a city built by engineers.

Engineers create lasting impact on their environment and infrastructure.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “show your work.” Mostly in math class, where teachers want to see how you reached your conclusion—what you did right or where you went wrong. It allows students to learn and grow. For Temple Engineers, it’s the most important part of what we do.

Here, it goes beyond simply showing how we work out a problem (though that’s important, too). Engineering at Temple is where innovation and entrepreneurship meet, and where creativity blooms. Showing our work means anticipating needs and finding the roots of issues in order to make ourselves truly useful. We want to share our work with other colleges by actively engaging with them to solve issues that affect everyone, like clean water and cancer treatment. Our doors are open and—quite literally—transparent, meaning that we encourage curiosity and collaboration, especially as undergraduates. We believe that the earlier you get started, the more time you have to grow.

As engineers, we show our work all over the city and beyond. You’ll see it in parks and buildings, in your car, and on your phone. As an engineer, your future is wide open. As a Temple Engineer, we’ll bring this possibility into focus. Discover what makes the Temple University College of Engineering amazing by reading about just a handful of change-makers that are helping to shape your future.

Meet the Changemakers.

Meet Dr. Karin Wang

Bioengineering Department

Cellular-Level Research for Large Scale Impact 

Dr. Karin Wang is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, covering three courses at the College of Engineering in addition to serving as Principal Investigator of the interdisciplinary Cell and Matrix Mechanobiology Lab.   

With a mechanobiology focus, Dr. Wang’s research includes principles from tissue engineering, biomaterials science, soft matter physics, and cell biology. Her lab uses interdisciplinary approaches to understand how physical forces regulate cell-matrix interactions, with a particular focus on fibronectin structure-function and its impact in wound repair, fibrosis, and cancer metastasis. 

One of Dr. Wang’s research areas, some of which have been published in Biomaterials in 2015 and Matrix Biology in 2017, focuses on the interaction between breast cancer paracrine-signaling factors, nearby cells, and fibronectin matrices. As breast cancer cells release paracrine-signaling factors, nearby stromal cells sense these factors from the tumor, change phenotype, and alter how they assemble fibronectin matrices to aid in cancer cell escape from the primary tumor.  Dr. Wang and her team created in vitro models of this process to investigate how tumors recruit nearby cells to assemble an altered fibronectin matrix to drive tumor progression and metastasis. Dr. Wang’s fundamental research on how tumor impacted cells assemble fibronectin lays the groundwork for future cancer research and potential treatment options. 

Dr. Wang continues to actively research this topic, as well as how fibronectin isoforms regulate wound repair and fibrosis, within the Cell and Matrix Mechanobiology Lab at the College of Engineering. Dr. Wang hosts multiple graduate and undergraduate students in her lab, all working on various facets of these research areas, ranging from fabricating microscope compatible strain devices, to bioengineering cell-derived matrices and fibronectin probes, to evaluating cell migration dynamics from time-lapse microscopy images.   

Mentoring students in their pursuit of STEM is incredibly important to Dr. Wang. As a first-generation student that received her bachelor's degrees from a public university that laid the foundation for her to pursue a doctoral degree, she understands the barriers that exist in STEM and seeks to mentor students in pursuit of their goals. Dr. Wang recently hosted a group of high school students in her lab as part of a summer internship program with Heights Philadelphia, providing an opportunity for local students to gain insight into what their future in the STEM field could look like. Dr. Wang has mentored dozens of individuals ranging from high school to doctoral graduate students. 

Meet Dr. Gangadhar Andaluri

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

Eliminating Water Pollution for a Cleaner Future

Dr. Gangadhar Andaluri is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department in the College of Engineering at Temple University. In addition to teaching, he leads the Thermal Technologies Laboratory and serves as the faculty advisor for the Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES). 

Dr. Andaluri’s research focuses on water and wastewater; how contaminants are being introduced into the freshwater supply, the effects that chemicals can have on freshwater, and treatment methods for contaminated water. The contaminants that he focuses on are PFAS (per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances), or forever chemicals, microplastics, and antibiotics. All these contaminants enter bodies of water in different ways and have different effects on water quality. The overall goal of Andaluri’s research is to gain an understanding of water pollution as well as developing water treatment methods to remove these chemicals.   

