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We are accepting applications for Spring - semester starts on January 12, 2015.

Graduate Studies



Physical location
438 Old Main

Mailing address
Graduate Studies
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Office hours
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Monday - Tuesday

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday

The Hal and Inge Marcus
School of Engineering Faculty

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Full-time faculty

Zella L. Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean of engineering
Professor, mechanical engineering

  • Ph.D.: Polytechnic University
  • MSME: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BME: The Cooper Union
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 102A
Phone: 360-688-2732
Dr. Kahn-Jetter has over twenty years of experience in Catholic higher education. She most recently served as the chairperson of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Manhattan College, a private Catholic college in New York following the Lasallian tradition founded by the Christian Brothers.
In her tenure at Manhattan, Dr. Kahn-Jetter was involved in student advisement, curriculum development, budget preparation and management, faculty and course scheduling, student affairs, hiring of adjuncts, overseeing full-time and tenure-track faculty appointments, and accreditation. She was very focused on recruitment and retention issues, especially in creating a more diverse student population.
Dr. Kahn-Jetter’s most recent area of interest involved studying the mechanical properties of plants and has co-authored numerous articles in plant mechanics.

Peter L. Bishay, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, mechanical engineering

  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • M.S., Cairo University
  • B.S., Cairo University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103E
Phone: 360-688-2741
Dr. Bishay earned his PhD from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at University of California, Irvine (UCI). His doctoral dissertation was focused on formulating novel numerical methods for accurate and efficient micromechanical modeling of multifunctional materials and composites. Dr. Bishay’s major areas of research are Computational Solid Mechanics, Smart Materials & Structures, Modeling & Simulation, Aerospace Structures, as well as Engineering Education. He taught several mechanical and aerospace engineering courses at University of California, Irvine (UCI), Ruters, the state University of New Jersey, as well as Cairo University.

Shawn Duan, Ph.D.
Professor and chairperson,
mechanical engineering

  • Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • M.S., Tianjin University
  • B.S., Kunming University of Science and Technology
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103A
Phone: 360-688-2745
Dr. Duan has over twenty years of experience in mechanical engineering field. Before joining SMU, he was a full professor and program assessment coordinator of Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University. During his tenure at SDSU, he was involved in teaching/advising, research, various services, undergraduate program assessment, scholarship, and ABET accreditation.
His interests include but are not limited to vibrations, biomechanics, ABET accreditation, scholarship of teaching and learning, fluid power transmission and controls, CAD/CAE, and modeling and simulation on high performance computing systems.

Pius O. Igharo, Ph.D.
Associate professor, civil engineering

  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • M.S., Columbia University
  • B.S., Swarthmore College
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203E
Phone: 360-688-2751
Dr. Igharo has more than 30 years experience in industry, consulting and academia, specializing in transportation systems management and design. Dr. Igharo has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 1996.

Isaac Jung, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate professor, mechanical engineering

  • MBA, Saint Martin's University
  • Ph.D., University of Florida
  • M.S., University of Florida
  • B.S., Seoul National University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103F
Phone: 360-688-2740
Dr. Jung's specialty is in the field of aerospace, engineering mechanics, system dynamics and machine design. He has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 1991. Dr. Jung is also the faculty advisor for the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Alpha Tau chapter of Pi Tau Sigma. He is also the advisor for Engineers Without Borders. He also holds the position of Lacey Civil Service Commissioner and is a member of the Committee on Ministry at the Olympia Presbytery.

Dintie S. Mahamah, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor, civil engineering

  • Ph.D., Washington State University
  • M.Sc., Washington State University
  • B.Sc., University of Science and Technology, Ghana
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203A
Phone: 360-688-2755
Professor Mahamah is highly qualified in the areas of environmental and water resource engineering, as well as computer modeling. He enjoys riding his bicycle with his kids and watching European football.

Bill Phillips, M.E.M, P.E.
Assistant professor, Director of the MEM program

  • M.E.M, Saint Martin's University
  • B.S.C.E, Saint Martin's University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 102B
Phone: 360-688-2733
Bill has over 30 years of experience in the construction field. He earned his BSCE from Saint Martin's University in 1978. Bill has extensive experience with large construction projects. His interests focus on project management and construction management.

Rico Picone, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, mechanical engineering

  • Ph.D. : University of Washington
  • MSME: University of Washington
  • BSME: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103C
Phone: 360-688-2743
Dr. Picone teaches in the fields of mechatronics, including dynamical modeling, control systems, and robotics. His research includes the enhancement of magnetic resonance technologies, especially magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM), through hyperpolarization. Much of his previous work has been in nonlinear dynamical modeling of systems of magnetization. Additional research interests include augmented human intelligence through computing systems and the philosophy of engineering, with emphasis on the relation between humanity (individually and collectively) and technology. Dr. Picone received his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington in 2014.

Chun Kyung Seong, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and chairperson, civil engineering
Director of the MCE program

  • Ph.D., Lehigh University
  • M.S., Seoul National University
  • B.S., Seoul National University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203F
Phone: 360-688-2750
A structural engineer with over 25 years experience, Professor Seong brings a wealth of experience in structural analysis and design for buildings and bridges to the classroom. Professor Seong has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 1995. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys swimming and fishing. He is also fond of watching movies, operas, and plays.

