FIU CEC Staff Antonio Hernandez Headshot

Antonio Hernandez


Dr. Hernandez is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mathematics with Master’s thesis and Doctoral dissertation in the area of Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hiroshima in 1997 and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology from 1997 to 1999 under the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers. He has a career of more than 20 years in higher education, encompassing interdisciplinary areas of Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Dr. Hernandez research interests include computational geometry and its applications, data structures, algorithms, robotics, optimization, and computer science education and has published papers in leading journals and conferences. In the classroom, Dr. Hernandez favors the use of innovative teaching and learning strategies that emphasize an active learning approach.

Office: CASE 319
Phone: (305) 348-4974

Monica Cardella headshot

Monica Cardella

Director, CDSSEC


FIU CEC Staff Mohammad Ashiqur Rahman Headshot

Mohammad Ashiqur Rahman

Assistant Professor

Academic Degrees: Ph.D. in Computing and Information Systems, University of North Carolina, M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka
Areas of Expertise: Security and resiliency analysis and design, Computer networks, SDN/NVF, clouds, Cyber-physical systems/Internet of Things (IoT), Formal verification and synthesis, Autonomous and unmanned vehicles

Office: EC 3955
Phone: (305) 348-3724

Andres-Tremante-fiu-college-engineering-computing Headshot

Andres Tremante

Director, ENLACE

Professor Andres Tremante is the new director of the Center for Diversity and Student Success in the College of Engineering and Computing (CD-SSEC). In this position, Dr. Tremante is responsible for all aspects of the College’s K-12 programs and pre-college STEM activities, working closely with the college advisors and associate deans to improve student success, graduation & retention rates and in advancing the mission of the college. He will also support the Industry-University Cooperative Programs and the ERC’s Diversity and Inclusion areas for PATHS-UP and CELL-MET. He is also the deputy director of the CELL-MET Culture of Inclusion Thrust Area.

Professor Tremante received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Universidad Simon Bolivar and his doctoral degree from Arts et Métiers Paris Tech. He joined FIU in 2008 after 25 years of experience in Europe and Latin America, mostly in academia and the oil industry. He brings forward a long record of teaching, scholarly research, academic service and strong credentials for leadership as the director of CD-SSEC.

Office: EC 2765
Phone: 305.348.0149

Joshua Hutcheson Headshot

Joshua Hutcheson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Research Interests: Cardiovascular disease and mechanobiology, Cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, Tissue engineering, Molecular imaging
Research Advancements: Joshua Hutcheson studies cardiovascular disease mechanisms.
Research Area: Basic Research in Tissue Engineering Model Systems
Lab: Cardiovascular Matrix Remodeling Laboratory

Office: EC 2612
Phone: (305) 348-0157


FIU CEC Staff Hadi Amini Headshot

Hadi M. Amini

Assistant Professor

M. Hadi Amini is an Assistant Professor at School of Computing and Information Sciences, College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2019, where he received his M.Sc. degree in 2015. He also holds a doctoral degree in Computer Science and Technology. Prior to that, he received M.Sc. degree from Tarbiat Modares University in 2013, and the B.Sc. degree from Sharif University of Technology in 2011. His research interests include theoretical optimization and learning algorithms, distributed algorithms, sensor networks, interdependent networks, and cyberphysical resilience. Application domains include energy systems and transportation electrification.

Hadi is a life member of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), the honor society of IEEE. He served as President of Carnegie Mellon University Energy Science and Innovation Club; as technical program committee of several IEEE and ACM conferences; and as the lead editor for a book series on ‘‘Sustainable Interdependent Networks’’ since 2017. He has published more than 60 refereed journal and conference papers, and book chapters. He is the recipient of the best reviewer award from four IEEE Transactions, the best journal paper award in “Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy”, and the dean’s honorary award from the President of Sharif University of Technology.

Office: CASE 238A
Phone: (305) 348-9936

FIU CEC Staff Arif Sarwat Headshot

Arif Sarwat, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of FPL-FIU Solar Facility and Energy, Power & Sustainability (EPS)

Academic Degrees: Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

Areas of Expertise: Smart grid, Smart city, High penetration renewable resilient communities, Data analytics

Office: EC 3913
Phone: (305) 348-4941

FIU CEC Staff Shekhar Bhansali Headshot

Shekhar Bhansali

Alcatel-Lucent Professor & Interim Director for the School of Electrical, Computer and Enterprise Engineering

