CEE Department Welcomes Five New Faculty for 2023-24

The Northeastern University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) welcomes five new faculty members as part of a multi-year expansion in scope and capacity. The faculty, representing continued investment in a wide range of research and teaching objectives, will join the department at our Boston campus starting in the Fall 2023 semester and onwards.

Serena Alexander, PhD

Dr. Serena Alexander joins CEE as an Associate Professor, jointly appointed with her home department in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She received her PhD in Urban Studies and Public Affairs from Cleveland State University and has focused her studies on urban policy and development. Prior to joining Northeastern, she was a Visiting Scholar of Climate Policy and Resilience at the US Department of Transportation and a professor at San Jose State University. Her expertise in public and climate policy of the built and natural environment are a critical perspective for engineers to understand urban spaces and the effects of their work.

Khaled Ghannam, PhD

Dr. Khaled Ghannam joins the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor. He is the first faculty member brought in under a multi-year iSUPER expansion of faculty addressing urban pollution and air quality. After receiving his PhD in Environmental Sciences from Duke University in 2017, Ghannam joined Princeton University as a postdoctoral research associate, before becoming an associate research scholar there in conjunction with NOAA. His research is in atmospheric and oceanic sciences modeling and simulation, with specific focus on boundary-layer meteorology and turbulence.

Shang Liu, PhD

Dr. Shang Liu joins CEE as an Assistant Professor, beginning in January 2024. He received his PhD in Earth Sciences from University of California San Diego in 2012. Prior to joining Northeastern, he served as a scientist in the Research Division of the California Air Resources Board and a faculty member at University of Science and Technology of China. His research focuses on the measurement of atmospheric aerosols at the local, regional, and global levels. Dr. Liu is also an iSUPER member.

Eleonora Maria Tronci, PhD

Dr. Eleonora Maria Tronci joins CEE as an Assistant Professor. She received PhDs from Columbia University and Sapienza University of Rome. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence, cross domain transfer and data analytics applied to structural health monitoring and infrastructure design. Prior to joining Northeastern, she was a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University, where she researched structural health monitoring and performance assessment for offshore wind infrastructures and metocean data prediction leveraging coastal buoy systems.

Nancy Varney, PhD, PE

Dr. Nancy Varney joins the department as an Associate Teaching Professor. Prior to joining Northeastern, Varney has served as a part-time faculty for the department for many years while working as a structural engineer at LeMessurier Associates and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. She has also taught courses at WIT and UT Austin. Varney will bring her considerable industry experience in structural engineering design, including sustainable and resilient engineering practices, to her work at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Related Departments:Civil & Environmental Engineering