An expert in operations research and dynamic pricing decisions, Wenbo Selina Cai, PhD, has been appointed to the faculty of NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering as assistant professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering. She will join the talents of more than 20 other new faculty members on campus this fall. The newcomers will add momentum to NJIT’s strategic plan for making a major impact on the quality of life in the 21st century. This interdisciplinary initiative is focused on three vital areas: convergent life science and engineering, “digital everyware” — ubiquitous computing — and sustainable systems.The women and men joining NJIT to serve a growing student body bring expertise that spans diverse supporting clusters. These include advanced manufacturing, architecture design and construction, big data, biochemistry, business systems, material science and engineering, and sensing and control.
“NJIT’s academic status and interdisciplinary strategy have attracted people at various stages of their careers, and who offer NJIT both distinctive abilities and new resources,” says Provost Ian Gatley. “Enthusiasm for NJIT’s interdisciplinary commitment was apparent during the search process. Everyone interviewed spoke about how the problems they work on are inherently interdisciplinary, how they like to work on teams, how they look forward to collaborating with colleagues across disciplines.” Donald Sebastian, NJIT’s senior vice president for research and development, emphasizes that connecting with real-world issues is at the heart of expectations for a technological research university. “Academic disciplines are the core of the university and the framework for learning. However, their alignment with industries of the future is not as obvious as with those sectors that have prevailed over the last century. Our strategic research thrusts are designed to make those 21st-century connections explicit.” Convergent life science and engineering, digital everyware and sustainable systems — themes that transcend departments or colleges — shaped NJIT’s hiring plan, he adds.
Cai is interested in researching questions related to sustainable energy systems and health care. Her work experience includes two years as an analytic consultant designing and developing decision modeling and optimization across decision areas and recommended risk management strategies for new hires.
For financial institutions she built custom applications, behavioral and collection scorecards and performed segmentation analysis. Plus she’s interpreted scorecard monitoring reports.
She received both her doctorate and master’s degrees in industrial engineering and operations research from University of California, Berkeley, and two bachelor’s degrees from Cornell University, one in electrical and computer engineering and the other in operations research and engineering.