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McMaster Engineering welcomes eight new faculty members and appoints five August 5, 2020

Eight new faculty members have joined the Faculty of Engineering; three in Computing & Software and five at the W Booth School for Engineering Practice & Technology. Five current faculty are entering new roles.

“I’m pleased to welcome and congratulate new faculty who will continue to help McMaster Engineering strive for excellence, particularly during this challenging time,” said Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of Engineering. “They are part of a community that embraces change, pivots research to support COVID-19 and other grand challenge solutions, and ensures students are successful in both virtual and physical settings.” 

Learn more about our new and newly appointed faculty.


Carlos Filipe, Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering

Filipe returns after year on sabbatical to his role as Chair for the Department of Chemical Engineering. His research group is driven to develop simple and low-cost technologies that contribute towards creating a healthier society. Most recently, it was announced that his research team will team up with Toyota Tsusho Canada Inc. to move a new food-safety technology from the lab to the marketplace. Filipe received his B.Sc. at the Catholic Portuguese University in 1993 and a PhD at Clemson University in 1999.

Rafi Kleiman, Chair, Department of Engineering Physics

Kleiman is both a Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and the Director, Laboratory for Advanced Photovoltaic Research.  His research focuses on the development of viable sustainable energy resources through highly efficient and low cost photovoltaic devices. Kleiman received his SB in Physics at MIT, an MSc and his PhD in Physics at Cornell University.

Gregory R. Wohl, Co-Director (Engineering) of the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (iBioMed/iBEHS) Program

Gregory Wohl joined the Faculty in 2007 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He will work with current co-Director (Health Sciences), Michelle MacDonald, in overseeing the program over the coming years. In his research, Wohl is interested in the biological mechanisms that mediate bone formation in response to loading and injury. He also explores the role of nutrition on bone adaptation. He was awarded with the President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning for 2015-2016 and the McMaster Students Union (MSU) Teaching Award in 2013. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph. D. from the University of Calgary.

Ravi Selvaganapathy, Acting Co-Director (Engineering) of the School of Biomedical Engineering

Selvaganapathy joined the Faculty in 2005 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is currently a Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering. He is also the Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics. Recently, Selvaganapathy helped to establish the Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials, a network of engineers, clinicians, manufacturers and companies dedicated to improving personal protective equipment products and supply chains in Canada. He and the current co-Director (Health Sciences), Ram Mishra, will lead the School of Biomedical Engineering through an IQAP review in the upcoming academic year. Selvaganapathy completed his B.S. in chemical and electrochemical engineering (1998) from Central Electrochemical Research Institute, India. He then obtained his M.S and Ph.D in electrical engineering (2002) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratories from 2003-2004. His research focuses on the development of microfluidic devices for drug discovery, drug delivery, diagnostics and artificial organs.

Andre Phillion, Acting Director, Experiential Learning (formerly, Director, Engineering I)

Phillion joined the Faculty in 2016 in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He is a Materials Science & Engineering Associate Professor and Associate Chair. In this new role, he will support student development through experiential learning, and work with students and faculty members to develop multidisciplinary curriculum that excites and motivates students to learn through engineering design activities. Phillion received his PhD from the Department of Materials Engineering at The University of British Columbia in 2007. He spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at EPFL, Switzerland in LSMX Computational Materials, followed by six years as a faculty member in the School of Engineering at The University of British Columbia.

New Faculty

Neerja Mhaskar, Assistant Professor (CLA), Computing and Software

Prior to her new role, Mhaskar was a post-doctoral fellow/visiting researcher in the Department of Computing and Software at McMaster University. She completed her PhD in Computer Science in August 2016 from McMaster, received a Master's degree in Engineering Science from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad in India. Her research focuses on algorithms and data structures. In particular, she is interested in algorithms on strings for pattern matching, analyzing patterns in big data, developing tools and data structures for data compression, information retrieval, and analyzing patterns in commercial data to ensure privacy and security.

Rashid Abu-Ghazalah, Assistant Professor (teaching-track), W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Rashid completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto. After finishing his doctoral studies, Rashid joined the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Amr Helmy. Prior to joining McMaster, Rashid was an instructor of pharmacy at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto while working at an optical engineering firm. 

Vincent Maccio, Assistant Professor (teaching-track), Department of Computing and Software

Vincent Maccio completed his B.Eng, M.A.Sc., and PhD at McMaster University. His graduate research focused on stochastic models and how they relate to energy provisioning in data centres. During his time at McMaster, he taught an undergraduate course and quickly realized he had a passion for teaching and an interest in pedagogy. After graduating, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, at the University of Toronto in Mississauga, which he held for three years. Vincent is excited to return to McMaster and bring what he has learned over the past several years to its already strong teaching culture.

Kevin Browne, Assistant Professor (teaching-track), Department of Computing and Software

Kevin Browne has been teaching in post-secondary education since 2004. Most recently he was a full-time faculty member at Mohawk College where he taught courses focused on web development. Kevin was also a regular sessional instructor at McMaster University, teaching online courses for W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology’s Software Engineering Technology program. Kevin completed his PhD at McMaster University, where his research was focused on developing and testing mobile educational applications to teach introductory computer science concepts and adult literacy. He has been focused on developing the regional technology community through initiatives he has founded or co-founded, such as the Hamilton Code Club program that runs lunch hour learn-to-code clubs in Hamilton-area elementary schools, and the Software Hamilton news website focused on covering the local technology industry. 

Amin Reza Rajabzadeh, Assistant Professor (teaching-track), W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Amin Rajabzadeh specializes in the field of biochemical engineering with a focus on biosensors and online analyzers for characterization and monitoring of species in complex biological systems, bioseparation, bioprocess control, bioreactor design, and environmental engineering. Much of his research was devoted to exploring novel bioseparation processes for the production of high functional proteins from bioresources with applications in food and pharmaceutical industries. Rajabzadeh received his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and his M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at the Sharif University of Technology.

Moein Mehrtash, Assistant Professor (teaching-track), W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Moein Mehrtash received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in dynamics and control in 2003 and 2007, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in mechatronics from the University of Waterloo in 2013. In 2014, he joined McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, as an Assistant Professor. His current research interests include control system design, haptic teleoperation, and magnetic drive technology.

Silvie Tanu Halim, Assistant Professor, W. Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology

Silvie Tanu Halim has been a lecturer at McMaster since 2009. Prior to this she was a Mechanical Design Engineer at the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). She received her both her M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 and her B.Eng in Chemical Engineering 2006 at McMaster. During her Masters she explored the finite element of the orthogonal metal cutting process.

Zhen Gao, Assistant Professor, W. Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology

Zhao Gao specializes in automation engineering technology, engineering design, health technology and Industry 4.0 at W Booth. He received his PhD at the University of Science and Technology of China and his B.Eng at the China University of Mining and Technology. Most recently, Gao was the faculty lead on a project that explored whether smart technology can help the healing and treatment of patient’s wounds.