CAEE is excited to welcome Jun-Whan Lee, Christopher Rausch, C. Tyler Dick, Yulan (Emma) Zhang, and Alexandra Saracho to the department! This esteemed group of cross-disciplinary faculty will bring expansive knowledge and research to the CAEE faculty.

Jun-Whan Lee
Assistant Professor, Mechanics, Uncertainty, and Simulation in Engineering

Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2021. He completed his B.S. (2012) and M.S. (2014) degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Hanyang University, South Korea. Dr. Lee studies coastal hazards such as storm surges and tsunamis using numerical modeling, machine learning, and field observations. His research interests include coastal hazard forecasting, probabilistic hazard assessment, nature-based solutions for coastal hazards, sea level rise vulnerability, and ocean resource management.

Christopher Rausch
Assistant Professor, Construction Engineering and Project Management

Dr. Rausch obtained his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, where he created geometric algorithms to improve the construction lifecycle of industrialized buildings. Prior to this, he obtained an accelerated master’s degree and an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Rausch has also worked in industry in various roles linked to computational design, laser scanning, asset management, building information modelling and project management. Dr. Rausch’s research focuses on developing new algorithms and digital processes to support the sustainable growth of new infrastructure and the intelligent adaptation of existing infrastructure. 

C. Tyler Dick
Assistant Professor, Transportation Engineering

Dr. Tyler Dick holds a B.Sc. (1999) in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba and a M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2019) in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. Previsously, Dr. Dick was a Research Associate Professor, Lecturer and Principal Research Engineer with the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  He spent 11 years as a railway design engineer with HDR Engineering where he attained the title of Professional Associate in recognition of his expertise in railway yard and terminal design. His current research is focused on railway mainline, yard and terminal capacity, design and interaction; railway network operations and performance resiliency; operations potential of advanced railway traffic control systems with virtual and moving blocks; railway energy efficiency and alternative energy locomotives; technology-assisted train operations and self-propelled autonomous railcars; and predictive analytics for operations and maintenance planning. Dr. Dick is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, and is actively involved in several TRB, ASCE and AREMA committees, and the INFORMS Railway Application Section. He is Chair of the TRB Joint Subcommittee on Railway Capacity and Performance, Secretary of AREMA Committee 16 (Economics of Railway Engineering & Operations), and is on the board of the International Association of Railway Operations Research.

Yunlan (Emma) Zhang
Assistant Professor, Structural Engineering

Dr. Yunlan Zhang (Emma) received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from The Ohio State University, and pursued a PhD at Purdue University, where she studied mechanical metamaterials and bioinspired materials. Dr. Zhang then worked for approximately two years at the University of Oxford, applying this knowledge to the design of deployable medical devices. Her research interests include mechanical metamaterials, advanced structures, and additive manufacturing. She combines her knowledge of structures and materials to create innovative structures that vary from deployable medical devices to resilient infrastructures. 

Alexandra Saracho
Assistant Professor, Geotechnical Engineering

Dr. Alexandra Clarà Saracho is a Research Fellow and Affiliated Lecturer in Engineering active in the field of bio-mediated soil processes and sustainable geotechnical engineering practices. She obtainted both her MRes. and PhD. in Civil and Geotechnical Engineering, respectively, at the University of Cambridge. Prior to this, she received a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona. Dr. Saracho's interest lies in understanding the microbial processes involved in the formation of calcium carbonates by soil-dwelling bacteria, and the relationship between the microstructure of the minerals they form and the macroscopic hydro-thermo-mechanical response of carbonate cemented soils. At the intersection between the biological sciences, materials chemistry and engineering, Dr Clarà Saracho addresses key questions of sustainable and resilient infrastructure, where fundamental research, physical modelling and technology transfer can be integrated in collaboration with industry.