Esther Tian

Esther Tian

Office Phone: (540) 432-4404

Email:

Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: SC 013B


Esther Tian in the news:

Engineers for a Sustainable World, a club tackling problem-solving projects

EMU pre-engineering students take second in regional competition with solar greenhouse design

Asst Professor Engineering

Mathematical Sciences Dept

Esther Tian received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Changsha Institute of Technology in China. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, where she did an interdisciplinary research on Modeling and Analysis of Neuronal Circuits for Locomotion with Sensory Feedback. Esther taught Statistics and Calculus at the Miller School of Albemarle and read AP exams for the ETS and College Board. In the fall of 2013 Esther joined the Eastern Mennonite University as an Assistant Professor of Engineering, where she teaches engineering and mathematical courses. Her research interests include neuronal control mechanism of animal locomotion and robotics, as well as engineering design education. Esther’s hobbies are reading and hiking. When hiking she enjoys striking new routes, although there is one trail she is especially fond of. It happens to be called Old Trail.

Education

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, 2008
Dissertation: Muscle Function and Neuromuscular Transformation in Leech Swimming
B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Changsha Institute of Technology in China, 1994

Publications

(Selected)
Tian J. (2014) A design approach in an Introduction to Engineering course. The 121st American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference proceedings (to appear in June).

Chen J.1, Tian J.1, Iwasaki T., Friesen W.O. (2011) Mechanisms underlying rhythmic locomotion: Dynamics of muscle activation. Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 1955-1964. (1 Authors contributed equally.)

Tian J., Iwasaki T., Friesen W.O. (2010) Analysis of impulse adaptation in motoneurons. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 196: 123-136.

Tian J., Iwasaki T., Friesen W.O. (2007) Muscle Function in Animal Movement: Passive Mechanical Properties of Leech Muscle. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 193: 1205-1219.

Tian J., Iwasaki T., Friesen W.O. (2007) Transformation of Motoneuron Activity to Muscle Tension in Swimming Leeches. Program No. 406.8. Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience.

Tian J., Iwasaki T., Friesen W.O. (2006) Static and Dynamic Components of Pacemaker Sensitivity in Leech Motoneurons. Program No. 649.12. Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Atlanta, GA: Society for Neuroscience.

Tian J., Iwasaki T., Friesen W.O. (2005) Passive Properties and Model of the Leech Body Wall. Program No. 177.15. Abstract Viewer/Itinerary Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience.

Church, Community and Professional Service

Reviewer for the ASEE annual conference proceedings
People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM) volunteer through the University Baptist Church

Honors, Awards and Grants

Hostetler Scholarship from EMU for the work on Exploration of Efficient Swimming through a Robotics Approach
Leaman J, Swartzentruber R, Zook M, Nisly J, Thibodeaux A, Tian J (2014) Solar-powered greenhouse. Won second place in the first- and second-year Engineering Design Team Division in the undergraduate students poster competition at ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Conference. Macon, GA. Also won first place at the EMU STEM poster show in the category of the extended research project in Mathematical Sciences.
EMU STEM travel grant for attending and presenting at ASEE-SE annual conference with three undergraduate students in Macon, GA.
EMU STEM travel grant for attending and presenting at the 121st ASEE annual conference in Indianapolis, IN.

Professional Memberships
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World
Professional Conferences Attended

ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Conference. Macon, GA, 2014

New Courses Taught

ENGR 270 Engineering Statics, Spring 2014
MATH 185 Calculus I, Spring 2014
PSYC 451/BIOL451/BMS574 Neuropsychology (one third), Spring 2014
BMS 599 Statistics, Spring 2014
ENGR 110 Introduction to Engineering, Fall 2013
MATH 140 Elementary Statistics, Fall 2013
MATH 145 Precalculus, Fall 2013
The Exploration of Wind and Solar Energy, Summer 2013 (Designed and taught Engineering lab sessions at EMU as part of the program Bridging the Valley: a Step Ahead for STEM Majors.)

EMU Service

Faculty advisor for Engineers for a Sustainable World at EMU (started a new chapter, the first in Virginia). Advised undergraduate students on a project proposal: Greenhouse for Sustainable Food Initiative (won grant from Earthkeepers).
EMU Suter Science Seminar Invited Speaker (2014) The quick lane from ideas to products – fast prototyping.