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New Faculty Members Delve Into Biomedical Engineering, Device Security

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Two new faculty members in computer engineering began their teaching and research careers this fall in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. A third new faculty member, a mechanical engineer,  joins the university in January.

Ankita Mohapatra

Ankita Mohapatra

Assistant professor of computer engineering
Ph.D., M.S. electrical and computer engineering, University of Memphis
Bachelor of Technology in electrical engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, India

Research interests: Implantable and controllable drug delivery systems; wearable sensors for holistic health data collection; and signal processing techniques to solve various load scheduling and to ensure power quality.

Most impactful academic experience: My biggest achievement was receiving the gold medal by The Institution of Engineers in Odisha, India, for best research paper. My research focused on using neural networks to predict electricity demand of an area so that power-generating units are prepared to take on that load, and thus avoid power outages.

Something you’d like others to know: I love all activities that combine outdoors and nature. I am a photography enthusiast and love photographing landscapes.

Favorite movie: Anything (Quentin) Tarantino

Juan Portillo

Juan Portillo

Assistant professor of computer engineering
Ph.D., M.S., B.S. electrical engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio

Research interests: Improving the security of digital devices, including mobile phones and computers; and making digital technologies accessible to all segments of society.

Most impactful academic experience: Building an autonomous maze-racing robot for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student chapter at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Something you’d like others to know: Some of my best high school English essays were written while commuting in the back of a red 1979 Ford Explorer.

Favorite book: “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Justin Tran

Justin Tran

Assistant professor of mechanical engineering (starts January 2019)
Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, Stanford University
M.S. mechanical engineering, University of California, San Diego
B.S. mechanical engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

Research interests: How engineering connects with the medical world, including using engineering tools for medical applications, and computers to virtually simulate blood flow through the body to study heart and blood diseases.

Most impactful academic experience: I took a physics class at the end of my freshman year, and even though the class was hard, the professor was undoubtedly passionate about student learning. He showed me that professors do not have to check their personality at the door when they teach, so I hope to apply these lessons to my own teaching.

Something you’d like others to know: I’m excited to come to Cal State Fullerton and share my passion for teaching and engineering. I grew up in Cypress, so this area is my home. 

Favorite movie: “Rush Hour 2”