RENEW Faculty Hires

New faculty are attracted to UB specifically to meet the goals and objectives of the RENEW Institute.

Professor Hamstead has a background in Urban and Public Policy which makes her a good fit with RENEW sustainable urban environments and climate change focus areas.


Dr. Jordan Fox Besek is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology with research interests in environmental sociology, historical sociology, social theory, the philosophy and history of science, and animal studies. 


Dr. Kevin T. Smiley is an Assistant Professor of sociology, whose research primarily concerns the environment and cities. In particular, his research focuses on environmental exposures to air pollution, sustainable urban environments, and racial inequalities across the United States.

Dr. Thomas Thundat is a Professor of Empire Innovation, who is focusing on developing high performance, networked sensor systems for real-time monitoring of chemical and biological analytes. 

Dr. Kristin Poinar will be joining UB in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology. She focuses her research on the Greenland Ice Sheet: how is it melting, how is the ice flowing into the ocean, and what are the interactions between those processes?  

Dr. Stuart Evans will be joining UB in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. His research focuses on regional climate variability.  In particular, his research is organized around rainfall, land-atmosphere feedbacks, and the effects of atmospheric dust.  

Ian M. Bradley will be joining UB in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. His research focuses on creating sustainable biological processes to address needs in engineered and natural systems for water and wastewater treatment and resource recovery.

Dr. Trevor Krabbenhoft is joining UB in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research is focused on how fish respond to environmental change, including climate change, non-native species, contaminants, and overfishing. His central aim is to understand what fish can tell us about aquatic ecosystem health and help us key in on emerging issues. 

Dr. Shenqiang Ren is Professor of Mechanical Engineering with research interests in materials-by-design, self-assembly, and novel structural, electronic, magnetic and excitonic properties for emerging energy-critical applications.


Dr. Kang Sun will be joining RENEW as a Research Assistant Professor in January 2018. As an atmospheric scientist, he is interested in using in-situ observations, satellite remote sensing, and numerical modeling of the Earth's atmosphere to understand air pollution and climate change.

Dr. Meng Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, with research interests in environmental exposure assessment and epidemiology. In particular, his research focuses on environmental exposure monitoring, air pollution modeling, and health impacts of environmental exposures. 

Dr. Mark T. Swihart is a UB Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and an Empire Innovation Professor in RENEW. His research interests and activities involve synthesis and applications of inorganic nanomaterials, in alignment with the RENEW focus area in Next-Generation Materials & Technologies for Energy, Environment, & Water Sustainability. 

Dr. Martin Trebbin is Empire Innovation Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and connected to the NSF science and technology center BioXFEL and RENEW. His research focuses on the time-resolved structure determination of ultrafast protein structural dynamics, soft matter self-assembly and the nucleation & growth of nanoparticles. This interdisciplinary research profile fits and aligns very with the mission and goals of RENEW and its members.