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Helm
Helm

Helm Receives 2014 McAuley Distinguished Engineering Student Award

Amber Helm, a senior in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has been named the recipient of the 2014 McAuley Distinguished Engineering Student Award. Helm competed for this honor and was selected because of her outstanding academic achievements, honors, activities, interests, and aspirations. She has a 3.93 GPA and will graduate Summa Cum Laude with Honors in May with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

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.

Helm has accepted a full-time position with Anadarko as a production engineer in Kermit, and will begin work after graduation. She plans to stay involved at Texas Tech after graduation as an alumnae advisor to A.O.E., a campus recruiter for Anadarko, and member of the Texas Tech engineering young alumni organization, Young Guns.

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Perez Sacco
Perez Sacco

Perez and Sacco Receive President’s Excellence in Equity and Diversity Awards

Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering, and Jamie L. Perez, assistant director in the Whitacre College of Engineering Dean’s Office, have been named recipients of the President’s Excellence in Diversity and Equity Awards. Sacco was the Senior Faculty Award Recipient and Perez was the Staff Award Recipient.

These awards recognize individuals who provide outstanding service to equity and diversity enhancement at Texas Tech University or in the community, or with outstanding activities and projects that contribute to a better understanding of equity and diversity issues. Nearly 40 faculty, staff and students were nominated for the Excellence in Diversity and Equity Awards.

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Pantoya
Pantoya

Pantoya Featured on Discovery Channel Canada's Daily Planet

Dr. Michelle Pantoya, J. W. Wright Regents Chair in Mechanical Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering, was recently featured on the Discovery Channel Canada's program, Daily Planet. The Daily Planet is a daily science magazine show that delivers a mix of documentaries and features on current events and discoveries in science.

The segment that features Pantoya's research is part of a special series of reports titled "Future Planet," where scientific advances and potential applications of science and technology in the future are discussed. Pantoya, along with representatives from the Lubbock County Sheriff's Department, demonstrate how her research into nanoparticles has led to advances in combustion and explosions that could lead to safer ammunition, the elimination of biological threats, and many other applications.

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Chen
Chen

Texas Tech Joins Consortium of Experts Called Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center

Researchers at Texas Tech University have joined a consortium of experts called the Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center (CAC) to provide research and development to businesses interested in these computing areas. Dr. Alan Sill, a senior scientist at Texas Tech’s High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) and the CAC site director, said Texas Tech will take on a leadership role in cloud standards and reference implementations within the center, created and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Dr. Yong Chen, an assistant professor of computer science, and Dr. Ravi Vadapalli, research scientist at the HPCC, serve as associate directors for the Texas Tech site. This team will coordinate industry-oriented work by faculty and industry members. Texas Tech will partner with University of Florida, Rutgers University and Mississippi State University as CAC university sites.

“The CAC identifies innovative industry-research partnerships in emerging areas such as Big Data analytics and helps sustain workforce development opportunities created through these partnerships” said Chen, who also directs Texas Tech’s Data-Intensive Scalable Computing Laboratory.

The center was funded with a five-year $300,000 grant from the NSF to run operations. Companies join the CAC and obtain seats on the center advisory board in exchange for fees starting at $35,000 a year, earning them the ability to select and approve research projects and gain access to brand-new research and university capabilities. Companies committed to join Texas Tech’s CAC so far include Covenant Health System, StackVelocity, Aerospace Corp., Happy State Bank and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the information technology advisory arm to the U.S. government for the Department of Defense.

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Student News
Texas Tech ASCE Student Chapter Concrete Canoe Team
Texas Tech ASCE Student Chapter Concrete Canoe Team

Texas Tech Wins Second Place in the Texas-Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competition

The Texas Tech ASCE Student Chapter won second place in the American Society of Civil Engineering Texas-Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competition held in April 2014 in Tyler, Texas.

Team members from Texas Tech included Angie Fealy, Jessica Fox, Devan Glover, Michelle Liner, Wade Morrison, Brennan Plemons, Casey Ramsey, Alan Salazar, Marian Schwarz, and Tyson Stagner.

Approximately 350 students representing 16 schools from Texas and Mexico competed in the 2014 competition. At the annual contest, participants build canoes with concrete and are judged in four categories: technical design report, oral design presentation, canoe final product, and racing. The winning team represents the ASCE Texas Section and advances to the national competition.

