New Faculty 2018-2019

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Power of People

The William States Lee College of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is proud to announce the addition of our new faculty members for 2018-19. As educators and researchers, these individuals bring a wealth of experience and training from some of the best academic institutions and companies in the world.

Justin Biller

Lecturer, Engineering Technology and Construction Management
M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, 201

Mr. Biller is a registered fire protection engineer in multiple states including GA, NC, NY and VA, and is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS). He has been a consultant engineer for the past eight years on projects throughout the domestic US and globally, providing fire protection, life safety and code consulting services in the industrial/energy, government, higher education and healthcare market sectors, and has commenced work in forensic fire protection engineering applications..

Research interests:

  • Building evacuation
  • Forensic engineering
  • Code development
  • Entrepreneurship in consulting engineering


Dr. Chen Chen

Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas, 2016

Dr. Chen held a postdoctoral research associate position at the Center for Research in Computer Vision (CRCV), University of Central Florida, from July 2016 to June 2018. He received the David Daniel Fellowship Award (Best Doctoral Dissertation Award for ECS) from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2016. He has published over 50 papers in refereed journals and conferences, and is an associate editor for the journal KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems, Signal, Image and Video Processing, and Sensors.

Research interests:

  • Signal and image processing
  • Computer vision
  • Machine learning
Dr. Jerry Dahlberg

Associate Professor of Practice, Senior Design Committee Chair, Office of Student Development and Success
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, UNC Charlotte, 2018

Dr. Dahlberg worked at UNC Charlotte as a graduate student researcher in the Mechanical Engineering Department where he pursues his Ph.D. in experimental fluid dynamics. During his time at UNC Charlotte he has been a part of the College of Engineering Veteran STEM outreach program, University Student Launch Initiative, and a member of the University Military Affairs Committee. He served 21 years in the US Army and retired in 2010.

Research interests:

  • Experimental fluid dynamics
  • Molecular hydrodynamics
  • Veteran STEM education
Richard price

Lecturer, Engineering Technology and Construction Management
Master of Environmental Management, Duquesne University, 2008

Mr. Price has 32 years of professional environmental, health and safety experience, including 26 years in power generation/construction, six years in manufacturing, and six years as a firefighter/emergency medical technician.

Research interests:

  • Developing and teaching online asynchronous courses
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Dept. of Defense aircraft electronics
  • Building products
Dr. Kathryn Leigh Smith

Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, UNC Charlotte, 2018

Dr. Smith’s research focuses on the development of enabling technology for wireless communications, and specifically the electrical miniaturization and frequency-response improvement of antennas and metamaterials through incorporation of fractal-based geometric elements.

Research interests:

  • Electrically small antennas
  • Metamaterial-loaded antennas
  • Electromagnetic metamaterials
  • Fractals in electromagnetics
Ashley Spry

Lecturer, Engineering Technology and Construction Management
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State, 2015

Ms. Spry, a UNC Charlotte alumna, spent 9 years working in industry for Orano (previously AREVA) prior to joining UNC Charlotte. She held positions in equipment engineering, piping analysis, component design and stress analysis, project management, and proposal development.

Research interests:

  • Stress analysis
  • Nuclear energy
  • Nuclear fuel storage and transportation
Dr. Jun Xu

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University, 2014

Dr. Xu has fundamental research interests in impact dynamics, and comprehensive experience in automotive engineering research. He has published many articles in leading journals with frequent citations. He has served as the topic chair and session chair at IMECE and WCCM conferences, and has been a committee member of Fracture and Failure Mechanics, ASME, for more than five years.

Research interests:

  • Battery safety
  • Stress wave behavior and tuning
  • Vehicle crashworthiness