several years as an adjunct instructor and writing center tutor, and will be teaching University Writing and continuing to tutor students individually
  • Is dedicated to fostering the development of writing skills for all students through a variety of traditional and unconventional strategies
  • Holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics and TESOL from the University of Illinois at Chicago

School of Applied Technology

Maurice E. Dawson

  • Joins the Department of Information Technology and Management as an assistant professor who will also serve as director of Illinois Tech’s National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education
  • Was an assistant professor of information systems–cyber security at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he held several positions in cybersecurity
  • Is a Fulbright Scholar and a senior research fellow of the American Leadership & Policy Foundation
  • Is founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Hyperconnectivity and the Internet of Things, and has produced more than 100 research publications and received several funded grants
  • Holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Colorado Technical University and a Ph.D. in cyber security from London Metropolitan University

Yong Zheng

  • Joins the Department of Information Technology and Management (ITM) as an assistant professor; came to Illinois Tech as an ITM postdoc in 2016
  • Has more than 50 research publications in the field of recommender systems, a branch of data analytics
  • Is a member of both the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society, has served in important positions for numerous professional ACM conferences, and has received initial funding from the National Science Foundation
  • Holds a Ph.D. in computer and information science from DePaul University