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James Lassmann and Larry Brock  return from their first sampling experience in Galveston Bay
James Lassmann and Larry Brock return from their first sampling experience in Galveston Bay

ME Students Among First Responders to Galveston Bay Oil Spill

On March 22, a cargo ship collided with a barge carrying approximately 4,000 barrels of bunker fuel oil in Galveston Bay, Texas. An estimated 168,000 gallons spilled into the Houston Ship Channel, prompting officials to shut it down for cleanup.

Within days, scientists from two research consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) were on site alongside government and industry workers, collecting baseline information to assess impacts. These two groups were the Deep Sea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Consortium (Deep-C) and the Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS) consortium.

Scientists with DROPPS are interested in oil as it moves through the water column and the effects of different agents on its travel path. They also look at the weathering process, but their primary focus is effects on planktonic populations and how they in turn impact the oil.

Larry Brock and James Lassmann, students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, worked with members of the DROPPS team, sampled in the bay, and used a 3D holography unit. The underwater holography system is used to profile this oil and biological agents in the water column.

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High school girls observe the Penguin Plunge! exhibit during "A Night at the Science Spectrum" event
High school girls observe the Penguin Plunge! exhibit during "A Night at the Science Spectrum" event

SWE Hosts Event, Promotes STEM to High School Girls

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Texas Tech hosted “A Night at the Science Spectrum” in April as a way to introduce high school girls to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

“With this event, we really wanted to get out into the Lubbock area to encourage high school girls to pursue STEM fields,” said Valerie Cafferata, director for the event. “Hosting the event at the Science Spectrum gave some knowledge to the high school girls as they explore and experiment with the activities the spectrum had to offer, as well as other activities SWE had prepared for them.”

Novella Landau, a member of SWE, indicated their organization focuses on hosting events that help educate women about what engineering entails. “When I was in high school, I did not know what engineering was,” Landau admitted.

“This is just a great outreach program for us to be able to give these high school girls a taste of what engineering can be like in college,” Cafferata said. Because of events like this, many girls have become interested in STEM fields, according to Cafferata.

This was second time SWE hosted “A Night at the Science Spectrum,” and attendance grew to 37 this year. The organization is hopeful the event will grow and reach even more local high school girls in the future.

Ashley Collins, a junior high school student in Lubbock, said she came to the event because she has some interest in engineering. “I like how it’s challenging,” Collins said. “It is always giving you something to push you.” Collins described how attending the event has helped her see, learn, and understand how engineering works in the real world. “It’s not impossible,” Collins said. “It’s challenging, but it is fun at the same time.”

Auld
Auld

Auld Wins First Place in Technical Paper Competition

Donald Auld, a senior in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won first place in the Technical Paper Competition at the Texas-Mexico American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Spring Student Symposium.

The symposium was held at The University of Texas at Tyler on April 25-26, 2014.

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Crabtree and Williams Named Top Poster Presenters at Undergraduate Research Conference

Jacob Crabtree and Joshua Williams, seniors in the Department of Computer Science, were named the Top Poster Presenters in the Physical Sciences division at the 2014 Texas Tech University Undergraduate Research Conference. The conference was hosted by the Texas Tech Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement and is an annual, campus wide event championing undergraduate student research, scholarship, and creative activity. Students from Texas Tech and other universities have the opportunity to present their research, attend special sessions, and network with fellow undergraduate scholars. Faculty and graduate students also attend and serve as reviewers or judges.

The poster, "Intel Galileo Development Board Based Embedded Applications," details their research, which is the design and development of multiple embedded applications using Arduino-compatible Intel Galileo development board, partially supported by Intel Corporation. The board is based on the Intel Quark SoC X1000 application processor, which is a 32-bit Intel Pentium-class system on a chip. Four different applications are explored in the areas of Web server, wireless communication, music, and user interface. Crabtree and Williams are investigating system configuration and setup and programming in an integrated development environment. This research has the potential to expose cutting-edge technology and significantly enhance hands-on experiences in embedded systems.

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Fierro
Fierro

Fierro Receives IEEE Burkes Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Andrew Fierro, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named the recipient of a Tom R. Burkes Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the 2014 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference.