Dr. Shekhar Bhansali currently serves as the Alcatel-Lucent Professor, Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Interim Director of the School of Electrical, Computer, and Enterprise Engineering at Florida International University (FIU), Miami, FL.  His current research is in the areas of bio-sensing and bioengineering, oceanographic sensing, materials science, micro/nanotechnology and alternative energy. A prolific researcher, he has published over 150 journals and 163 conference papers, and he holds 36 U.S patents. As a mentor, Dr. Bhansali has advised over 65 Ph.D. and master’s students, and more than 130 undergraduate/high school students. He has received several honors and recognitions for his research articles. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States Department of Defense (DoD), along with other industries and national laboratories.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has received numerous awards including FIU’s Top Scholar Award in 2014, William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund in 2009 and 2011, Mentor of the Year Award from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2009, and 2003 NSF CAREER award. He has conceptualized and led several inter-connected interdisciplinary graduate student research and training programs, including NSF-IGERT, NSF Bridge to Doctorate and Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Fellowship Programs to increase diversity, retention, and graduation rates. Through these programs, he oversaw the education of over 150 graduate students with multi-year fellowships in colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences and Medicine. Dr. Bhansali is on the editorial boards of Recent Patents in Nanotechnology and Technology & Innovation and serves as a reviewer for more than 35 reputed international journals. He received his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia; his master’s degree in Aircraft Production Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India; and his bachelor’s degree with Honors in Metallurgical Engineering from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur, India.

Office: EC 3984
Phone: 305-348-2807

Website: /

Arvind Agarwal CD-SSEC Undergraduate Research in EC at FIU Headshot

Arvind Agarwal

Distinguished University Professor and Chair, AMERI Director

Dr. Arvind Agarwal joined the FIU Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering as an Assistant Professor in November 2002. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1999. After obtaining his PhD degree, Dr. Agarwal worked as the Materials Scientist at Plasma Processes Inc. Huntsville, AL for three years.   His current research interests include carbon nanotube reinforced composites and  coatings, plasma spray, surface engineering, nanomechanics and nanotribology,  bioceramic  coatings,  nanomechanics  of  biological  cells  and  spark  plasma sintering. His research has been funded in excess of $3.5M from NSF, ONR, AFOSR, ARO, NASA  and  private  industries.  Dr.  Agarwal has authored more than 175 publications in international journals and conferences, edited 4 books, co-authored 1 book, and reviewed articles for 50 international journals. Dr. Agarwal also serves on the editorial boards of 6 journals. Dr. Agarwal  has  organized  numerous  symposiums for  Minerals,  Metals  and  Materials  Society (TMS) and ASM International in the area of “Surface Engineering” and “Nanomaterials” over the last ten years.

Office: EC 3474
Phone: (305) 348-1701


Benjamin Boesl CD-SSEC Undergraduate Research in EC at FIU Headshot

Benjamin Boesl

Assistant Professor

Dr. Boesl received his PhD in 2009 and upon graduation he accepted a position as an ORAU post-doctorate scholar at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, MD.  At ARL his research focused on material response and design through the development of novel experimental testing procedures and the implementation of computational methods for dynamic progressive failure analysis of protection systems for ballistic applications.  Dr. Boesl joined the FIU MME Faculty in 2012 and is the director of the Composites Laboratory and the µStruct Laboratory.  His research interests include solid mechanics, fracture mechanics, in situ mechanical testing, high strain rate/dynamic material response, and processing-structure-property relationships.

Phone: (305) 348-3028

Arturo Leon CD-SSEC Undergraduate Research in EC at FIU Headshot

Arturo Leon

Associate Professor

Dr. Leon’s areas of research include optimal control of reservoir systems, numerical modeling and experimentation of multi-phase flows, resilient flood control, computational fluid dynamics, and physical modeling of hydraulic structures.

Within the area of optimal control of reservoir systems, Arturo’s group developed a novel and computationally efficient model for the near real‐time and optimal control of multi‐objective and multi‐reservoir systems under uncertainty. This model is currently enabling to make near real-time (one-hour intervals) optimal decisions of water use in the Columbia River system that involves four States (OR, ID, WA, MT) in the Pacific Northwest.

Andrew Green CEC FIU Headshot

Andrew Green

Associate Director of Academic Services

Andrew Green serves as the associate director of academic services for the Center for Diversity and Student Success in Engineering and Computing. In this capacity, he supports the center in all aspects of the college’s K-12 programs, pre-college STEM activities, and the student success initiatives. Andrew comes to the center after previously working with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the dean’s office as program director for strategic initiatives. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from FIU and he’s currently enrolled in the higher education doctoral degree program.

Office: EC 2673
Phone: 305.348.3819

Trina Fletcher Headshot

Trina Fletcher

Assistant Professor of Engineering Education, SUCCEED



Trina Fletcher has an interdisciplinary background with both her education and full-time experiences. Fletcher holds a doctorate in engineering education from Purdue University and has industry experience including roles with Johnson & Johnson, Eaton Corporation and serving as the director of pre-college initiatives for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Current Appointments

Faculty Fellow, Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Affiliate Faculty, African & African Diaspora Studies Program, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs

EngineerGirl Steering Committee; National Academy of Engineering (2019–present)

Education History

Purdue University, Ph.D., George Washington University, M.S., University of Arkansas, M.S., University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, B.S. (HBCU)