In addition to researching how PFAS get into and are transported through the water supply, Andaluri takes water samples to determine the levels of PFAS in certain bodies of water and completes assessments to determine how much risk is present if someone is exposed to the level of PFAS in bodies of water. Andaluri then experiments with water treatment processes such as supercritical wet oxidation which involves heating a water sample under pressure to remove chemicals from the water.    

Microplastics is also a main portion of Andaluri’s research. As plastics take a long time to break down, plastic products often become trapped in the water system and break apart into smaller pieces, becoming microplastics. This can come from plastic bags, water bottles, and other plastic materials that make their way into the water system. 

The majority of Andaluri’s research takes place in the Delaware River. Recently, his team submitted their research report on microplastics in the Delaware River to the Delaware Basin Commission. After reviewing the data, the Commission organized a cleanup event. Around 50-60 contractor bags of littered plastic were collected and removed from the areas surrounding the river. Organized cleanups are a crucial part of ensuring that plastics don’t break down into microplastics in water bodies. Dr. Andaluri also completes local cleanups with Temple’s SEES club.  

Dr. Andaluri will soon begin work on another body of water in Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River. He recently received a grant from the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center to conduct research on the concentration of PFAS in the Schuylkill. This will be his first project in a freshwater source. 

Having earned his PhD and working as a senior lab manager and postdoctoral fellow at the College of Engineering before becoming a professor, Andaluri is heavily invested in the success of Temple students. Dr. Andaluri also employs undergraduate students in his lab, providing them with hands-on experience. With his teaching methods he believes in laying the foundation for lifelong learning and strives to help students not just learn material but foster critical thinking skills that will serve them far beyond the classroom. 

Meet Dr. Julie Drzymalski

Engineering, Technology & Management Department

Tackling Human-Centered Crises

Dr. Julie Drzymalski is a Professor of Instruction and Director of the Industrial and Systems Engineering program. Her teaching and research interests lie at the crossroads of operations research and systems modeling. Her current research pursuits involve applications of social systems modeling to tackle human-centered crises. 

As a Professor of Instruction, Dr. Drzymalski works with students and guides them through the research process. In a recent project, she led a senior design team in evaluating the human-centered crisis of Housing Insecurity in Philadelphia. In this year-long project, her senior design team developed a model to accurately predict the number of housing insecure individuals in Philadelphia based on demographics and social, political, and environmental factors. Students then used this model to determine root causes to guide the ideal placement of resources in the city to lessen housing insecurity. Models such as this can be used to advise public policy in determining the most effective way to implement public resources and allocate funding. 

In their research, Dr. Drzymalski and her students evaluated not only model of system dynamics literature, but also social science literature, which is not typically done in engineering research. Dr. Drzymalski incorporates methods, such as this type of cross-disciplinary research, to provide social context to industrial and systems engineering principles taught in the classroom. 

Student success is crucial to Dr. Drzymalski. How students learn is just as important to her as what students learn. Dr. Drzymalski was part of the College of Engineering's inter-departmental collaboration team that led a workshop on reframing academic rigor to set students up for success in and beyond the classroom.  

With a well-rounded engineering background, Dr. Drzymalski pulls from her combined industry and research experience in supply chain robustness and modeling of sociotechnical systems to provide insight into a field facing unprecedented challenges. Her industrial experience includes various quality engineering, project and program management positions in the construction related industries of the greater Philadelphia and New York City area.  

She is a fellow of the American Society of Engineering Management, a Governor of the Order of the Engineer, and an active member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. Dr. Drzymalski teaches and mentors undergraduate students in eight courses in the College of Engineering. 

Hear more from Julie and her impact here:

Meet Dr. Cory Budischak

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Engineering a 100% Renewable Future 

Dr. Cory Budischak is an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. In addition to teaching, his professional pursuits focus on the transition to 100% renewable energy and what this energy system would look like if implemented. Dr. Budischak has moved from research to using his knowledge in advocacy work and policy implementation for state and national impact. 