Paul E. Slaboch, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Director of the MME program

  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
  • M.S., University of Notre Dame
  • B.S., University of Notre Dame
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103D
Phone: 360-688-2742
Prior to joining St. Martin's in the fall of 2012, Dr. Slaboch worked for the US Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. While at the Volpe Center, his major areas of research included jet blast and aircraft wake turbulence mitigation strategies. He worked with a number of public and private entities during his time at Volpe including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Dr. Slaboch earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. all in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His doctoral dissertation examined side window buffeting in automobiles to reduce interior cabin noise. Other research areas of interest include fluid mechanics, acoustics, and fluid-structure interactions.

Frank Washko, Ph.D., J.D.
Assistant professor, mechanical engineering

  • JD: Georgetown University
  • Ph.D.: Wayne State University
  • MBA: Wayne State University
  • MSME: Wayne State University
  • BSME: Wayne State University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103B
Phone: 360-688-2753
Dr. Washko has worked as an automotive engineer specializing in engine design for airflow and combustion components. In addition, he has worked in the areas of biomechanics, microfluidics, and MEMS. Most recently, he has completed research projects for DARPA and the Office of Naval Research involving efficient powertrain design, flex fuels, and artificial biomaterials. Dr. Washko has previously taught at Lawrence Technological University and Wayne State University.

Adjunct faculty

Stephen Bao Stephen Bao, Ph.D., CPE, CCPE
Engineering management

  • Ph.D., Lulea University of Technology
  • M.Sc., Shanghai Second Medical School
  • B.Sc., Shanghai Jiaotong University
Contact information:
Dr. Bao believes that it is fun and important to teach future industrial leaders to consider human operators in the production system and make the system more efficient and productive. Outside of his duties as a professor he is the editor of Ergonomics and the associate editor for Ergonomics in Design. He enjoys being in the beautiful Northwest and he likes the outdoors. He likes working out, bicycling, kayaking, skiing and playing badminton.

Douglas C. Howie, P.E.
Civil engineering

  • MEM, Saint Martin's University
  • B.S.C.E, Union College
Contact information:
Professor Howie has lived in western Washington most of his life. Whenever he lived elsewhere, he was always planning to return. His engineering career has been mostly in consulting focusing on water related planning, design, and construction. He currently works fulltime at the Department of Ecology as a storm water engineer in the Water Quality Permit Development Services section. He was a Navy veteran serving in the Seabees for four years. He was an Engineering Aide during my tour of duty providing engineering support to officers within the Naval Civil Engineering Corps. He provided services to Public Works Departments maintaining bases in Bermuda, California, and McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Outside of the classroom, he and his wife are active in many local animal related issues. He is the President of the Thurston County Humane Society and is on the Board of the Joint Animal Services Commission who manages operation of the Animal Shelter. He visits on a regular basis at St. Peter Hospital with his dog and teaches and evaluates other animal/handler teams for skills and aptitude in visiting with patients.

David B. Jansen, M.S., P.E., LEED-AP
Civil engineering, engineering management

  • M.S., University of Central Florida
  • B.S., University of Florida
Contact information:
Mr. Jansen has been teaching in the Masters of Civil Engineering and Masters of Engineering Management since 1985. He also has more than 28 years experience in wastewater treatment and environmental cleanup and currently is director of capital programs at the Washington State Department of Corrections. Outside of his duties in the classroom Mr. Jansen also holds the title of father and (contrary to his youthful appearance) grandfather. He also enjoys public speaking, traveling and diving.

A. Jim Witsmeer, MSEE, DEngrAA, P.E.

  • Engineer Degree AA: Stanford University
  • MSEE: University of Southern California
  • BSEE: Illinois Institute of Technology
Contact information:
Upon graduation from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1959, Jim Witsmeer received a commission in the U.S. Navy and served three years aboard a destroyer in the Pacific, the final year as the ships Chief Engineer. Mr. Witsmeer left the Navy to work as an engineer on the design of the Apollo command vehicle which successfully brought astronauts to the moon and back. With the assistance of a wonderful wife, Jim became a graduate student and research assistant at Stanford University, working in optimal control and estimation theory. His thesis involved design of the attitude control system for a scientific satellite which is still orbiting the earth and providing useful data today. The following thirty-two years were spent helping his wife raise four children, developing technology, and managing projects at several aerospace companies including Boeing. His main area of expertise involved the application of digital computers to the control of missiles, air- and space-craft.

Since his retirement in the year 2000, Dr. Witsmeer has turned his attention to teaching in both business and engineering education. In 2010, he was invited to join the Saint Martin’s Engineering Department. Since joining SMU, Dr. Witsmeer has come to appreciate the friendly environment and especially the ability and dedication of its students. Dr. Witsmeer considers it a great privilege to serve in a prestigious Christian institution of higher education.


Hopie Lopez
Executive assistant to the dean of engineering

Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 102
Phone: 360-688-2731

The Office of Graduate Studies

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