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Whitacre College of Engineering Today
Staff Recognitions
Grants and Contracts
Student Accomplishments
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Greg McKenna Receives Bingham Medal

Dr. Greg McKenna, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor, John R. Bradford Chair, and professor of chemical engineering, is the 2009 recipient of the Society of Rheology's Bingham Medal. The Bingham Medal is an annual award for outstanding contributions to the field of rheology. It was instituted in 1948 by the Society of Rheology, commemorating Eugene C. Bingham, a pioneer in rheology theory and practice.

McKenna received the medal because of his development of novel rheological experiments and methods to interrogate the physics of polymers and complex fluids. His contributions to rheology have been made in four areas:

  • Nanorheology and surface rheological methods
  • Nonlinear viscoelasticity and rejuvenation of polymer glasses
  • Molecular rheology and rheological characterization of polymer heterogeneity
  • Mechanics and thermodynamics of cross-linked rubbers


Summer in Seville

Dr. Walt Oler, associate dean of undergraduate studies; 25 engineering students; Dr. Mark Webb, an associate professor of philosophy; and Dr. Stacy Elko, an assistant professor of art are currently involved in a study abroad program in Seville, Spain for the months of June and July. The students will take courses in thermodynamics, statics, world religions, and art appreciation.

To keep up with the group's activities, visit the COE in Seville blog.

Staff Recognitions

New Staff Members

Michael Boyles was hired on June 1 in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Grants and Contracts

05-20-2009 - 06-16-2009

Chemical Engineering

  • Dr. Rajesh S. Khare was awarded $147,729 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Brittle Epoxies Rendered Ductile - Crazing in Thermosetting Epoxy Nanocomposites."
  • Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was awarded $126,811 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Collaborative Research: EAGER Proposal on Non-homogeneous Flow Fields in Nonlinear Rheology: A Challenge to Current Paradigms? ."
  • Dr. Uzi Mann was awarded $2,125 by DOE/Honeywell. The title of the proposal was "Development of a Process to Produce Urea Particles with Narrow Size Distribution."
  • Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was awarded $5,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Financial Support of the 6th International Discussion Meeting on Relaxations in Complex Systems, Rome, Italy, August 30th-September 5th, 2009."
  • Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was awarded $224 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The title of the proposal was "JPS - Physics."
  • Dr. Brandon L. Weeks was awarded $88.96 by the Dept of Homeland Security/Northeastern University. The title of the proposal was "REU: ALERT: Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats."

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Dr. Clifford B. Fedler was awarded $1,900 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The title of the proposal was "Wichita Falls Monitoring."

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Drs. James C. Dickens and Andreas A. Neuber were awarded $190,000 by the AFOSR/University of Wisconsin. The title of the proposal was "Counter HPM." Neuber is the PI.

Nano Tech Center

  • Drs. Jordan M. Berg, Ayrton Bernussi, Mark W. Holtz, and Sergey A. Nikishin were awarded $289,850 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "ANN/NIRT: Nano-Engineering Efficient Optoelectronic Devices."
  • Drs. Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin were awarded $157,335 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "ARRA-Bridging the Miscibility Gap in InGaN Alloys."

Water Resources Center

  • Dr. Audra N. Morse was awarded $10,393.90 by the Environmental Protection Agency. The title of the proposal was "Center for Water Law and Policy - - EPA Funding."
  • Dr. W. Andrew Jackson was awarded $9,622 by SQM North America. The title of the proposal was "Relative Uptake of Perchlorate and Iodide or Iodate in Lettuce: Support for Analysis and Manuscript Generation."

Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Office

  • Drs. John R. Chandler and A. Dean Fontenot were awarded $7,555.48 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The title of the proposal was "Run on the Wind Summer Program."

Student Accomplishments

WEAT Team Takes 3rd Place


The Texas Tech Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) team took 3rd Place in the WEAT Student Design Competition at the Texas Water Conference in Galveston. The Texas Tech team consists of Kristin Peterson, Nubia Estrada, Felipe Estrada, Glenda Smith, Kristen Faith, and Steven Broadaway.

Four university teams prepared design alternatives for Nutrient Removal at the Trinity River Authority (TRA) Central Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant. Student teams assumed that TRA currently has the system improvements to handle existing permit requirements. Additionally, student teams assumed that the permitted capacity will remain 162 MGD. The nutrient removal solution developed by the student teams was capable of handling the addition of nitrogen and phosphorus limits to the projected 2015 permit requirements.


Scott Simpson Named Program Manager at NASA

Scott Simpson, a 1983 electrical engineering technology graduate and son of former electrical engineering professor Dr. Travis Simpson, has been named a program manager at NASA in Houston. He will manage the Johnson Space Center Safety and Mission Assurance Support Services contract with 415 people providing engineering services in the Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance disciplines for the NASA Programs/Projects at the Johnson Space Center. These include the Space Shuttle Program, International Space Station Program, Constellation Program (designing our next vehicles to go to the moon including the Orion capsule), the Extra-Vehicular Activity Project and many other projects at the center.


J.E. Archer

Dr. J. E. Archer, former professor of systems and computer science at Texas Tech, died on June 1, 2009 at Stanford Hospital, in Palo Alto, Calif.

J. E. was born to James McQuatty and Mary Minerva Archer on December 1, 1922 in Hedley, Texas. He married Reta Faye Turner on November 8, 1942 in Abilene. Following service in World War II, he graduated from Texas Tech in 1947, and then was received a Ph.D. in Physics from M.I.T in 1950. He joined the M.I.T. faculty for two years, before entering industrial research for what is now PPG Industries, rising to Director of Research of the 300-person laboratory in four years. In 1962, J. E. joined Texas Instruments in Dallas as Corporate Director of Management Systems. In 1968, he and Reta moved to Lubbock, where they lived until Reta's death in 1996. At Texas Tech, J. E. started a new department, Systems Engineering, whose name was later changed to Systems and Computer Science. He remained at Texas Tech until he retired in 1996.

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