Esther Tian

Esther Tian

Office Phone: (540) 432-4404

Email:

Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: SC 048

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

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

Publications

(Selected)
Tian J. (2014) A design approach in an Introduction to Engineering course. The 121st American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition (abstract accepted, paper to appear).

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.

Honors, Awards and Grants

Hostetler Scholarship from EMU for the work on Exploration of Efficient Swimming through a Robotics Approach

Professional Memberships
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World
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 Earth Keepers).