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Whitacre College of Engineering Today
Faculty Recognitions
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Grants and Contracts
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Dr. Sindee Simon Named Horn Professor

Dr. Sindee Simon Dr. Sindee Simon, professor and associate chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has been named a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor.

“Horn Professors represent the very best among our faculty,” said President Guy Bailey. “These individuals are recognized for their attainment of national and international distinction and for their research or other scholarly or creative achievements. We value these men and women for their scholarship and their many contributions to Texas Tech. They are a true testament to the quality of our academics.”

The Horn Professorship was established in 1966 to recognize scholarly achievement and outstanding service to Texas Tech. The honor is named for Texas Tech’s first president, Paul Whitfield Horn. Since its inception, 76 members of the faculty have been appointed Horn Professors and 35 remain on faculty.

Other active Horn Professors from the Whitacre College of Engineering include:

  • Dr. Daniel Cooke, computer science
  • Dr. Magne Kristiansen, electrical and computer engineering
  • Dr. Greg McKenna, chemical engineering
  • Dr. Kishor C. Mehta, civil and environmental engineering
  • Dr. Sunanda Mitra, electrical and computer engineering
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Two Engineering Professors Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Dr. Ranadip Pal Two engineering professors have been awarded CAREER grants from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Ranadip Pal, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Shiren Wang, an assistant professor of industrial engineering, are receiving more than $800,000 to further their research in various areas.

Pal received $404,180 to advance his research that focuses on genomic signal processing and control of genetic regulatory networks. His theory addresses cancer treatment with a consideration of a patient’s individual genetic makeup, or their genetic regulatory network, instead of treatment which is often in the form of a one-size-fits-all approach.

“These drugs target only the cancerous cells, and they do not damage the healthy cells,” Pal said. “In chemotherapy, there are numerous side effects including hair loss and general nausea that are related to destruction of healthy cells. We want to understand each patient’s genetic makeup so that we can administer the drugs that will work the best for them and their form of cancer.”

Dr. Shiren Wang

Wang's $400,000 award recognizes his career development plan which focuses on organic thermoelectric composites. Recovering heat from a material or device through thermoelectric conversion involves the conversion of thermal energy to electrical energy or electrical energy to thermal energy. The heat generated from the sun’s rays on the roof of an electric vehicle can be used to charge that same car’s battery. In computers, the heat from the processor could be recycled to recharge the battery as the computer is in operation.

Wang is working to find new organic materials that could revolutionize the thermoelectric conversion industry. “Organic materials hold promise for these applications because they are lightweight, abundant, easy to process and environmentally benign,” Wang said.

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Engineering Alumnus To Serve as Commander for Navy Aircraft Carrier

Capt. John D. Alexander A Texas Tech engineering alumnus is now the captain of a Navy aircraft carrier that is roughly half the size of his hometown.

Capt. John D. Alexander, a native of Port Neches and a 1982 mechanical engineering graduate, took over in January as commanding officer of the USS Abraham Lincoln during a ceremony on board the ship.

“I am very humbled and excited to be on board the Lincoln,” said Alexander. “The ship looks great, and the crew is highly motivated. I’m proud to take command of this extraordinary warship.”

Alexander’s mechanical engineering degree and time at Texas Tech were crucial to his Navy career. He initially used them during his aviation indoctrination courses, when he studied engines and flight dynamics. He found his degree useful during his flight training to understand operating and weapons systems on the aircraft, and during nuclear propulsion training.

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Faculty Recognitions

Dr. Audra Morse Receives Two Excellence in Teaching Awards


Dr. Audra Morse, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named one of the recipients of the President's Excellence in Teaching Award for 2010.

Morse was also selected as the winner of the 2010 Chi Epsilon “James M. Robbins” Excellence in Teaching Award for the Southwest District. She was nominated by the Texas Tech Chapter of Chi Epsilon.

Dr. James Smith Receives Academic Achievement Award


Dr. James Smith, E. L. Derr Professor of Industrial Engineering, has been named one of the recipients of the President's Academic Achievement Award for 2010.

These awards go to faculty members who have demonstrated distinction in teaching, research and service.

Dr. Ming Chyu Launches New Journal of Healthcare Engineering


Dr. Ming Chyu, professor of mechanical engineering, has initiated a new international peer-reviewed journal entitled the Journal of Healthcare Engineering.

