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Whitacre

On November 12, $25 million was donated to the College of Engineering from AT&T and friends of Edward E. Whitacre Jr. in honor of Ed Whitacre, former Texas Tech regent and former chairman of the board and CEO of AT&T.

Because of AT&T’s and Ed Whitacre’s longstanding support of Texas Tech, the College of Engineering has been named the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. This presents an exciting opportunity to significantly increase the quality, national recognition and contributions of the college in our effort to expand the engineering workforce and generate the technical solutions that will help make our nation great.


Morris The Texas Tech Alumni Association honored Jeff D. Morris, a 1974 chemical engineering graduate, as a Distinguished Alumnus at the annual reception and dinner on November 7 at the Merket Alumni Center. Jeff D. Morris is the president and CEO of ALON USA, a refining and marketing company based in Dallas, Texas.

After graduating from Texas Tech with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, Morris worked developing processing operations. During this time, he earned 10 U.S. and six foreign patents in polymer processing and production. As a result of his research and development efforts, he was able to help design and build the world's largest polystyrene plant in Baton Rouge, La.

In 2000, Morris joined ALON USA, which formed when Alon Israel Oil Co. Ltd. purchased FINA Inc.'s downstream operations. Under his leadership, ALON USA has flourished, doubling its size with the acquisition of the Paramount and Edgington refineries and associated asphalt business in California in 2006. His concern for energy and environmental policy is exhibited by Alon's plans in California to improve these refineries by doubling their fuels production while at the same time reducing the greenhouse emissions for the plants. Alon intends to convert these plants to the lowest emissions refineries in the U.S., per barrel of fuel produced. He was named a Distinguished Engineer by the College of Engineering in 1997.

Faculty Recognition

Lie Dr. Donald Y. C. Lie, gave an short course on "RF Amplifier and Si-Based PA: Analog/RF IC Design and Technologies for Communications" at the 9th IEEE International Conference on Solid-State and Integrated-Circuit Technology at Beijing, China on October 20.

Travel funding for Lie's trip was supported by Texas Instruments. Lie also delivered an invited talk entitled: "Low-Power RF Wideband Polar Transmitter Design Using the Envelope-Tracking Technique" by D.Y.C. Lie, Y. Li and J. Lopez. At the IEEE Bipolar/BICMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting in Monterey, CA, on October 13-16, gave an invited talk on "Design of Highly-Efficient Wideband RF Polar Transmitters Using the Envelope-Tracking Technique."


Siva Vanapalli was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering on October 1.

Staff Recognition

Sarah Obenhaus was hired as a senior business assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering on October 20.

Kelsey Seger was hired as a coordinator in the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center on November 10.

Grants and Contracts

Chemical Engineering

  • Dr. Brandon L. Weeks was awarded $63,750.51 by the Dept of Homeland Security/Northeastern University. The title of the proposal was "ALERT: Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats."
  • Drs. Gregory B. McKenna and Brandon L. Weeks were awarded $53,117 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Nanoscale Features in the Mechano-Chemistry of Energetic Materials: Novel Thermal and Force Scanning Probe Measurements." Weeks is the PI.

Computer Science

  • Dr. Eonsuk Shin was awarded $25,772 by ETRI, Korea. The title of the proposal was "Study on Self-Healing Methods for the OPRoS Component Middleware."

Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation

  • Drs. Priyantha W. Jayawickrama, William D. Lawson, and Charles D. Newhouse were awarded $104,010.81 by the Texas Department of Transportation. The title of the proposal was "0-5849 Evaluating Existing Culverts for Load Capacity Allowing for Soil Structure Interaction." Lawson is the PI.
  • Dr. Theodore Cleveland was awarded $62,100 by the Texas Department of Transportation. The title of the proposal was "0-6070: Use of the Rational and Modified Rational Methods for TxDOT Hydraulic Design."
  • Dr. Moon Won was awarded $5,000 by the Texas Department of Transportation. The title of the proposal was "5-5444-01: Pilot Implementation of Pavement Repair Guidelines for Longitudinal Cracks and
    Joints."

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Dr. James C. Dickens was awarded $269,545 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Pulsed Ring-Down and EMP Generators for IED Neutralization and Controlled Destruction."

Industrial Engineering

  • Dr. Ismael R. deFarias was awarded $43,042 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Branch-and-Cut Approaches for Nonconvex Nonlinear and Mixed-integer Nonlinear Programming."

Mechanical Engineering

  • Dr. Jingzhou Yang was awarded $41,784 by the Univ Iowa/Caterpillar Inc. The title of the proposal was "Hand Simulation Model."
  • Drs. Valery I. Levitas and Michelle L. Pantoya were awarded $40,110 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Melt-Dispersion Mechanism for Energetic Reactions of Aluminum Nanoparticles."

Nano Tech Center

  • Dr. Mark W. Holtz was awarded $100,000 by the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The title of the proposal was "Research Superiority in Nanophotonics (Supplement)."

Water Resources Center

  • Dr. Kenneth A. Rainwater was awarded $35,865.60 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The title of the proposal was "New Water Management Technologies to Sustain Rural Economies - FY 2008."
  • Drs. Todd A. Anderson, W. Andrew Jackson, and Kenneth A. Rainwater, were awarded $69,675 by the Department of Defense. The title of the proposal was "Research Needs Related to Natural Perchlorate: Production, Occurrence and Stable Isotopic Signatures."

Student Accomplishments

The Texas Tech Programming Team competed at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, South Central Regional. The Texas Tech team, "Red Raiders," won 1st place in the ACU site, and placed 16th overall in the region. The other Texas Tech team, "Happy Hackers," finished 59th overall. The competition featured 67 teams from universities from all over Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Team "Red Raiders" includes Alfred White, Ashwin Venkataraman, and Cameron Boykin. Team "Happy Hackers" includes Arunoday Sarkar, Justin Yost, and Kevin Lembcke.

Dallas Webster, a Ph.D. student of Dr. Donald Lie, won a Best Student Paper Award at the 9th IEEE International Conference on Solid-State and Integrated-Circuit Technology at Beijing, China on October 20. The paper is entitled, "A Novel RF Phase Error Built-in-Self-Test for GSM," and was written by D. Webster, R. Hudgens, L. Phan, O. Eliezer, and D.Y.C. Lie.

Alumni

William Farquhar, a 1985 graduate of the engineering technology program, has been selected as a Lockheed Martin Fellow. Farquhar was selected because of outstanding technical leadership and expertise in weapons delivery accuracy and threat analysis. He is currently the lead analyst for air system integration on the F-35 project at Lockheed Martin.

Is your news listed here?

Submit your news through your department’s contributor:

Chemical Jan Hudson
Civil and Environmental Glenna Andrews
Computer Science Mysti Digby
Electrical and Computer Sandi Willingham
Engineering Technology Mary Reigner
Industrial Terry Wilson
Mechanical Lori Walraven
Petroleum Joan Blackmon
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Nov 20, 2014