Trouble viewing this email? Click here to view it in your browser.
Whitacre College of Engineering Today
Student Accomplishments
Faculty Recognitions
Grants and Contracts
COE Monthly Newsletter
COE Home COE Today Archive
Whitacre College of Engineering Today

Progress to Tier One Status

Texas Tech Receives National Research University Designation

Texas Tech received official notice in May from the State Auditor's Office that it has met the necessary criteria and is now eligible to receive a share of the state's National Research University Fund (NRUF).

Inclusion to the fund moves the university a step closer toward its ultimate goal of becoming a nationally competitive research university. In March, Texas Tech President Guy Bailey unveiled a 10-year business plan for the university with the end goal of inclusion in the Association of American Universities.

The notification paves the way for additional research funding from NRUF, which could range from $8-10 million annually, effective in the upcoming fiscal year.

Texas Tech is one of seven institutions initially designated by the state legislature in 2009 in an effort to boost the research capacity of the state's public universities. To qualify for NRUF, universities must meet statutory criteria established by the Texas legislature. Of the seven, only Texas Tech and the University of Houston have met the criteria.

Learn More

Student News

Students Receive NATAS Awards

The North American Thermal Analysis Society (NATAS), a group that is dedicated to promoting the understanding and advancement of thermal analysis, has awarded several Texas Tech students awards and travel grants.

Keerti Kappagantula, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Haoyu Zhao, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, received NATAS Student Awards. The awards recognize the best original contribution by a graduate student to the advancement of the field of thermal analysis and is open to any student in a masters or doctoral program at a university in North America.

Xiaojun Di, Ben Xu, and Siyang Gao, doctoral students in the Department of Chemical Engineering, received NATAS Student Travel Grants. NATAS encourages graduate student participation by providing travel grants to attend the annual conference.

Learn More

Johnson Receives SMART Scholarship

Jenna Johnson, an industrial engineering major, has been awarded a scholarship from the Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program from the Department of Defense. The SMART program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion.

Participants in the SMART Scholarship for Service Program receive a scholarship that pays for full tuition and education related fees, a cash award paid at a rate of $25,000 - $41,000, paid summer internships, health insurance reimbursement, book allowance, mentoring, and employment placement after graduation.

Learn More

Faculty News


Simon Receives NATAS Outstanding Service Award

Dr. Sindee Simon, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and professor of chemical engineering, has been awarded 2012 North American Thermal Analysis Society (NATAS) Outstanding Service Award.

The award recognizes an accumulation of significant contributions to the society that have accrued from dedicated service to the organization.

Learn More


Watson Elected President of SPEE

Dr. Marshall Watson, an assistant professor of petroleum engineering, was recently elected president of the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). Watson will serve as president for one year, and then move to the position of past-president for a year.

The organization is a professional association formed in 1962 with the goal of bringing together specialists in the evaluation of petroleum properties. With nine local chapters and 550 members throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, the SPEE provides educational services to both its members and the oil and gas industry, fosters the spirit of scientific research among its members, and promotes the profession of petroleum evaluation engineering.

“SPEE plans on growing its membership worldwide and to continue in its objectives of promoting the profession, fostering research and disseminating facts pertaining to evaluation,” said Watson, who teaches in Texas Tech’s Department of Petroleum Engineering. “I am looking forward to a great year for SPEE.”

Learn More


Yang Named Outstanding Faculty Mentor

Dr. James Yang, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been named a recipient of this year's Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Center for Undergraduate Research.

Aimee Cloutier, a mechanical engineering doctoral student, nominated him because of his unmatched dedication to promoting undergraduate research at Texas Tech and his work to foster the research culture that is needed for students to succeed. According to Cloutier, he gives his mentees the push that is needed to succeed in everything they encounter and supports his students in their aspirations and career goals.

Learn More



Jimmy H. Smith

Jimmy H. Smith, Ph.D., P.E., professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism and the National Institute for Engineering Ethics, passed away peacefully at home in Lubbock surrounded by his family on June 11, 2012.

