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News

Sacco Named Dean of Engineering

Sacco
Sacco

Dr. Albert Sacco Jr. will become the next dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering effective Jan. 1, 2011.

“Dr. Sacco’s background should be uniquely supportive of his new role and contributions at Texas Tech University,” Provost Bob Smith said. “We will benefit enormously from his dedication, creativity, and extraordinary experiences, including service as a U.S. astronaut.”

“We are so fortunate to welcome this outstanding leader as Texas Tech takes another step in its journey to Tier One,” said Guy Bailey, president of Texas Tech. “Sacco is an outstanding teacher and researcher. His enthusiasm will further discovery within the Whitacre College of Engineering.”

“I am thrilled to join the Texas Tech academic team of outstanding researchers and educators,” Sacco said. “And I look forward to supporting the Whitacre College of Engineering’s desire to become one of the nation’s top-rated engineering colleges.”

Sacco is currently the George A. Snell Distinguished Professor of Engineering and the director of the Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing at Northeastern University. He flew as the payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia on shuttle mission STS-73 in 1995. The 16-day mission aboard Columbia focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science and fluid mechanics contained within the pressurized Spacelab module.

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Texas Tech Industrial Engineering Professors Save More than $250,000 Each Year for Odessa's Medical Center Hospital

Farris   Matis
Farris   Matis

Two Texas Tech University industrial engineering professors have collaborated with administrators and nursing staff at Odessa's Medical Center Hospital (MCH) to develop a plan, when fully implemented, which is projected to save the hospital more than $250,000 dollars each year. Through this work, they have been able to introduce efficiencies that make discharge from the hospital easier and will enable most patients to go home sooner.

Dr. Jennifer Farris, assistant professor of industrial engineering, and Dr. Tim Matis, associate professor of industrial engineering, were asked by MCH chief nursing officer Marlene McAllister to help the hospital improve patient flow, and thereby reduce a backlog that regularly built up in MCH's emergency room.

Farris and Matis responded with a three-phase approach for solving the backlog problem, saving the hospital money, and saving time for patients.

This system involves an intricate network of scheduling and workflows that matches patient needs with staffing availability for the benefit of both patients and the hospital.

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Faculty Recognitions

Green Wins Young Investigator Research Award

Green
Green

Dr. Micah J. Green, assistant professor of chemical engineering, was awarded a grant through Air Force Office of Scientific Research's Young Investigator Research Program. In his research, he will examine interfacial engineering for low-density graphene nanocomposites and fluids.




Center for Nanophotonics Researchers Make Significant Progress in LED and Solar Cells

Jiang   Lin
Jiang   Lin

Drs. Hongxing Jiang, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. Chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Jingyu Lin, Linda F. Whitacre Chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering, were recently featured in Semiconductor Today for two significant research breakthroughs.

Jiang, Lin, and their research group have developed an indium gallium nitride (InGaN) solar cell with characteristics higher than similar devices. Additionally, the researchers have made significant advances in infrared LEDs.


Pantoya's Children's Book Wins National Recognition

Pantoya
Pantoya

"Engineering Elephants," coauthored by Dr. Michelle Pantoya, a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University, and Dr. Emily Hunt, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at West Texas A&M University, seeks to educate very young children about who engineers are and what they do.

The book was recently recognized as a "Best Books 2010" Award finalist by USABookNews.com, the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses.

Engineering Elephants
Engineering Elephants

"Children know doctors and teachers and police and firemen and soldiers, but not engineers," Pantoya said. "This is a way of introducing young children to engineering. Our goal is to inspire some of these young people to think about an engineer as something they want to be when they grow up."

A complete list of the winners and finalists of the USABookNews.com National "Best Books 2010" Awards are available online at USABookNews.com.




Dallas and MEMS Team are Featured in Research Texas Magazine

Dallas
Dallas

Dr. Tim Dallas, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and the Texas Tech MEMS team's microscopic chess set that was designed for the Sandia National Laboratories University Alliance Competition was featured in a recent issue of Research Texas magazine. The team won the Sandia competition in May 2010.

 


Staff Recognition

Krile Receives Outstanding Young Researcher Award

Krile
Krile

Dr. John Krile, a senior research associate in the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, was awarded the Outstanding Young Researcher Award at the 3rd Euro-Asian Pulsed Power Conference / 18th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams in South Korea in October. The award is for young researchers under the age of 35 who have authored papers of the highest academic quality. Krile's research is entitled "Improved Methods for Calculation of High Power Microwave System Efficiencies".


