School of Engineering recruits 3 new faculty members

The Vanderbilt University School of Engineering announces the appointment of three new faculty members to its full-time teaching staff. They are Hiba Baroud, Maithilee Kunda and Ethan Lippmann.


After completing a Ph.D. at Oklahoma University’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Hiba Baroud has joined the civil and environmental engineering department as an assistant professor.

Her research work explores Bayesian methods to study the likelihood of disruptive events in infrastructure networks, as well as addresses the resilience to and interdependent impacts of disruptions to infrastructure networks. She has used Bayesian kernel methods – a data mining tool – to quantify resilience metrics, and she applied this tool to model potential disruptions on inland waterway networks in the United States.

She earned her master’s of mathematics in actuarial science from the University of Waterloo, Canada, where she focused her research on the application of statistics, particularly time series models, to analyze financial data. Prior to that, she obtained her B.S. in actuarial science from Notre Dame University, Lebanon.


Maithilee Kunda will join the computer science and computer engineering department as an assistant professor on Jan. 1, 2016, from Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing.

Her work in artificial intelligence (AI) and computational cognitive systems seeks to understand what role visual representations of knowledge play in learning and intelligent behavior. In particular, her research aims to leverage findings from studies of human intelligence to build increasingly more intelligent machines that approach human-level performance on a variety of tasks, as well as to use innovations in technology and computational modeling to advance basic research into cognition and to create positive, real-world impact in the domains of education and neuropsychological assessment.

She earned her B.S. in mathematics with computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Ethan Lippmann has joined the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering as an assistant professor from the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery where he was a postdoctoral fellow.

His research focuses on using various stem cell sources to model the blood-brain barrier in vitro. Notably, he devised a method to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into endothelial cells possessing a blood-brain barrier phenotype. As a postdoctoral fellow jointly in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, he developed novel strategies for generating neural cells from hPSCs.

Ethan Lippmann holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering