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Texas Energy Innovation Challenge Team from Texas Tech
Texas Energy Innovation Challenge Team from Texas Tech

Texas Tech Team Finishes Second at Energy Innovation Challenge

A team of Texas Tech University students finished runner-up in the 2015 Texas Energy Innovation Challenge sponsored by Power Across Texas.

The Texas Tech team finished behind Houston in the competition held on May 1 at the state Capitol building in Austin, but finished ahead of the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas-El Paso. Their challenge was to present to a panel of judges solutions for the 2015 Texas Energy Innovation Challenge (TEIC), to research, evaluate and develop the most creative and economic use for water resulting from hydraulic fracturing of wells, whether that solution includes recycling, disposal or discharge.

Sponsored by faculty representative Dr. Danny Reible, the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair and professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, the Texas Tech team consists of Ebru Unal, a doctoral student in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering; James Urban, a master’s student in the Rawls College of Business; Ritesh Sevanthi, an doctoral student at Texas Tech; and Soraya Honarparvar, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

“The students presented a comprehensive solution for¬†management of water produced from oil and gas activities, recognizing there is no single solution for such a complex problem,” Reible said. “They developed plans for reusing as much of the produced water as possible for other oil and gas activities, including hydraulic fracturing, but also showed how some of the water could receive low-cost treatment and be used to supply power plant cooling waters, create energy-producing solar ponds and as a deicing fluid for roads during winter. The combined solutions could effectively utilize much of the water that now goes to disposal facilities.”

Also included on the team were Mrunali Patil, a master’s student in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, Matthew VanDyke, a doctoral candidate in the College of Media & Communication, and James West, a student in the School of Law.

By finishing second, the Texas Tech team earned a $7,500 scholarship.

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Beeler
Beeler

Beeler Named 2015 McAuley Distinguished Engineering Student

The Texas Tech Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has selected Dan Beeler as the recipient of the 2015 McAuley Distinguished Engineering Student Award. This award, provided by members of the Whitacre College of Engineering Dean’s Council, is named in memory of James A. McAuley, an active member of the Dean’s Council, and a Texas Tech Distinguished Engineer.

Beeler competed against several other seniors in the college for this honor and was selected because of his outstanding academic achievements, honors, activities, interests and aspirations. He has a GPA of 3.8 and will graduate Magna Cum Laude this May with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.

As a student, Beeler took advantage of two different internship opportunities in the oil and gas industry. His first was with Baker Hughes Incorporated as a summer engineering intern in 2013, where he worked with the drill bit sales engineering team to provide engineering support.  Continuing to pursue his interests in the oil and gas industry, he worked for EOG Resources last summer as a drilling engineer intern. In this position, he was able to gain real-world experience working alongside engineers in the field. He also analyzed the financial and technical benefits of a new two-string casing design before eventually observing its implementation.

During his time at Texas Tech, Beeler became involved in many student organizations including Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was most passionate though about his opportunity to assist in the recruitment of future engineering students at Texas Tech as an Engineering Ambassador. “Being an Engineering Ambassador has not only given me the opportunity to further my own career, but to help other engineering students, as well as the community,” Beeler said.

He attributes his collegiate success to his own hard work and dedication and to the professors in the mechanical engineering department; their efforts in mentoring and educating all students was evident to Beeler, and he feels their dedication to all students’ success and learning is unparalleled. Beeler has accepted a full-time position with Oxy as a drilling engineer in Houston, Texas, and will begin work after graduation.

Mechanical Engineering Team Chosen for Initiative on Inclusion and Diversity

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has been chosen for the Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) project.

Texas Tech was selected for the program along with teams from Michigan Technological University, Oregon State University, Purdue University and the University of Oklahoma. A joint project of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Purdue, TECAID is designed to advance understanding and the experiences of faculty, staff and students who have been underrepresented in the past. It also aims to study the impact of stereotypes and the process of change-planning and goal-setting in an academic environment.

The Texas Tech team consists of mechanical engineering professors Drs. Ed Anderson, Gordon Christopher, Jharna Chaudhuri, Michelle Pantoya, Jenny Qiu and James Yang; Dr. Audra Morse, the associate dean for undergraduate studies in the Whitacre College of Engineering; and Dr. Charlotte Durham, an associate professor in the Department of Women’s Studies.

