UAH College of Engineering is proud to announce the arrival of nine new faculty members this fall:

Eric Merschman

Eric MerschmanEric Merschman is a Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2022. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the area of structural engineering and mechanics. Before joining the University of Alabama in Huntsville, he taught as a Lecturer at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. During his time as a doctoral student, his research focused on increasing resilience of infrastructure systems for coastal communities exposed to hurricanes and storm surge. Dr. Merschman obtained his Professional Engineering license in 2021 and has worked on various projects both locally and across the country.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, graduated May 2022
  • Master of Engineering, graduated December 2015
  • Bachelor of Engineering, graduated May 2013

Avimanyu Sahoo

Avimanyu SahooDr. Avimanyu Sahoo joins the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor. Prior to joining the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr. Sahoo was an Associate Professor (mechatronics) at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. He received a Masters of Technology (MTech) and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, India, and Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, USA, in 2015.

Dr. Sahoo’s research interest includes learning-based control and its applications in cyber-physical systems, electric machinery health monitoring, lithium-ion battery pack modeling, diagnostics, and prognostics. Currently, his research focuses on developing computation and communication efficient distributed intelligent control schemes for cyber-physical systems using approximate dynamic programming, reinforcement learning, adaptive state estimation, and intelligent battery management systems (BMS) for lithium-ion battery packs used onboard electric vehicles.

Hanumanthrao “Rao” Kannan

Rao KannanDr. Hanumanthrao “Rao” Kannan joins the Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management department as an Assistant Professor. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech since 2018. Dr. Kannan received a B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Anna University, India in 2010, an M.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 2011, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 2015. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Iowa State University and Virginia Tech. In 2018, Dr. Kannan was awarded the James E. Long Memorial Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the INCOSE foundation to advance the state of the practice of systems thinking or the systems perspective. Dr. Kannan is a member of INCOSE, AIAA and IISE. His research focuses on improving the Systems Engineering process by developing novel theoretical foundations that enable rigorous methodologies. His research is transdisciplinary in nature involving disciplines including Decision Analysis, formal philosophy, and engineering design. Additionally, his research focuses on the intersection of Systems Engineering for Artificial Intelligence (SE for AI), and Artificial Intelligence for Systems Engineering (AI for SE).

Nick Ginga

Nick GingaDr. Nick Ginga received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from The College of New Jersey. During his graduate career, his research focused on the development of a new thin film fracture test technique and the characterization and fabrication of carbon nanotube forests for electronic package interconnects. After graduate school he continued as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan in Biomedical Engineering where his research focused on microfluidic devices. He also performed research in the Mechanical Engineering department on atomic layer deposited (ALD) thin films for modifying interfacial toughness of composite systems. He then returned to Georgia Tech as a postdoctoral researcher in both Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering while also lecturing in the Mechanical Engineering department. Most recently he has been a lecturer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department.

Dr. Ginga’s research interests include mechanical testing and finite element modeling of flexible electronics and electronic packaging, fabrication and characterization of nano/microstructures and devices, and the interface of nano/micro fabrication and biosystems.

John Bennewitz

John BennewitzDr. John Bennewitz joins the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (2005), M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (2010), and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in Mechanical Engineering (2015). Prior to joining UAH, Dr. Bennewitz was a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles Energy and Propulsion Research Laboratory studying acoustically-coupled fuel droplet combustion, and began working at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in 2016. At AFRL, he was a senior research scientist working within the Rocket Combustion Devices Branch at Edwards Air Force Base, serving as the principal investigator for the rotating detonation rocket engine (RDRE) program. In this role, he directed the technical efforts for both the experimental and high-fidelity modeling groups towards demonstrating the benefits of a detonation-based rocket propulsion cycle. Under this effort, over 2500 successful hot-fire RDRE tests were performed to identify operability, quantify performance and capture detonation wave dynamics to advance understanding for increased engine performance. Dr. Bennewitz’s present research interests focus on fundamental detonation physics, advanced propulsion and acoustically-coupled combustion.

Nathan Spulak

Nathan SpulakDr. Nathan Spulak’s research involves combining the disciplines of experimental solid mechanics and finite element modeling. His research interests include developing new experimental techniques to investigate the mechanical behavior of materials under extreme conditions such as at high loading rates, elevated temperatures, and complex applied stress states. The experimental data is used in conjunction with finite element analysis to develop accurate, robust material deformation and fracture models. Such data and analysis are widely used in a variety of applications including military and defense, aerospace safety and design processes, and automotive crash-test worthiness. Dr. Spulak received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Ohio State University in 2022, and his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2016.

Yooseob Song

Yooseob SongYooseob Song, Ph.D., P.E. joins the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as an assistant professor. Before joining the University of Alabama in Huntsville, he worked as a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for three years. Dr. Song obtained a bachelor's and a master’s degrees from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea, and a doctoral degree from Louisiana State University. He has a six and a half years’ industry experience as a professional structural engineer at TESO engineering Co., Ltd. He is also a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of Texas.

Dr. Song’s primary research is in analytical and numerical aspects of solid mechanics. Specific interests include strain gradient continuum and crystal plasticity, crystal plasticity finite element method, AI assisted design of high-entropy alloys, mechanics of high-entropy alloys, numerical analysis of extreme loadings, piezoelectric energy harvesting, and high-performance cluster computing. He has authored 1 book, 2 book chapters, and 30+ journal papers.

Agnieszka Truszkowska

Agnieszka TruszkowskaDr. Agnieszka Truszkowska joins the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department as an assistant professor. Dr. Truszkowska gained her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology in 2009 from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University in 2014. Prior to joining UAH, she had three postdoctoral appointments, first at Oregon State University, second at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the most recent one at the New York University, Tandon School of Engineering. Dr. Truszkowska’s interests are scientific computing, with emphasis on software and model development, numerical methods, and high-performance computing. She has modeling experience in different fields of science and engineering, but her main areas are multiphysics and multiscale modeling in microtechnology-based devices, multiphase flows, and porous media flows.

James Williamson

James WilliamsonMr. James Williamson has been teaching at University of Alabama in Huntsville since he was a graduate teaching assistant in the department of Computer Science. He received a B.S. in Math and Computer Science in 2017 and a Master of Science in Cybersecurity in 2018. Prior to joining UAH as a lecturer, he worked as a Software Analyst for Intergraph PP&M (now Hexagon) and as a Cyber Analyst for Davidson Inc. He was also a radio operator in the US army once upon a time.