The journal publishes fundamental and applied research on all aspects of engineering involved in healthcare delivery processes and systems. Topics include biomedical engineering (devices, equipment, procedures, and software), healthcare information technology, distance healthcare, healthcare facilities and infrastructure, healthcare environment management, improvement of healthcare delivery systems, healthcare safety, elderly care, public health and epidemiology, and healthcare policy and social issues. Chyu is editor-in-chief.

Grants and Contracts

02-18-2010 - 03-15-2010

Construction Engineering and Engineering Technology

  • Dr. Tewodros Ghebrab was awarded a $10,000 equipment grant from the Education and Research Foundation of TEXO, a construction association representing commercial contractors in North and East Texas.

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Dr. Stephen Bayne was awarded $48,000 by AFOSR/HEM Technologies. The title of the proposal was "Advanced Nonlinear Transmission Lines as High Power Microwave Sources."
  • Drs. James C. Dickens and Andreas A. Neuber were awarded $190,000 by AFOSR/University of Wisconsin. The title of the proposal was "Counter HPM." Neuber is the PI.
  • Dr. James C. Dickens was awarded $340,606 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Enabling Technology for Compact Directed Energy Systems Addressing Asymmetric Explosive Threats."
  • Drs. Stephen Bayne and Michael G. Giesselmann were awarded $150,000 by the U.S. Army Research Lab. The title of the proposal was "Semiconductor Evaluation for EM Gun Applications."

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Dr. Changzhi Li was awarded $2,637 by Effective RF Solutions. The title of the proposal was "MicroChip PIC Micro-controller Based Web-server for Software-defined RFIC Configuration."
  • Dr. Donald Lie was awarded $150,000 by the Texas Instruments Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Research and Development of Headset-based Portable EVestG Technology in TI OMAP Platform."
  • Dr. Donald Lie was awarded $14,400 by Diodes, Inc. The title of the proposal was "Research on Power Management Electronics."

Mechanical Engineering

  • Drs. Valery I. Levitas and Michelle L. Pantoya were awarded $100,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Melt-Dispersion Mechanism for Energetic Reactions of Aluminum Nanoparticles."
  • Dr. Michelle L. Pantoya was awarded $37,321 by the U.S. Army Research Office. The title of the proposal was "PECASE - Propagation Physics and Ignition of Nanocomposite Energetic Materials."

Water Resources Center

  • Drs. W. Andrew Jackson and Audra N. Morse were awarded $16,109 by NASA/Lynntech. The title of the proposal was "SBIR Novel Self-cleaning Surfaces for Biofouling Prevention Wastewater Lines of Space Systems."

Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Office

  • Dr. A. Dean Fontenot was awarded $80,000 by The Harris Foundation. The title of the proposal was "ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Camp."

Student Accomplishments

Casey Receives Student Academic Citizenship Award


Jared Casey, a senior electrical and computer engineering and computer science major, has been named the 2009-2010 recipient of the Texas Tech Parents Association Student Academic Citizenship Award for the Whitacre College of Engineering.


Tyson Thomas Named a Vice President at LAN


E. Tyson Thomas, a 1977 Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering graduate, has been named to the position of vice president at Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN), a planning, engineering and program management firm in Houston.

Since joining LAN in 1978, Thomas has served in a wide variety of roles, including design engineer, project engineer, project manager, department manager, program manager and principal-in-charge. His experience encompasses all areas of civil engineering, including site infrastructure development, environmental permitting and compliance, water and wastewater engineering and storm water engineering. He has worked with a wide array of clients throughout the country including local and state agencies, districts and special authorities, industry, municipalities, and private entities.

Events of Interest

March 26AFOSR: Basic Research for the United States Air Force
Dr. Thomas W. Hussey, Chief Scientist
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
2 p.m.
Room 121 - Petroleum EngineeringMarch 29General Motors Presentation: Research and Development
Dr. J. Gary Smyth, Director, Propulsion Systems Research Lab
GM Global Research and Development
4 p.m.
Lankford Lab
March 24 Maddox Solar Energy Series
Dr. Craig Grimes
3 p.m.
Lankford Lab
March 31 Maddox Solar Energy Series
Dr. Brian Norton
3 p.m.
Lankford Lab
April 9 Distinguished Engineer Award Luncheon
Frazier Alumni Pavilion
April 20 Reception for Horn Announcement and CAREER Awardees
4 p.m.
Engineering Center - Suite 100
May 27 TSPE Scholarship Golf Tournament
Rawls Golf Course

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Nov 20, 2014Aug 13, 2018