Office Phone: (540) 432-4404
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: SC 048
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.
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
Tian J. (2014) A design approach in an Introduction to Engineering course. The 121st American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference proceedings.
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
Judge for American Statistical Association (ASA) Project Competition
University Baptist Church (UBC) Personnel Committee
People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM) volunteer through UBC
Honors, Awards and Grants
Summer teaching grant for developing contents for the new application-oriented
course – Precalculus for Science and Engineering
Small Project Grant from ESW National for Solar Chicken Coop project
ESW@EMU club was selected as featured chapter at ESW National, 2014
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.
- American Society for Engineering Education
- Engineers for a Sustainable World
Professional Conferences Attended
University of Virginia’s 3rd Annual Innovation in Pedagogy Summit, Charlottesville, VA, 2015
Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE) Sponsored Seminars. UVa, Charlottesville, VA, 2014
The 121st ASEE Annual Conference. Indianapolis, IN, 2014
ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Conference. Macon, GA, 2014
New Courses Taught
ENGR 280 Engineering Dynamics, Spring 2015
ENGR 499 Independent Study, Fall 2014
MATH 101 Foundations of Math, Fall 2014
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.)
Faculty advisor for Engineers for a Sustainable World at EMU
Member of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee
Served for the Pre-Professional Health Sciences Committee
EMU Suter Science Seminar Invited Speaker (2014)