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Research Team

Leadership Team

Dr. Eleanor Close


Senior Research Fellow & Research Programs

Dr. Eleanor Close is Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at Texas State University in San Marcos. Before moving to Texas in 2011, she taught at Seattle Pacific University for eight years, where she had a joint appointment in the Physics Department and the School of Education. She is interested in physics teacher preparation, including implementation and evaluation of programmatic reform; community and identity development among physics students and how this relates to major and career choices; development of proximal formative assessment skills, including both noticing and valuing students’ thinking; and embodied cognition. Eleanor did graduate work at the University of Washington (M.S., Physics, 2003) and Seattle Pacific University (Ed.D., Curriculum & Instruction, 2009). Between receiving her B.A. in Physics from Bryn Mawr College and starting graduate school, Eleanor taught high school physics and physical science for three years in rural North Carolina. In her non-work life, she co-parents three young children with her husband Hunter Close, also a physics professor at TXST.

Dr. Kimberly Talley


Senior Research Fellow & Maker Space Co-Director

Dr. Kimberly G. Talley is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Senior Research Fellow and Maker Space Co-Director for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University, and a licensed Professional Engineer. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin in Structural Engineering. Her undergraduate degrees in History and Construction Engineering and Management are from North Carolina State University. Dr. Talley teaches courses in the Construction Science and Management Program, and her research focus is in student engagement and retention in engineering and engineering technology education.


Senior Research Fellows

Dr. Bahram Asiabanpour


Dr. Bahram Asiabanpour is an Associate Professor of Manufacturing Engineering and a Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE). He has served at Texas State since 2003 and is the director of the Rapid Product and Process Development (RPD) Center. Dr. Asiabanpour is the CoPI of the NASA-EPDC [2014-2019] to develop ways of using NASA-related STEM content in the education of teachers. He is also the PI for the Re-Energize grant from the Department of Education (2014-17) onRenewable Energy Research and EducationHe has been PI or CoPI for more than 25 other externally funded grants as well. He has published several journal and conference papers and three book chapters in the areas of additive manufacturing, product development, process optimization, and renewable energy. He has designed and taught 15 graduate and undergraduate courses at Texas State. Dr. Bahram Asiabanpour is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing (IJRapidM).



Dr. Debra Feakes



A member of the Texas State faculty since 1994, Feakes began as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and has since held the titles of associate professor, professor and Presidential Fellow (2014-2015). She has served as the associate chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since 2012, and has served on the Women in Science (WISE) scholarship committee since 2009. She was formerly the faculty sponsor for the Alpha Chi National Honor Scholarship Society and the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates group. Debra Feakes, has been named Piper Professor for 2016 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation.


Dr. Mina Guirguis


Mina Guirguis is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Texas State University, which he joined in 2006. His research is broadly driven by the interplay of security, networks and stochastic control with research contributions in the areas of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Networks and Computing Systems, and Mobile Cloud Computing. His research work has been published in over forty refereed papers, posters and journals, and one book chapter. Guirguis' research and educational activities are funded with over $2.9M in grants from the NSF, DoD, AFOSR, DHS, IEEE, Cisco and Texas State. Guirguis received the NSF CAREER award in 2012. Guirguis has been a visiting faculty researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in the summers of 2012 and 2013. During the academic year 2014/2015 he joined the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Group in the ECE Dept. at UT Austin. Guirguis has been a visiting scholar at the DHS Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) in summer 2016. Guirguis has a wide range of industrial experience at various companies including Fortress Technologies and Microsoft. He has served on various Technical Program Committees for many conferences, on NSF panels and on the Editorial Board for the International Journal on Advances in Networks and Services. Guirguis is serving as an Academic Alliance Member for NCWIT and as a Senior Research Fellow in the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. Guirguis earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Boston University in 2006. COMAL 311E.

Dr. Clara Novoa


Dr. Clara Novoa is an Associate Professor at the Ingram School of Engineering at Texas State University. She has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and her research areas are Dynamic and Stochastic Programming and Parallel Computing to solve mathematical optimization problems applied to logistics and supply chain. Dr. Novoa has 15 years of experience in academia and 4 years of experience in industry. Dr. Novoa is receiving funding from NSF through SPARK and Texas State STEM Rising Stars. SPARK is a four years grant that looks to increase the recruitment and retention of female in engineering, computer science, and related fields by providing scholarships for low-income and talented students. Texas State STEM Rising Stars is a four years grant committed to increase the first and second year retention and graduation rates of students in STEM. Dr. Novoa is also the advisor of the Society of Women Engineers. She is committed to research on strategies to achieve gender equity and cultural inclusiveness in science and engineering.  Office: RFM 2214.


Dr. Susan Morey


Susan Morey is a Professor in and Chair of the Department of Mathematics. After earning her Ph.D. in 1995 from Rutgers University and holding a postdoctoral position at the University of Texas at Austin, she joined the faculty at Texas State in 1997 and has taught more than 20 different courses since, ranging from freshman to doctoral level. Dr. Morey has been actively involved with Math Club, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Problem Solvers Group. She has worked with undergraduate, masters and doctoral students on research projects through a variety of programs including three externally funded Research Experiences for Undergraduate grants. She served for six years on a national Mathematical Association of America committee on undergraduate research and led the Department in the creation of an innovative doctoral program in Mathematics Education. Her teaching has been recognized by the Department, College of Science and Engineering, Alpha Chi, and the Honors College. She has also been recognized at the department and college level for both service and research. Her areas of study include Commutative Algebra and Combinatorial Commutative Algebra. She is active in publishing, including papers coauthored with students, and regularly presents her work in national and international conferences. Office: MCS 470.

Dr. M Alejandra Sorto


M. Alejandra Sorto received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2004 in Mathematics Education. She is currently a faculty member of the Mathematics Department at Texas State University. Her research focuses on the preparation of teachers in the area of Statistics, the impact of professional development, and comparative studies in Latin-America and Africa. In particular, she is interested in developing instruments to measure content knowledge for teaching, teaching quality and analyzing its effect on student achievement. She has worked with governments of Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Guatemala to help improve the preparation of teachers in mathematics and develop educational standards. In 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded her a CAREER research grant to investigate the Mathematics instruction of English language learners in the state of Texas. Office: MCS 575.

Austin Talley
Dr. Austin Talley


A native Texan, Dr. Austin Talley joined the Ingram School of Engineering in 2013.  Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State University, Dr. Austin Talley worked as a manufacturing quality engineer for a test and measurement company, National Instruments, in Austin, TX.  Both of Dr. Austin Talley’s graduate degrees, a doctorate and masters in Mechanical Engineering, manufacturing and design area, are from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Dr. Austin Talley holds an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in Mechanical Engineering.  Dr. Austin Talley’s primary research focus is:

  • Universal Design: Designing Products that All Individuals Can Use
  • Public Engineering
  • Patent Practitioners - Global Insight into Engineering Skills
  • Active Learning Products
  • STEM Project Based Learning
  • STEM Active Learning