Liu, Yu named as Future Faculty Fellows

New Rice Engineering program supports Ph.D. and postdoctoral students interested in pursuing academic careers.

Lu Liu and Pingfeng Yu

The George R. Brown School of Engineering has launched a Future Faculty Fellows program to support Ph.D. and postdoctoral students who are interested in pursuing academic careers.

“The goal of the program is to help our students become more competitive for faculty positions. Fellows will receive support in preparing all elements of the faculty application and interview,” said Anjli Kumar, administrative research manager for the engineering school.

Tracy Volz, director of the school’s Engineering Communications Program, will aid fellows in preparing their written statements, curriculum vitae and faculty interview presentation. The dean of engineering and chair of the fellow’s department will conduct mock faculty interviews and provide feedback to strengthen interview skills.

Fellows will attend workshops designed to support them as they prepare for faculty interviews. To enhance teaching skills, fellows will complete a practicum in which they teach or co-teach a course within their discipline. The Center for Teaching and Excellence will provide training and observation evaluations. A monetary award of $4,000 will support each fellow for speaking at conferences and university seminars.

Rice Engineering has named its first 11 fellows including Lu Liu and Pingfeng Yu.

Lu Liu is a postdoctoral research associate in civil and environmental engineering, working in the lab of Qilin Li, professor of CEE. Her research areas include integrated water resources management, systems analysis for integrated water and energy systems, climate change impacts on the water-energy nexus, and urban environmental sustainability. Liu earned her Ph.D. in water resources engineering from the University of Maryland in 2017. Before that she worked as a researcher with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she focused on developing water modules within integrated assessment models. Her primary focus is developing modeling tools and databases to characterize urban water system and enhance system resiliency.

Pingfeng Yu is a postdoctoral researcher in civil and environmental engineering and the NSF Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment. He received his B.S. in environmental health engineering and in economics from Tsinghua University in 2011 and his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Rice in 2017. His research interests include controlling environmental antibiotic resistance, the environmental application of natural and engineered nanomaterials, and wastewater treatment.