Two Assistant Professors Join UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

Idil Akin and Fabian Rosner
Courtesy of Akin and Rosner
Idil Akin (left) and Fabian Rosner (right) have been appointed as assistant professors, effective July and November 2023, respectively.

Aug 11, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has appointed two new faculty members with sustainability-focused research backgrounds to its Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. They bring expertise in developing solutions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and climate change on the environment; and sustainable energy, as well as carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage technologies.

Idil Akin joined UCLA Samueli as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, effective July 1. She was previously an associate professor at North Carolina State University.

Akin’s research focuses on mechanisms that control how soils behave, including their physical, chemical, mechanical and hydraulic properties. Her current research projects, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), study how wildfires alter soils and affect hillside slope stability, and explore ways to improve design techniques for more sustainable geotechnical structures in extreme environments by examining how kangaroo rats construct resilient burrows in extreme desert environments.

Prior to teaching at North Carolina State’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Akin was an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Washington State University, where she was honored for outstanding research as a junior faculty member. She has also received an NSF CAREER Award and an American Society of Civil Engineers’ Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Teaching Fellowship. She has published papers in 20 journals, including 12 as first author.

Akin received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her graduate studies, she received Wisconsin’s Norman H. Severson Geotechnical Award and was named a “Rising Star” by the Department of Civil Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fabian Rosner will join UCLA Samueli as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in November 2023. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Rosner’s broad research interests cover sustainable and renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture and utilization, heat recovery and other systems for transferring and harnessing energy. He aims to help the energy and industrial sectors achieve zero emission by offering practical engineering solutions designed to preserve ecological balance and improve environmental justice. At Berkeley Lab, he is conducting techno-economic and lifecycle analyses of sustainable energy technologies, including innovative approaches to carbon capture and utilization.

Among the honors Rosner has received is an appointment as a fellow with the Clean Energy Research Center for Water Energy Technologies — a consortium of U.S. and Chinese research organizations working toward low-carbon solutions to address climate change. He has authored 18 journal and conference publications, including 12 as first author.

Rosner received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Munich in Germany. He obtained a second master’s and his doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from UC Irvine, where he studied fuel cell hybrid systems at the water-energy nexus.

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