Dr. Budischak recently joined the Energy Efficiency and Electrification working group of Delaware's Governor's Energy Advisory Council (GEAC). The GEAC has set a goal to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and eliminate emissions entirely by 2050. Dr. Budischak's working group examines "current energy efficiency programs, transportation electrification, electric vehicles, building electrification, reliability and other topics raised by members". Through each meeting, this group will be working towards policy implementation in the state of Delaware. 

In considering emissions, Dr. Budischak thinks of the energy system as a whole, as opposed to segmenting energy systems based on type. An example he proposed to the working group was electric vehicle expansion. Emissions will be reduced as electric vehicles become more popular. In addition, electric vehicles can also make renewable energy less expensive by scheduling charging when sunlight or wind are most abundant. Dr. Budischak believes that considering the energy system as a whole is the most productive and cost-effective way to reduce emissions. 

In addition to his advocacy work, Dr. Budischak is passionate about effective engineering instruction/support and consistently implements these practices in the classroom. He incorporates problem-based learning, flipping the classroom, design thinking, and teaching through interactive games to reach students who may not have been reached by traditional lectures. In 2023, Dr. Budischak was part of the College of Engineering’s inter-departmental collaboration team that led a workshop on reframing academic rigor to set students up for success in and beyond the classroom. He covers seven undergraduate courses in the College of Engineering, including the first engineering course all students must take: Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Technology. Dr. Budischak’s passion for decarbonizing the energy system provides a forward-thinking viewpoint to his instruction, as he helps his students look towards a future that examines the ramifications of energy production in addition to the production itself. 

As a first-generation college graduate, supporting similar students through their college journey is of the utmost importance to Dr. Budischak. Having recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation alongside Dr. Shawn Fagan (pictured, right), Dr. Budischak helped to establish and run the Temple Sustainable Temple Energy and Power Scholars (STEPS) program. The STEPS program provides support to low-income, high-achieving students interested in electrical engineering. Students in this program gain access to scholarships and mentors throughout their undergraduate experience. Still in its first year, Dr. Budischak looks forward to seeing the positive results from STEPS and helping other schools to develop similar programs. 

Meet Dr. Elham Sahraei

Mechanical Engineering Department

Partnering Innovation with Safety 

Dr. Elham Sahraei is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her research focuses on the mechanical safety of lithium-ion batteries under extreme loading conditions. This research extends to full-scale vehicle crash analysis, occupant protection, and analysis of roadside safety structures.  

In addition to teaching five graduate and undergraduate courses in the College of Engineering, Dr. Sahraei is the director of the Electric Vehicle Safety Lab (EVSL). The EVSL focuses on improving safety through the investigation of mechanical characteristics of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Dr. Sahraei has had several research sponsors over the years, including the Office of Naval Research, Stellantis, Ansys, and Caresoft. These sponsors play a major role in the electric vehicle industry and rely heavily on research like Dr. Sahraei’s to improve the safety of their vehicles.  

Dr. Sahraei and the EVSL use a combination of live crash tests as well as computer modeling to simulate how the lithium-ion battery reacts in various crash scenarios. In an electric vehicle crash, there is the risk of fire, explosion, or the release of electrolyte in battery acid. In simulating these crash scenarios, Dr. Sahraei and her team then develop computer models of these vehicles. Companies then use these models when developing their electric vehicles to predict failure in case of a crash, and to hopefully prevent these catastrophic events from occurring. Dr. Sahraei’s research has a direct impact on the development of the quickly expanding electric vehicle industry.  

Dr. Sahraei recently received a donation and funding from Caresoft and the Office of Naval Research, respectively, that has created a new line of research for Dr. Sahraei and her students. Caresoft donated a database made up of vehicle models and vehicle data, including fully characterized vehicles. With the cost of developing a vehicle approaching over a million dollars, this donation is a huge development for the EVSL. The funding and partnership from the Office of Naval Research provides Dr. Sahraei’s students with opportunities to complete internships and work experiences with the Navy to further their research. Additionally, the project with the Office of Naval Research allows Dr. Sahraei and her faculty partners to validate the Sahraei Failure Criterion. 

Having researched lithium-ion batteries within electric vehicles for over 14 years, Dr. Sahraei has been a part of the industry from its early beginnings and has seen the industry go from one with little interest, and even disregard, to a rush on research and development as countries around the world pass legislation implementing the use of electric vehicles.