When it comes to athletics, the University of Mississippi and the University of Missouri are rivals. But when Shan Jiang decided it was time to begin his professional teaching and research career at an R1 institution, he didn’t find it too difficult to forsake the Tigers for the Rebels.
“I was a ‘Mizzou Tiger,’ but Ole Miss also had a long history and great reputation,” said the newest assistant professor in UM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “I learned of this position from my previous Ph.D. adviser, who is also actively conducting research in the area of computational solid mechanics. I accepted because I believe that I fit this position very well based on my background and research interests.”
Jiang teaches courses in statics, engineering graphics fundamentals, and numerical engineering design and analysis. His research interests include mechanics of materials and structures; multiscale modeling and simulations, and strength of advanced materials; atomic/molecular-level simulations; thermo-mechanical response of nano-/mesoscale structures to extreme loading conditions; blast-resistant structures and materials, energetic materials, shock simulations; and high-performance computation for simulation-based engineering science.
“My short-term career goals are publishing high-quality research papers (in) international, top-ranked, peer-review journals, successfully securing some external research grants, developing my own special style of teaching to realize effectively and efficiently learning for both undergraduate and graduate courses,” Jiang said.
“Long-term, I want to form a well-known research group focused on simulation-based engineering science at Ole Miss and to develop more advanced courses to meet the requirements of the fast-increasing student enrollments in the ME department.”
Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of the mechanical engineering department, said Jiang is an asset to the program and its students.
“Dr. Jiang brings exceptional talents in multidisciplinary research areas, including chemistry,” he said. “I am positive that Shan’s outgoing and easily approachable personality would lead to effective student interactions and synergism in the department. I am sure our students would love his teaching and perhaps performing undergraduate research under (him).”
Jiang said that receiving the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award in the College of Engineering at Mizzou is his most fulfilling achievement to date.
“I’ve been working so hard during my time there, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and writing 12 journal publications,” he said. “I think this award is a good reflection of my hard work.”
Formerly a postdoctoral research fellow in the Sewell and Thompson Theoretical Chemistry Research groups at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Jiang holds Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from there and in computational mechanics from Dalian University of Technology. He also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Dalian. His research involves multiscale modeling and simulation of advanced materials, engineering structures under extreme conditions and shock simulations of energetic materials and blast-resistant structures.
“I have participated in several research projects that have been funded by several agencies, such as the U.S. Defense (Threat) Reduction Agency, the U.S. Army Research Office and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research,” he said. “Under these projects, I have co-authored 20 peer-reviewed papers and two book chapters.”
Jiang and his wife, Cindy, have two sons: Aiden and Ethan. The couple enjoys playing games and watching funny kids’ movies with their boys.
“Sometimes, we go hiking and fishing outside to enjoy the nice weather,” he said.
And as for his SEC university loyalty?
“Joining the ME department is my honor,” Jiang said, “and Ole Miss is a great place for me to start my academic career. Hotty Toddy!”
For more about UM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, visit https://engineering.olemiss.edu/mechanical/