The School of Engineering Honors Outstanding Faculty Members

Fernando J. Muzzio and Charles M. Roth Recognized at Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception

Cherasia and Tyson Chairs Also Named Along with Promotions and Reappointments

The Rutgers University School of Engineering is pleased to announce the 2015 Faculty Award winners, following a nomination and selection process that included the School’s faculty, alumni, and friends. In recognition of their contributions to the School of Engineering through their achievements in scholarship, teaching, and service Fernando J. Muzzio, distinguished professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, has been named Faculty of the Year and Charles M. Roth, professor of both chemical and biochemical engineering and biomedical engineering, will receive the Outstanding Engineering Faculty award. 

“These awards are a source of great pride to the School of Engineering and the awardees are representative of the skills and accomplishments of our faculty,” said Thomas N. Farris, dean of the School of Engineering.  “In addition to recognizing the outstanding educational commitment of our faculty, the awards are also an excellent opportunity to highlight the leading-edge research that is taking place within the School of Engineering and in partnership with industry.”

The Outstanding Engineering Faculty awardee is nominated by a department chair and selected by the School of Engineering Industry Advisory Board. The Faculty of the Year awardee may be nominated by any member of the Rutgers engineering community and is selected by a committee which includes previous recipients of the School of Engineering’s Medal of Excellence and Faculty of the Year awards. Recipients receive an award ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to further their scholarship and research activities.

Other faculty awards include the Peter D. Cherasia Faculty Scholar Award which will be presented to Prosenjit Bagchi, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Established by Peter D. Cherasia ENG’84, this award recognizes and fosters excellence in teaching and scholarly activity in highly quantitative and computational aspects of engineering research related to financial problems.

The A. Walter Tyson Assistant Professorship Award will be presented to Mona Zebarjadi, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Established by A. Walter Tyson ENG’52, this award allows the school to recruit promising junior faculty.

Honored faculty were recognized at an awards ceremony and reception in the Elmer Easton Engineering Hub on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Faculty of the Year:  Fernando J. Muzzio

Fernando Muzzio joined the School of Engineering in 1991 and was named a distinguished professor in 2008. His current research interests include applying certain concepts of chaos theory, understanding interactions within certain multiphase flows, and the mixing of solid particulates. In 2006, he received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to establish the Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS), the world’s largest academic-based research organization dedicated to modernizing pharmaceutical manufacturing and dosage forms. Since the center’s founding, Rutgers engineers have designed and built one of the first full production-scale continuous solid oral dosage manufacturing lines and are working in collaboration with industry and the FDA to develop an understanding of the science that goes into designing and operating continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing systems for solid oral dosage forms. Muzzio has led efforts in not only expanding research and attracting students to the field through C-SOPS, but also in establishing a professional master’s degree in pharmaceutical engineering recognized by the State of New Jersey.

Muzzio has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, has graduated 28 PhD students, and oversees another 10 in the largest research group within the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. This group actively works with industry partners to solve problems at the highest levels. He serves on the board of many organizations within the university, and is the director or co-chair of many other interschool organizations dedicated to advancing understanding of nanoparticles and their applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

Outstanding Engineering Faculty:  Charles M. Roth

Joining Rutgers in 2000, Charles Roth is currently a professor of both chemical and biochemical engineering and biomedical engineering with a specialization in nanomedicine, focusing on systems biology and gene silencing. His impact includes combining education with research, helping students apply what they learn in the classroom on a practical level. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and National Institutes of Health, where he also serves as a member of the Gene and Drug Delivery Study Section. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles which have been cited nearly 2,000 times.

As an instructor, Roth has aided numerous undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D., and postdoctoral students, many of whom have joined industry, academia, and government organizations after earning their degrees. Within the School of Engineering he has developed two training programs and taught a Byrne Seminar for first-year students in addition to his normal undergraduate and graduate classes. He founded the BME Honors Academy and strives to bring undergraduate students and minorities into research positions within the BME and CBE departments. He was recently named the graduate director for CBE and oversaw a significant spike in enrollment, including bringing alumni into graduate programs at the university. He is currently helping to bring online an entirely internet-based engineering master’s degree program featuring the pharmaceutical engineering curriculum.

Promotions and Reappointments          
The School of Engineering is also pleased to announce the following faculty promotions: Prosenjit Bagchi, professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering; Kimberly Cook-Chennault, associate professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering; Marco Gruteser, professor, electrical and computer engineering; Liping Liu, associate professor, mathematics and mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Yangyong Zhang, professor, electrical and computer engineering.   

The following faculty members have been reappointed: Fuat Celik, assistant professor, chemical and biochemical engineering; Jie Gong, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering; Aaron Mazzeo, assistant professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Laleh Najafizadeh, assistant professor, electrical and computer engineering.