Grants and Contracts

10-18-2010 - 11-16-2010

Chemical Engineering

  • Dr. Brandon L. Weeks was awarded $114,750 by the Dept of Homeland Security/Northeastern University. The title of the proposal was "ALERT: Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats."

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Drs. Elma A. Hernandez and Kenneth A. Rainwater were awarded $54,774 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The title of the proposal was "New Water Management Technologies to Sustain Rural Economies - 2011."

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Dr. James C. Dickens was awarded $34,158 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Enabling Technology for Compact Directed Energy Systems Addressing Asymmetric Explosive Threats."
  • Dr. Stephen B. Bayne was awarded $20,000 by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The title of the proposal was "Support for 4th US-Japan Pulsed Power and Symposium on Pulsed Power and Plasma Applications."
  • Drs. James C. Dickens and Andreas A. Neuber were awarded $15,566 by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The title of the proposal was "VUV Radiation and Breakdown (Barker/NE)."

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Dr. Brian S. Nutter was awarded $6,446 by Innovative Integration. The title of the proposal was "Low Voltage I/O Modeling."
  • Dr. Yu-Chun D. Lie was awarded $40,000 by DOD/NoiseFigure, LLC. The title of the proposal was "MDA STTR MDA09-T004 Low Cost, High Performance Transmit/Receive IC's (TRIC) on a Single Chip."

Industrial Engineering

  • Dr. Shiren Wang was awarded $100,481 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "CAREER: Exploring Novel Organic Thermoelectric Composites with Hierarchical Architecture and High Figure of Merit ."
  • Dr. Ismael R. deFarias was awarded $14,190 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Cardinality Bounded Mathematical Programs: New Techniques, Models and Computation."
  • Drs. Jennifer A. Farris and Timothy I. Matis were awarded $50,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution: Human Interactions in Logistics Systems."

Petroleum Engineering

  • Dr. Malgorzata Ziaja was awarded $90,000 by Baker Hughes. The title of the proposal was "Testing Reproducibility of Micro-bit Drilling Machine."

Water Resources Center

  • Drs. Wayne H. Hudnall, Kenneth A. Rainwater, and Richard E. Zartman were awarded $57,540 by the Texas Water Development Board. The title of the proposal was "Playa Lake Recharge Monitoring." Rainwater is the PI.

Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Office

  • Drs. John R. Chandler and Andrea D. Fontenot were awarded $18,954 by the Texas Education Agency/Lubbock Cooper ISD. The title of the proposal was "21st Century Community Learning Center Cycle 4 Year 4 Center for Engineering Outreach."

Student Accomplishments

Laity Receives 2010 IEEE DEIS Graduate Fellowship

Laity
Laity

George Laity, a graduate student in the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, was awarded a $5,000 fellowship from the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society. This fellowship is awarded to Ph.D. students who are IEEE DEIS members and are pursuing research topics in the area of insulating materials, breakdown, charge transport, electrostatic phenomena, high voltage effects, or related subjects. His research concerns the emission of high energetic light (vacuum ultraviolet) during the initial nanoseconds of dielectric window breakdown, and the impact of this light on the processes which contribute to pulsed DC and HPM flashover in the atmosphere. Five Ph.D. students were awarded this graduate fellowship worldwide and a portion of the funds are provided for student travel to an international IEEE conference.

Obituaries

Dr. Dan Cooke

Cooke
Cooke

Dr. Daniel Earl Cooke, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and professor of computer science, passed away on Oct. 30, 2010 at his home in Lubbock, Texas. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois on March 23, 1955, to Earl C. Cooke and Gloria J. Cooke, and grew up in Houston, Texas. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Arlington. Cooke taught at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and went on to become chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at El Paso. In 1999 he joined the faculty at Texas Tech University where he served as chair of the Department of Computer Science for 8 years.

During his tenure at Texas Tech, Cooke was awarded the prestigious Paul Whitfield Horn Professorship, the highest academic honor given to professors who demonstrate extraordinary standards of teaching and research excellence. He also served as director for the Center for Advanced Intelligent Systems at Texas Tech, and was program manager for the National Strategic Initiative for Intelligent Systems at the NASA Ames Research Center. Cooke was published extensively in numerous computer science journals and publications and received several academic awards and honors, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in recognition of his extraordinary service and dedication.

Donations may be made in Cooke's name to the Texas Tech Computer Science Scholarship Fund.

Events of Interest

December 17 Honors Convocation
Allen Theatre - Student Union Building
4 - 6 p.m.

Graduate Commencement
United Spirit Arena
7 p.m.
December 18 Undergraduate Commencement
United Spirit Arena
9 a.m.

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Mar 3, 2014