The graduate faculty who teach in the systems engineering master's degree program consists of members who have teaching and research interests in the area of systems engineering.
Joanna F. DeFranco
Joanna F. DeFranco, assistant professor of information science, earned her Ph.D. in computer and information sciences from New Jersey Institute of Technology, an M.S. in computer engineering from Villanova University, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Penn State. She teaches several courses in software and systems engineering as well as information science, including project management, problem solving, and software systems design. Prior to entering higher learning in 2001, Dr. DeFranco worked in industry as a software engineer for Motorola and for the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania.
Nil H. Ergin
Nil H. Ergin, assistant professor of systems engineering, earned her Ph.D. in systems engineering and master of science in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla (currently known as Missouri University of Science and Technology). She also holds a baccalaureate degree in environmental engineering from Istanbul Technical University. Prior to joining Penn State Great Valley, Dr. Ergin taught at The University of Texas at El Paso and University of Missouri-Rolla. Dr. Ergin's research interests include model-based systems engineering, system of systems, systems architecting, and multi-agent systems. She teaches courses in systems engineering including systems integration, verification and validation, systems modeling, and systems architecture.
Kathryn W. Jablokow
Kathryn W. Jablokow, associate professor of mechanical engineering, earned her Ph.D., MSEE, and BSEE from The Ohio State University. She was a NSF/NATO postdoctoral Fellow at the Technical University of Rhineland-WestPhalia in Aachen, Germany. Dr. Jablokow served in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University Park. She teaches courses in robotics, problem solving, and engineering ethics, and her research includes computational dynamics, invention, and problem solving in science and engineering.
Phillip A. Laplante
Phillip A. Laplante, professor of software engineering and registered professional engineer, earned his Ph.D. in computer science, M.Eng. in electrical engineering, and B.S. in systems planning and management from Stevens Institute of Technology. He also earned an MBA from the University of Colorado. Dr. Laplante teaches courses in software engineering, including project management and advanced design and analysis. His research focuses on software project management and he has published more than 140 articles and 22 books. The former college president and dean created and leads a regional community of practice for CIOs and CTOs and serves as an executive coach for many corporations.
John I. McCool
John I. McCool, distinguished professor of systems engineering, received his Ph.D. in statistics from Temple University, and his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Drexel University. He teaches courses in statistics, experiment design, reliability, statistical process control, applied data mining, probability models, and optimization. His research includes statistical inference for the Weibull distribution and industrial statistics. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality and received the Irwin S. Hoffer Award from the ASQ’s Philadelphia Section for the promotion of statistical thinking.
Colin Neill, associate professor of software engineering and assistant division head of engineering and information science, earned his Ph.D. in software and systems engineering, M.Sc. in communication systems, and BEng in electrical engineering from the University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom. He teaches many courses in software and systems engineering, including software architecture, project management, and systems thinking. Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Neill worked in manufacturing systems and engineering management with University of Wales, Swansea; Oxford University; the Rover Car Company; and British Aerospace. He has written more than 50 articles on software design, architecture, and project management.
James Nemes, division head and professor of mechanical engineering, earned his M.Sc. and D.Sc. from The George Washington University and his BEng from the University of Maryland. Dr. Nemes was an associate professor and William Dawson Scholar at McGill University, where he was interim dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies. Dr. Nemes’ research focuses on material behavior, particularly the development of models to describe deformation and fracture. He has published more than 100 articles. Dr. Nemes has also held a number of positions in industry and government, including at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
Michael J. Piovoso
Michael J. Piovoso, professor of electrical engineering, earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, and B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware. Dr. Piovoso spent more than 32 years with The DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware. At DuPont, he did research in control of chemical processes, applications of chemometrics to process systems, neural networks, and instrumentation development. His research centers on control of complex dynamic systems, monitoring of complex processes and control systems, and data mining.
David W. Russell
David W. Russell, professor of electrical engineering, was awarded his Ph.D. by the Council for National Academic Awards, United Kingdom, and his BEng in electrical engineering from the University of Liverpool. He teaches courses in operating systems, real-time artificial intelligence, and systems design. Dr. Russell has taught at Villanova University, Howard University, and John Moores University. He publishes research and lectures worldwide on the control of unstable systems, information systems, and design for intelligence. Dr. Russell is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the IEE. He was senior division head for engineering and information science from 1994 to 2006.
Raghvinder S. Sangwan
Raghvinder S. Sangwan, assistant professor of information science, holds a Ph.D. in computer and information sciences from Temple University. He teaches analysis, design, and development of software systems, their architecture, and analytical evaluation of "great works" of software using manual and code reading. Prior to joining Penn State Great Valley, he worked for Siemens as a lead architect on geographically distributed development projects. He is a technical consultant for Siemens Corporate Research, investigating approaches to managing global software development projects. Dr. Sangwan’s research includes requirements engineering and software architecture. He is an author of Global Software Development Handbook.
Kailasam Satyamurthy, assistant professor of engineering and management, earned his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Clemson University and an MBA from Penn State. Dr. Satyamurthy teaches decision and risk analysis, business statistics, and continuous improvement courses. Before joining Penn State, he was a senior manager at Vanguard for eight years and head of engineering at GenCorp for 20 years. At GenCorp, Dr. Satyamurthy did extensive research in the mathematical modeling and developed methodologies and algorithms for the nonlinear finite element analysis of mechanical systems under mechanical and thermal loadings. He is also a Six Sigma (6σ) Master Black Belt and has trained numerous professionals in manufacturing, transactional, and healthcare industries.