Jimmy Hiram Smith was born in Odessa, Texas on January 13, 1939 to Jewell Hester Walker Smith and Hiram Smith. He was married to his life-long sweetheart, Mary Agnes Rinehart Smith in 1959 and they were blessed with three children.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church (3708 45th Street in Lubbock) officiated by Reverend Charles Carmen.

Smith joined Texas Tech University in 1971 in the Department of Civil Engineering. From 1987 to 2010, he was director of the Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism and the National Institute for Engineering Ethics (NIEE). He earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in civil engineering from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Arizona. In addition to his love of teaching and dedicated research in structural engineering, he diligently served ABET, ASCE, NSPE and TSPE.

Smith promoted ethics on four continents, proudly produced three ethics movies, edited books, and published many articles. He received numerous honors and awards including: Engineer of the Year from the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Distinguished Engineer and Fellow of the Texas Engineering Foundation, a Distinguished Service Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers, named to the Engineering Dream Team from the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, a 2001 Engineering Ethics Award from Gonzaga University, and he was named a fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers and National Society.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society or the Jimmy Smith Memorial Scholarship.

Learn More

Grants and Contracts

May 15, 2012 – June 13, 2012

Chemical Engineering

  • Dr. Brandon L. Weeks was awarded $2,252 by the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security/Northeastern Univ. The title of the proposal was "REU: SUPPLEMENT: ALERT: Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats."
  • Dr. Sindee L. Simon was awarded $100,000 by the American Chemical Society - Petroleum Research Fund. The title of the proposal was "Thermodynamics of Nanoconfined Equilibrium Polymerizations."

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Dr. Clifford B. Fedler was awarded $14,490 by the TX Commission on Environmental Quality. The title of the proposal was "Wichita Falls Air Monitoring (FY13)."

Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation

  • Drs. Priyantha W. Jayawickrama, William D. Lawson, and Stephen M. Morse, and Timothy A. Wood were awarded $39,976 by the TX Dept of Transportation. The title of the proposal was "5-5849-01 Software Development to Implement the TXDOT Culvert Rating Guide."
  • Drs. Priyantha W. Jayawickrama, William D. Lawson, and Stephen M. Morse, and Timothy A. Wood were awarded $54,345 by the TX Dept of Transportation. The title of the proposal was "5-5849-03 Load Rating TxDOT Culvert Design Standards."

Center for Nanophotonics

  • Drs. Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin were awarded $369,374 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The title of the proposal was "Nitride Deep UV Emitters with Novel P-type Layer Approach."

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Dr. Andreas A. Neuber was awarded $12,500 by the National Physical Science Consortium. The title of the proposal was "NPSC Fellowships for Jacob Stephens and Andrew Fierro."

Mechanical Engineering

  • Dr. Alexander V. Idesman was awarded $92,818 by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The title of the proposal was "A New Fast, Accurate and Non-oscillatory Numerical Approach for Wave Propagation Problems in Solids: Application to High-frequency Pulse Propagation in the Hopkinson Pressure Bar."
  • Dr. Michelle L. Pantoya was awarded $74,110 by the U.S. Army RDECOM. The title of the proposal was "Multiphase Combustion of Metalized Nanocomposite Energetic Materials."

Smart Grid Energy Center

  • Dr. Vittal S. Rao was awarded $14,820 by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. The title of the proposal was "Cyber Security SCADA Network Visualization Tool."

Water Resources Center

  • Drs. William A. Jackson and Kenneth A. Rainwater were awarded $42,113 by the U.S. Air Force/AFMC. The title of the proposal was "Identification and Characterization of Naturally Occurring Perchlorate Phase 4."

See a full listing of the college's events on the Engineering Master Calendar.

Follow the College on Facebook and Twitter

Keep up with news and events within the Whitacre College of Engineering by following the college on Facebook or Twitter. Updates are posted regularly.

Email Whitacre College of Engineering Publications with news, events, or stories.

TTU Home | Texas Tech University Whitacre College of Engineering
©2012 Texas Tech University | All Rights Reserved
Nov 20, 2014Mar 9, 2015