College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ECpE department welcomes new faculty, staff

Iowa State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Iowa State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) welcomes several new faculty and staff to the department for the 2021-22 school year.

Ashraf Gaffar, Teaching Professor

Headshot photo of Ashraf Gaffar
Ashraf Gaffar

ECpE Teaching Professor Ashraf Gaffar comes from Arizona State University (ASU) with over 17 years of academic and industry experience in the areas of software engineering, human-computer interaction, user interface/user experience, interaction design and usability testing.

Gaffar received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer engineering and his master’s and Ph.D. in computer science and software engineering. He has 22 patents and inventions in artificial intelligence and machine learning in automotive and medical domains, and he has over 66 publications in prestigious peer-reviewed conferences and journals. He has industrial experience from IBM, SAP Software company, Johnson & Johnson and other international corporations and has worked on projects with General Motors, the Mayo Clinic and the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Gaffar is a certified Project Management Professional, active since 2008, and has received the ASU Barrett Honors College Exemplary Dedication and Service Award, the SAP Industrial Design Innovation Award and the SAP Software Product Innovation Award.

Shana Moothedath, Assistant Professor 

Headshot photo of Shana Moothedath smiling and wearing glasses
Shana Moothedath

Assistant Professor Shana Moothedath joined the faculty of the ECpE department in July 2021. Her research interests include control and security of cyber-physical systems, control and optimization of networked systems, game theory, learning and control for secure systems.

Moothedath received her B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from the Kerala University, India, in 2011 and 2014, respectively, and her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India, in 2018. She was a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle, from 2018-21. She was awarded the Excellence in Ph.D. Thesis Award 2017-19 at IIT Bombay and selected as an EECS Rising Star in 2019.

“I would like to thank all my mentors for their dedicated guidance and continuous support,” she said. “I am very honored and excited to start my career at Iowa State University, and I am looking forward to the research opportunities and collaborations at ISU.”

Rachel Ann Shannon, Assistant Teaching Professor

Rachel Shannon smiling, standing in front of a purple wall
Rachel Ann Shannon

ECpE Assistant Teaching Professor Rachel Ann Shannon earned her master’s degree in electrical engineering from ISU in the spring of 2020. She has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from ISU and was also an ECSEL scholar. Prior to her academic career, she served in the U.S. Navy from 2006-10.

At Iowa State, she has worked as a peer mentor for different groups such as EE 185, ECSEL and WiSE. She has also worked as a graduate research assistant with the School of Education, writing curriculum and designing and piloting the InventSTEM program for 4-H Extension and Outreach. Rachel is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and a master’s in industrial design with the College of Design. Her research interests include designerly ways of thinking, empathy, social justice and engineering education.

Shannon’s new role is a joint appointment with the College of Engineering and ECpE, where she is teaching ENGR 160 for undeclared engineering majors and other courses in ECpE.

Seth Schroeder, Academic Advisor

ECpE Academic Advisor Seth Schroeder is an advisor for students in the ECpE department, and he also teaches sections of ENGR 101.

Schroeder received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science and his master’s degree in student affairs. As a graduate student, he worked at the ISU Hixson Opportunity awards office, and he has also previously worked at Grand View University as a hall director, overseeing first year residence halls. Before returning to Iowa State, he was an undergraduate advisor for the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Headshot photo of Shahin
Mohamed Shahin Padiyath Puthenkattil Seethi

Mohamed Shahin Padiyath Puthenkattil Seethi, Business Systems Analyst

ECpE Business Systems Analyst Mohamed Shahin Padiyath Puthenkattil Seethi is working with the ETG office, providing hardware and software support to faculty, staff and grad students in the department.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in information technology from Calicut University, India, in 2006 and has 14 years of experience working as a SAP Basis administrator and technical support engineer. As a SAP Basis Consultant, he worked closely with retail and healthcare clients to help them identify industry-specific SAP offerings to solve their unique business problems within operations and customer service. He analyzes systems infrastructure, executes system configuration, delivers end-user training and provides change management and upgrade expertise.