Bahar Aliakbarian, Ph.D.

Bahar Aliakbarian, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor, and Sr. Director of Research & Development

Dr. Aliakbarian received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical, Material and Process Engineering from University of Genoa (Italy) in 2009. She earned a bachelor of science in Public Management, a bachelor of science in Chemical Engineering – Food Sciences and a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Genoa (Italy). From 2009 – 2017 she held positions at the University of Genoa (Italian Scientific Qualification Award and Postdoctoral Research Award; DGR 1283/2011), Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology, and the University of Sydney (Endeavour Research Award; ERF PDR 2318).

Bahar’s multidisciplinary research experiences focus on the integration of innovative engineering technologies which has led to the formulation of new products with food and biomedical applications. Her work has broadened to the development of active and smart packaging for food and pharmaceutical applications.

She is particularly interested in the use of smart technologies to track and monitor food and pharmaceuticals along the supply chain. Bahar has over 75 peer-reviewed articles, four book chapters, one provisional patent, and over 45 international conference presentations.

John Hatfield

John Hatfield

Executive Director

John D. Hatfield is the executive director of The Axia Institute, responsible for leading the organization in its efforts to deliver innovative research and value chain solutions to members in the health care, food, and advanced manufacturing industries.

Previously, John served as the director of marketing and communications, where he was responsible for helping to refine Axia’s offering to industry and develop the Institute’s consortium-based outreach strategy. As part of Axia’s leadership team, he also helped define the Institute’s marketplace and competitive positioning. During his tenure in that role, he led sales and marketing efforts aimed at securing new corporate partners, and spearheaded the development of in-person and virtual client forums. Prior to joining Axia, John worked at various organizations in the financial and professional services industries, where he honed his leadership skills in addition to his extensive expertise in marketing and brand building.

John earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and a master of business administration degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He is active in his community, where he serves as member on various boards.

Swaminathan “Swami” Subramanian, Ph.D.

Swaminathan “Swami” Subramanian, Ph.D.

Business Development Director

Swaminathan Subramanian, Ph.D., is the director of business development at the Axia Institute, where he is responsible for cultivating corporate partnerships and supporting research efforts, innovation and growth of the institute’s research portfolio.

Swami joins the Axia Institute from Eaton, where he served most recently as a senior innovation specialist, having been with the company since 2011. Swami has over 16 years of experience in both research and industry roles. He is experienced in securing research funding, having been awarded over $15 million by the U.S. government for white space explorations. Prior to Eaton, Swami worked for Argonne National Laboratory and supported Department of Energy (DOE) funded programs.

Swami earned a Master of Science by Research in Internal Combustion Engines from Anna University, as well as a Ph.D. in Advanced Combustion Engines (Emissions and Fuel Economy) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Ethan Claucherty

Ethan Claucherty

Lab Technologist, Axia Lab

Ethan Claucherty serves as the Lab Technologist for the Axia Lab. In this capacity he is responsible for testing of tagged RFID items that are managed by the Axia Lab, and management of other testing services provided at Axia Lab.

Prior to joining Axia,  he worked as an Analytical Chemist. However, his background is in Cancer Research and he previously worked as a Research Assistant at MSU's Institute of Quantitative Health and Engineering researching intraductal approaches for primary prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Ethan received his bachelor's in Animal Science from Michigan State University in 2014, and received his Masters in Toxicology in 2017 from the National University of Ireland-Galway.

When he is not at work you can find him taking care of the bees in his apiary or in a yoga class!

Karol E. Miller

Karol E. Miller

Administrative Assistant

Karol E. Miller is the administrative assistant at the Axia Institute, where she is responsible for managing the day to day activities.

Karol brings 20+ years of administrative experience in financial and higher-education professional industries. She joined Axia from Chemical Bank.

Karol earned a bachelor of business degree from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.

Holly Roenicke

Holly Roenicke

Communications Coordinator

Holly Roenicke is the communications coordinator at the Axia Institute, where she is responsible for marketing activities including social media, collateral development, website management, email marketing and presentation development.

Holly brings 25+ years of marketing and communications experience from corporate and higher education industries, including Dow, Central Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University.