Research Areas 

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion within STEM education
  • African Americans, women and girls in engineering and computing education
  • STEM education at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
  • Use of industry and tech-sector best practices for continuous improvement/innovation in higher education

Funded Research Projects 

Exploring the Success of HBCUs Development of Blacks Earning Engineering and Computing Graduate Degrees (PI)  NSF Award #: 1923229

RAPID: The Impact of COVID-19 on Broadening Participation in Engineering at HBCUs (PI) NSF Award #: 2031221

RAPID: Understanding the Impact of Abrupt Changes to Instructional Methods on Underrepresented Engineering Students (Co-PI) NSF Award #: 2029564

Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Directed Multiscale Assembly of Cellular Metamaterials with Nanoscale Precision: CELL-MET (Co-PI) NSF Award #: 1647837

Representative Publications

Fletcher, T. L., Jefferson, J. and Boyd, B. (2021). Missed Opportunity for Diversity in Engineering: Black Women and Undergraduate Engineering Degree Attainment. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.

Edwards, C., Lee, W., Knight, D., Reid, K, Lewis, R. & Fletcher, T. L. (2021). Outreach at Scale: Developing a Logic Model to Explore the Organizational Components of the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids Program. Advances in Engineering Education. V 9 (2), 1-28.

Boyd, B., Jefferson, J. & Fletcher, T. (2021). The Impact of COVID-19 on STEM Faculty and Students at HBCUs. American Educational Research Association (AERA). Virtual. April 8 – 12, 2021.

Fletcher, Tina and Fletcher, Trina. National Problem, Local Solution: Addressing the school-to-prison pipeline with an increase in minority teachers. Yale State and Local Policy Review. 2019.

Hug, S., Eyerman, S., Fletcher, T. L. & Martinez-Ortiz, A. (2020). Engineering Outreach: Ambassador Girls Empowering Girls in the Field (Evaluation). Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Virtual.

Fletcher, T. L., Green, A., Arrayo, E. & Quintero, R. (2020). “Intersectionality at minority-serving institutions (MSIs): A longitudinal analysis of female student participation within engineering and computing”. 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Virtual.

Fletcher, T. L., Fletcher, T. L., Williams, J. L., Benedict, B.S., Boyd, B. N., & Watkins, K. (2019, June), Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce Report – Implications for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Tampa, Florida.

Fletcher, T., Ross, M., Tolbert, D., Holly, J., Cardella, M., Godwin, A., DeBoer, J. (2017). Ignored potential: A collaborative roadmap for increasing African American Women in Engineering. National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Engineering ProActive Network

*Edwards, C. E., Lee, W.C., Knight, D.B., Reid, K.W., Fletcher, T.F., Meeropol, G. Maximizing Accessibility: Providing summer engineering experiences for racially, ethnically, and economically underrepresented youth. Paper presented at the 2018 ASEE Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) Conference, Arlington Lake, Virginia, April 29 – May 2, 2018.*Awarded Best Paper

G. D. Young, Knights, D.B., Lee, W., Cardella, M., Reid, K. & Fletcher, T. “Leveraging a multi-partner approach to develop successful STEM outreach programs,” 2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Indianapolis, IN, USA, 2017, pp. 1-5. doi:10.1109/FIE.2017.8190725

Fletcher, T. L., Ross, M. S., Carr, C. & Boyd, B. (2017, June), Classroom Instructors’ Perceptions of Site Leadership and Interest Outcomes within a Summer Engineering Program (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio.

Ross, M. S., & Fletcher, T. L., & Cox, M. F., & Main, J. B. (2015, June), African American Women in the Academe: A Comprehensive Literature Review Through the Lens of Intersectionality Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23505

Office: EC 1270
Phone: 305.348.0196

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Francisco Fins

Program Director, FIU-ENLACE/Children's Trust Project

Francisco Fins serves as the director for the FIU-ENLACE / Children’s Trust  Project for the Center for Diversity and Student Success in Engineering and Computing. In this capacity, he supports the center’s outreach efforts in all aspects of the college’s K-12 programs and pre-college STEM activities. Francisco has extensive experience in the area of k-12 pre-college educational programs and has been involved with managing and directing pre-college programs for the College of Engineering for the past 22 yrs. He earned his bachelor degree in business administration with a minor in accounting from FIU and has completed school-age Childcare Certificate training with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Office: EC 2651
Phone: 305-348-3714

Headshot of Kristian Concullulea

Kristian Conculluela

Program Assistant, FIU-ENLACE

Kristian serves as the Program Assistant for FIU-ENLACE. Kristian maintains the online database for The Children’s Trust and acts as a Parent Liaison at Kendale Elementary for the afterschool program. With The Children’s Trust, Kristian assists with data entry; monitoring student’s intake forms, attendance, and tracking student growth in their individualized tests throughout the school year. For the Kendale Elementary afterschool program, Kristian is involved with student tutoring, updating parents as a Parent Liaison, administering Trust Central’s required tests, and assisting the Site Coordinator.​