COE Welcomes New Faculty

Mehrshad Amini, Assistant Professor, CVE/OCE
Dr. Mehrshad Amini will join the University of Rhode Island in Fall 2023 as an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Ocean Engineering. He completed his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Pennsylvania State University in 2021. Before joining URI, Dr. Amini was a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University and has worked collaboratively with scholars at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Risk-based Community Resilience Planning. His research experience and interests lie in structural engineering, fluid-structure interaction modeling, multi-hazard analysis, risk assessment, and resilience modeling. He has developed a probabilistic framework leveraging computational fluid dynamic analysis combined with the Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the performance of elevated residential buildings against wind and wave effects. He has been engaged in different research projects, including developing computational frameworks to better understand the impact of multi-hazard events on life safety risks as well as economic resilience metrics in terms of direct and indirect economic losses for coastal communities vulnerable to earthquakes and near-field tsunamis. The outcome of his research results in effective mitigation strategies, safer design for structures, and ultimately enhancing the community’s resilience to natural hazards. He has multiple leadership experiences, including serving as the vice president of the Structural Engineering Institute Graduate Student Chapter at Penn State. He has also received several awards, including a two-time winner of the Roger Glunt Graduate Fellowship in Residential Building Construction from Pennsylvania State University.

Che-Wei Chang, Assistant Professor, OCE
Dr. Chang earned his PhD from Cornell University. Specializing in coastal engineering, he is dedicated to understanding nature-based solutions to mitigate coastal hazards and enhance coastal resilience in the face of rising seas and extreme weather events. He loves teaching and sees it as a way of making a difference. His teaching expertise lies in fluid mechanics, nearshore hydrodynamics, and coastal engineering. Beyond work, he enjoys hiking, gym sports, basketball, and baseball. He is a die-hard Red Sox fan. Prior to joining URI, he spent almost six rewarding years and served as an assistant professor at Kyoto University in Japan.

Sungho Kim, Assistant Professor, ECBE
Dr. Sungho Kim received Ph.D. from Arizona State University in the field of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits. He was a researcher at RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center, Kobe, Japan for three years. And then he came back to South Korea and joined Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, which is a research center of Samsung Electronics. In 2019, he joined NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an integrated circuit designer for space applications. His research interests include analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits at extreme environments, i.e. space or cryogenic.

Bradford Knight, Assistant Professor, OCE
Dr. Knight is an Assistant Professor in the Ocean Engineering Department at the University of Rhode Island. His research interests include naval hydrodynamics and ocean renewable energy. His research utilizes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and data-driven modeling techniques to investigate topics such as hull-propeller-rudder interaction, vessel maneuvering, vessel seakeeping, and hydrokinetic/wind turbine fluid dynamics.

He received his Ph.D in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in 2021 from the University of Michigan and was subsequently a Research Fellow in the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan. His teaching interests include topics related to hydrodynamics, CFD, as well as naval architecture and marine engineering.

Darko Ljubic, Assistant Teaching Professor, CHE


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University, 2018
  • D., Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 2017
  • Sc., Chemistry, Pittsburg State University, 2012
  • Eng., Materials Engineering, Faculty of Technology Novi Sad, 2011
  • Eng., Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Technology Novi Sad, 2010

Teaching/Research Interests:

  • Engineering Education
  • International Education
  • Laboratory Education
  • Experiential Learning
  • Industrial chemistry
  • Organic electronics and semiconductors
  • Polymer science and engineering
  • Material science and engineering
  • Environmental engineering

Fall 2023 Teaching Assignments:

  • Fluid Mechanics (ChE 347)
  • Introduction to Materials (ChE 333)
  • Two senior labs ChE 445 and ChE 491

Xiaowei Shang, Assistant Teaching Professor, ECBE
Xiaowei Shang earned her Ph. D. from New Jersey Institute of Technology in the major of Computer Science. Her research interests are computer architecture and computer system, mainly focusing on memory system optimization. She also enjoys teaching. She was an instructor in the University of Rhode Island. She is excited to explain what she learned to others and help the students solving the problems. Outside work, she likes jogging and table tennis.

Meredith Westner, Assistant Teaching Professor, MCISE
With over eight years of experience as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Rhode Island, Meredith Westner has taught large classes in both laboratory and lecture settings and has been involved in preparing reports for ABET accreditation. Furthermore, she possesses extensive expertise spanning over eighteen years in various roles within industrial manufacturing organizations, where she led cross-functional teams for process improvement, quality assurance, MRP systems implementation and maintenance, product development, and customer service. Her proficiency in value stream mapping, ISO quality standards, and statistical process control further enhances her ability to lead project teams in designing and improving manufacturing processes to meet organizational goals. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island, along with various certifications in leadership, Six Sigma, and food safety management.