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Faculty News
Mehta Smith
Mehta Smith

Mehta and Smith Honored for 50 Years of Service to the University

Drs. Kishor Mehta and Milton Smith and were honored in April for their 50 years of service to Texas Tech at the annual Length of Service Awards ceremony. From developing the concepts used today for storing cotton in the field before it heads to the gin, to the development of the renowned National Wind Institute and the methods of testing used within it, the two Texas Tech University engineering professors have been instrumental to the research that has had an impact both on safety and the economy across the country.

“While we recognize Dr. Mehta and Dr. Smith for 50 years of service to Texas Tech University, today truly reflects the dedication of two individuals who have given a great share of their lives to educating students,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “Their commitment to this great university is what makes Texas Tech such a special place. It is my hope all of our employees who have served 50 years or more are inspirations for those following them.”

“We are very proud of these two pillars within our community of scholars,” said Dr. Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. “Their outstanding service of more than 50 years is truly a milestone for them and also for us. These two men have both been instrumental in making the Whitacre College of Engineering what it is today: a top-tier engineering school.”

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Bernussi Morse
Bernussi Morse

Bernussi and Morse Selected for Teaching Academy

Dr. Ayrton Bernussi, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Stephen Morse, an assistant professor of civil, environmental, and construction engineering, have been selected as new members of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy.

Membership is based on evidence of teaching excellence at Texas Tech as well as evidence of promoting teaching improvement at Texas Tech. Candidates must be a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty who has been at Texas Tech for a minimum of three years and candidates must be nominated by a current academy member and recommended by a second academy member.

The mission of the Teaching Academy at Texas Tech University is to advocate for teaching excellence, promote service related to the university's teaching mission, advise and mentor colleagues and others, and share knowledge about teaching strategies and their implementation as appropriate.

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Sheng
Sheng

Sheng Receives SPE Regional Technical Award

Dr. James Sheng, an associate professor of petroleum engineering, has been named a recipient of a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Southwestern North America Regional Technical Award.

Regional and section awards recognize members who contribute exceptional service and leadership within SPE, as well as making significant professional contributions within their technical disciplines at the SPE regional level. Awards are presented at the appropriate SPE region or SPE section meeting.

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Alumni News
DeBerry
DeBerry

DeBerry Receives Geoca Award

Blake DeBerry, a member of the Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Council, a 1982 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, and the CEO and president of Dril-Quip, has been named the winner of the Geoca Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award, presented by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Petroleum Technology Institute (IPTI).

This award was established in 1965 to honor distinguished and meritorious achievement and service in the field of petroleum mechanical engineering. It was named after Karl Geoca, the former chair of the ASME Petroleum Division and former member of the Society's Board of Governors.

DeBerry has worked for Dril-Quip since 1988 and has held a number of management and engineering positions in the company’s domestic and international offices, including senior vice president of sales and engineering and vice president for the company’s Asia-Pacific region.

Grants and Contracts

April 28, 2015 – May 12, 2015

Investigator(s) Agency Title Amount
Center for Nanophotonics
Dr. Hongxing Jiang
Dr. Jingyu Lin
U.S. Army RDECOM Erbium-doped GaN Crystals as High Energy Laser Gain Medium $200,000
Computer Science
Dr. Joseph N. Rushton DARPA/Kestrel Technology, LLC Defectory: A Crowd-sourced Program Verifier $79,316
Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Jordan M. Berg National Science Foundation CONTINUATION: Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement - Jordan Berg $93,345
Nano Tech Center
Dr. Jordan M. Berg National Science Foundation CONTINUATION: Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement - Jordan Berg $93,345
Water Resources Center
Dr. Danny Reible Department of Defense Assessment and Management of Stormwater Impacts on Sediment Recontamination $65,000
Dr. Danny Reible AquaBlok, Ltd. Evaluation of dissolved-phase PAH sorption onto different organoclay samples $28,842

* Primary Investigator

Events

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May 14, 2015