ESSE Department-Welcomes 3 New Professors

This year, three new professors, Dr. Issac Smith, Dr. Neil Tandon and Dr. Ryan Orszulik  joined the ESSE Department.

Dr. Issac Smith

Dr. Isaac Smith joined York University as an Assistant Professor, CRC Tier II in Planetary Science on July 1, 2018. Dr. Smith is a planetary scientist that concentrates on atmospheric, surface, and subsurface processes on Mars, especially related to ice. He is a co-investigator on the SHARAD instrument and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He comes to us from the Planetary Science Institute, where he joined as a post-doctoral researcher in 2016 and was promoted to research scientist in 2017. He completed his PhD at the University of Texas in 2013 and afterward received a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Laboratory de Meterologie Dynamic at Sorbonne University in Paris. Dr. Smith’s office is PSE 110.

At York, Dr. Smith intends to continue his ongoing research and add laboratory and field components in his study of ice processes and behavior. For field work, he would like to study permafrost features and morphology in the Canadian Arctic and relate the analogue landforms to permafrost features found on Mars. In the lab, he aims to constraint the rheological properties of CO2 ice to study its behavior as glaciers and albedo effects of CO2 ice as it sinters dues to incident solar radiation. Working with other ices, such as N2 and CH4, two common ices on Pluto, are longer-term goals.


Dr. Neil Tandon

Dr. Neil Tandon joined us as an Assistant Professor in Atmospheric Science on July 1, 2018. Dr. Tandon’s research focuses on theoretical climate dynamics. He uses a combination of models, observations and mathematical analysis to investigate how motions in Earth’s atmosphere and ocean influence climate. Dr. Tandon completed his Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University in 2013, supervised by Prof. Lorenzo Polvani. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Paul Kushner at the University of Toronto, funded partially by the Canadian Snow and Sea Ice Evolution (CanSISE) Network. Since 2016, he has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Climate Research Division of Environment and Climate Change Canada in Toronto. Dr. Tandon’s office is PSE 153.


Dr. Ryan Orszulik

Dr. Ryan Orszulik will join York University as an Assistant Professor in Engineering Design from January 1, 2019. Dr. Orszulik received his B.A.Sc. in Space Engineering and Ph.D. from the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. From November 2014to November 2016 he was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Mechanics at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. Since December 2016 he has been an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Harvard Microrobotics Lab with a joint appointment between the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. Orszulik’s office is PSE 130.

Dr. Orszulik’s previous research includes active vibration control, membrane control for SAR antenna, and a flight-qualified nanometer-level positioning system. His current research lies in developing new types of mesoscale piezoelectric motors and bioinspired robotics. These research topics all originate from the core theme of his research, which is to exploit the vast potential of smart materials, in particular piezoelectrics and shape memory alloys, in applications from instrumentation to structures. In particular, he is interested in the intelligent design of robotic and mechatronic systems through the development of dynamic models, the discovery of new fabrication techniques, and the use of advanced control.