Holly earned her master of arts degree in communications and digital media from Saginaw Valley State University, and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Olivet (formerly Olivet College) in Olivet, Michigan. She is Accredited in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America.


Premjeet “Prem” Chahal, Ph.D.

Premjeet “Prem” Chahal, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Premjeet “Prem” Chahal is currently an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. He received the Ph.D. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University both in Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2006 to 2009 he held senior research position at Abbott Laboratories leading research in the area of BioMEMS.

From 1999 to 2006 he was a principal engineer at Raytheon, Dallas leading research in the areas of THz technologies, MMIC design, RF-MEMS and Sensors, and nanoelectronics. Prem is a recipient of the 2012 DARPA Young Faculty Award and 2016 Withrow Teaching Excellence Award.

His research interests are in wireless sensors, THz technology, millimeter-wave electronics, and additive manufacturing.

Kalyanmoy Deb, Ph.D.

Kalyanmoy Deb, Ph.D.

Koenig Endowed Chair Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Adjunct Faculty for Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University
(517) 432-2144

Dr. Kalyanmoy Deb is the Koenig endowed chair in the Michigan State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Deb also holds joint appointments in two other departments within the college—computer science and engineering, and mechanical engineering—and contributes to research at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at Michigan State University.

His research interests include applied optimization, evolutionary computation, modeling and simulation, and design and control of intelligent systems. His 2001 book, Multi-Objective Optimization Using Evolutionary Algorithms, is the first-ever compilation of its kind.

Kalyanmoy has numerous awards and honors to his name, including the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences in India; the Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate; the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science; the Edgeworth-Pareto Award from the International Society on Multiple Criteria Decision Making; a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) Award; a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany; and an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.

Joan Rose, Ph.D.

Joan Rose, Ph.D.

Professor, Co-Director of the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research, Michigan State University
(517) 432-4412

Every drop of water matters to Dr. Joan Rose and her research team who she calls “water detectives.” Joan is an international authority on water microbiology, water quality, and public health safety, and she co-directs both MSU’s Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessement (CAMRA) and its Center for Water Sciences (CWS). Joan, together with her water detectives, are developing new genetic analytics to study waterborne health threats. Water quality studies today tend to focus on the indicators of pathogens, but Joan’s work targets actual threat agents such as viruses, mapping water quality and health risks in waterways throughout the world.

Joan is a pioneer in the emerging science of viral metagenomics – sequencing virus DNA in water sources, discharges and shipping ballast using next-generation high-throughput technology. Such technology promises to significantly improve methods to protect water and food supplies, and Joan now is applying it to assess the safety of fresh produce. Her global activity includes investigation of waterborne disease outbreaks and the study of water supplies, treatment and reclamation. Her applied research interests include study of microbial pathogens in recreational waters and climatic factors impacting water quality.

Judith Whipple, Ph.D.

Judith Whipple, Ph.D.

Interim Dean, The Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
(517) 432-6407

Dr. Judith Whipple is professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (SCM) at Michigan State University (MSU) and faculty director of the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management Program (MS-SCM). Prior to this, she directed the Food Industry Management Program at MSU and taught at Western Michigan University in Food Marketing and Integrated Supply Management. Her research interests include supply chain integration and collaboration, supply chain security and risk management, and strategic supply chain management and organizational design.

Judith was awarded the MSU Teacher Scholar Award for excellence in teaching and research, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Teaching Innovation Award, and various best paper awards, including the Journal of Business Logistics Bernard J. La Londe Best Paper Award (2005 and 2010), Transportation Journal Best Paper Award, Journal of Operations Management Best Paper Award and the Stan Hardy Award, and is a DC Velocity Rainmaker. She previously served on the Board of Directors at CSCMP, chaired its Research Strategies Committee and co-chaired its Supply Chain Innovation Award.

Parisa Kordjamshidi, Ph.D.

Parisa Kordjamshidi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Michigan State University

Dr. Parisa Kordjamshidi is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. She holds an affiliated with Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition as a research scientist. Prior to MSU, she was an assistant professor at Tulane University (2016-2019).

She was a Postdoctoral researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013-2016). She obtained her Ph.D. from KU Leuven, Belgium, in July 2013. Her research interests include machine learning, natural language processing, combining learning and reasoning paradigms and learning-based programming. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award in 2019.

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