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The University of Texas at El Paso is pleased to announce the following new faculty and staff members have joined the College of Engineering.

Dr. Carlos M. Chang Albitres

Carlos M. Chang Albitres, Ph.D., has been named Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. Dr. Chang’s background includes pavements and materials, pavement management, asset management and knowledge management.

His research interests include infrastructure management, pavement management, pavement design, pavement evaluation, asset management and knowledge management.

Dr. Chang is currently involved in a number of research projects for the Texas Department of Transportation and is also part of a project for the Metropolitan Transportation System in California to provide guidance on Pavement Management System Procedures. He is recognized as an international consultant in the field and has participated as an expert in major highway projects. He has also developed training courses related to pavement management, pavement design and asphalt.


D. Wei Qian

Wei Qian, Ph.D., joins the College of Engineering as Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also serves as Director of the Medical Imaging and Bioinformatics Program. Before joining the faculty at UTEP, Dr. Qian was the Director of the Medical Imaging Program in the Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute at the University of South Florida.

His research experience includes medical imaging, biomedical imaging, molecular imaging, particularly in computer-aided cancer detection and diagnosis or remote detection and diagnosis for digital mammography, x-ray lung chest images, lung CT images, cellular images and molecular images, integrating intelligent techniques including the use of neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms and evolution algorithms in simulation, modeling, and design of high performance and robust systems.

He has been awarded 5 US patents in the area of medical imaging and image processing. Three of the patents have been licensed and commercialized by the Kodak Company.

Dr. Qian earned his bachelor’s and master’s from the Nanjing Institute of Telecommunications in China. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University in China.

Dr. Eric D. Smith.

Eric D. Smith, Ph.D., has been named Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering. His research interests include systems engineering, decision making in parallel, with tradeoffs and with consideration for cognitive biases, complex and self-organizing systems, industrial risk management and multi-attribute utility theory.

Dr. Smith earned both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arizona in Systems Engineering and Systems and Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering, respectively.




Dr. Tao Xu.

Tao Xu, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as Assistant Professor. Dr. Xu is a pioneer researcher in the field of cell inkjet printing. His work with organ printing and new amniotic fluid stem cell development received national and international attention from many leading media outlets including CNN, CBS, ABC, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and Science Magazine. He owns 1 US patent and 4 pending World patents and has published 4 book chapters, 18 journal papers, and numerous conference proceedings and abstracts.

His research interests include cell and organ printing for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, bio-inspired material development for stem cell niches, clinical-based biomaterials, and high-throughput biosensors.

Dr. Xu earned his bachelor’s degree in Polymeric Materials from Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics and his master’s degree in Radio-immunoassay from the China Institute of Atomic Energy in Beijing, China. He received his Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from Clemson University in 2005.

John Dullnig

John Dullnig has been named Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Research Institute of Materials and Engineering Systems (RIMES) at UTEP.

An officer in residence from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Dullnig teaches in the Systems Engineering program and assists with research at RIMES. Dullnig has served with the CIA for almost 20 years and has assignments with the Directorate of Science & Technology, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the Community Open Source Program Office and the Enterprise Program Management Office in the CIO area. Dullnig has also served as an engineer in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Program.

He earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland as well as a Masters of Information Management from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the National Defense University and holds the Chief Information Officer certification from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is also certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

His research interests are in complexity, knowledge management and affinity research groups as applied to systems engineering and project management.

Dr. Nil Ergin

Nil Ergin, Ph.D. has joined the College of Engineering as Research Assistant Professor for the Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems (RIMES).

She received her degree in Systems Engineering from the Missouri University of Science & Technology (MS&T), her master’s degree in Engineering Management from MS&T and her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University.

Her research interests are model driven systems architecting, analysis of system of systems, complex adaptive systems, artificial life with emphasis on multi-agent modeling and intelligent cognitive architectures.



Sandra Aguirre Covarrubias

Sandra Aguirre-Covarrubias has been named Assistant Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering.

Previously at the Center for Interamerican and Border Studies at UTEP, she coordinated several bi-national projects for the center and acted as the México Liaison with UTEP's Graduate School.

As Assistant Director of Graduate Studies, she will help Dr. Carlos Ferregut and the Departmental Graduate Directors to develop and implement recruitment plans for the Masters and PH.D. programs.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from UTEP and master’s degree in Educational Administration with a focus in Higher Education Administration from New Mexico State University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from UTEP.

John A. Pallares joins the College as lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering with more than eleven years of experience in the field. His field experience includes quality assurance, test equipment maintenance & operations with focus areas in troubleshooting design and manufacturing anomalies related to product test and equipment.

Pallares earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UTEP. He received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from New Mexico State University.