Researchers Receive $1.2 Million for Better Explosives Detection
Four Texas Tech professors recently received a four-year $1.2 million grant from the Office of Naval Research to develop more effective detection systems for finding explosive material.
The grant funds a project titled “Resolving the Complexity of Hot Spots Caused by Weak Energy Concentration and Coupling in Composite Energetic Materials.”
“In layman’s terms, basically we’re trying to enhance detection for explosives,” said Dr. Louisa Hope-Weeks, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The new technology can be used by the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and military applications.”
Recipients of the competitive grant also included Drs. Brandon Weeks, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering; Greg McKenna, a Horn Professor and holder of the John R. Bradford Chair in Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering; and Michelle Pantoya, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“We need better, more enhanced sensitivity to keep up with what’s out there,” Weeks said. “Things are changing around the world. The problem now is they’re making homemade explosives that current sensors can’t find.”
Hope-Weeks Named Associate Dean for Research
Dr. Louisa Hope-Weeks, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been named the new associate dean for research in the Whitacre College of Engineering.
She is among the top researchers in the STEM discipline at Texas Tech and will help the college bring researchers together from both engineering and arts and sciences.
She will begin her role as the associate dean this summer.
Lawson Wins Engineering Education Excellence Award
Dr. William Lawson, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the 2011 "Engineering Education Excellence Award" from the Sustaining Universities Program of the Professional Engineers in Higher Education of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
This national award recognizes engineering faculty who have demonstrated the ability to link engineering education with professional practice. The recipients must be licensed and have a tenure-track faculty appointment in an ABET-accredited engineering program.
Students Win "Novel Design" Category at Sandia National Laboratories MEMS Contest
Texas Tech students won the "Novel Design" Category at the Sandia National Laboratories MEMS Student Design Contest.
Student researchers presented their microelectromechanical system (MEMS) designs to the scrutiny of Sandia engineers. The team included:
Texas Tech students won for their MEMS-based dragonfly design. The dragonfly opens new possibilities in the design of aerial surveillance devices, which have many uses, from quantifying the radiation leaking from damaged Japanese nuclear reactors to delineating enemy positions. Components in state-of-the-art micro air machines range from 15 cm to slightly less than 1 cm. The insect-inspired device is smaller, with biologically mimetic wings approximately 0.5 millimeters long (about the width of five human hairs) and 0.1 mm wide. It is intended to generate aerodynamic lift and thrust by flapping its wings instead of a motor-driven propeller or jet thrust. Flapping is achieved when small intermittent electric currents cause thermal expansion and contraction in the wings. Clever engineering uses the wing material's response to create strokes that are more aerodynamic and hence more efficient.
The work was supervised by faculty advisor Dr. Tim Dallas, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Grants and Contracts
5-24-2011 – 6-19-2011
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Water Resources Center
Publications and Presentations
Dr. Mohamed Soliman
Dr. Mohamed Soliman, department chair and George P. Livermore Chair in Petroleum Engineering, had several papers published recently.
His paper, "Investigation of Effect of Fracturing Fluid on After-Closure Analysis in Gas Reservoirs," was published in the May 2011 issue of SPE Production & Operations.
Soliman presented "Altering Sweep Profiles during Water flooding Using Near-Wellbore and Deep Reservoir Controls" at the SPE/DGS Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia on May 15-18, 2011
He will present "Geomechanical study of the multistage fracturing process for horizontal wells" at the 45th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium in San Francisco, California on June 26–29, 2011.
Dr. Yong Chen
Dr. Yong Chen, an assistant professor of computer science, had several papers presented recently.
His paper, "A Cost-intelligent Application-specific Data Layout Scheme for Parallel File Systems," was presented at the 20th International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC'11) in San Jose, California on June 8-11, 2011.
Chen presented "LACIO: A New Layout-Aware Collective I/O Strategy for Parallel I/O Systems" at the 25th IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS'11) in Anchorage, Alaska on May 16-20.
Sudqi H. Alayyan, associate professor of engineering technology, passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 in Lubbock, Texas. He was 68 years old.
Alayyan began working as a lecturer in the Department of Engineering Technology at Texas Tech in 1978, where he was awarded tenure and made associate professor in 2001. He served as coordinator and undergraduate advisor until his retirement in 2010. In 2011, he was awarded the title of associate professor emeritus.
Events of Interest
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