In 2002, the IEEE International Power Modulator Conference created two Student Awards in honor of Dr. Tom R. Burkes, who was professor at Texas Tech. The award was established to recognize contributions by a graduate student in engineering, science, or technology associated with power modulation, power electronics, or repetitive pulsed power.

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Vargas
Vargas

Vargas Wins Outstanding Student Presenter Award

Evan Vargas, a research assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the Outstanding Student Presenter Award at the 2014 Spring Technical Meeting of the Central States Section of The Combustion Institute. His presentation was titled "Effects of Particle Size on Microwave Heating of Aluminum Powder Compacts."

The Combustion Institute is an international non-profit, scientific, and educational organization, founded in 1954, which serves the purpose to promote and disseminate combustion research. Fundamental and applied scientific disciplines contribute to this research, which has strong ties to technical and industrial processes.

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Xu
Xu

Xu Wins First Place in Graduate Student Research Poster Competition

Rong Xu, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering supervised by Dr. Ted Wiesner, an associate professor of chemical engineering, won first place in Engineering Division I of the 13th Annual Graduate Student Research Poster Competition, hosted by the Texas Tech Graduate School in February 2014. Her research poster was titled "Reactor Design and Dynamic Model of a Two-step Iron Oxide Solar Thermochemical Cycle" and detailed her work on a novel process that can sustain 24/7 hydrogen production from solar energy without fossil fuel backup.

The purpose of the Graduate Student Research Competition is to encourage students to:

  • Engage in high quality, sound, and pertinent research;
  • Gain experience in presentation of scientific papers;
  • Demonstrate poise and mental agility before their peers;
  • Develop skills in effective communication for dissemination of research information.
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Faculty News
Bateman
Bateman

Bateman Named Honorary Member of SPWLA

Richard Bateman, an associate professor of practice in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, has been unanimously elected an Honorary Member of the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA). Only five individuals have received this honor, and the last honorary member was elected in 1985.

SPWLA is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the advancement of the science of petrophysics and formation evaluation, through well logging and other formation evaluation techniques and to the application of these techniques to the exploitation of gas, oil and other minerals. Founded in 1959, SPWLA provides information services to scientists in the petroleum and mineral industries, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening petrophysical education, and strives to increase the awareness of the role petrophysics has in the Oil and Gas Industry and the scientific community.

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Green
Green

Green Named to DuPont Class of Young Professors

Dr. Micah Green, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, has been named to the DuPont 2014 Class of Young Professors. Over the next three years, DuPont will provide Green and the other members of the 2014 class with $600,000 to support their work in advancing basic science to meet global challenges in food, energy, and protection.

The DuPont Young Professor program is designed to help promising young and nontenured research faculty who work in areas of interest to DuPont begin their research careers. The program has spanned over four decades, providing over $50 million in grants to nearly 700 young professors in nearly 140 institutions in 14 countries since 1968.

Members of the DuPont Young Professor Class of 2014 represent 10 universities on two continents.

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Heinze
Heinze

Heinze Receives Regional Distinguished Achievement Award

Dr. Lloyd Heinze, a professor of petroleum engineering, has been named a recipient of a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty. He was recognized at the 2014 SPE SW North American Regional Awards Banquet in Midland at the Midland Country Club on May 8.

The award recognizes superiority in classroom teaching, excellence in research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineering profession and/or special effectiveness in advising and guiding students. It is presented based on the recommendation of the regional director or the regional award committee.

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Watson
Watson

Watson Inducted into the Texas Tech Teaching Academy

Dr. Richard Watson, an associate professor of computer science, has been inducted into the Texas Tech Teaching Academy. He was selected because he has demonstrated a significant commitment to teaching excellence. The mission of the Teaching Academy 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.

Texas Tech Teaching Academy Members in the Whitacre College of Engineering

Name Department
Ed Anderson Mechanical Engineering
Stephen Bayne Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mario Beruvides Industrial Engineering
Stephen Ekwaro-Osire Mechanical Engineering
Atila Ertas Mechanical Engineering
Jennifer Farris Industrial Engineering
Michael Giesselmann Electrical and Computer Engineering
Tanja Karp Electrical and Computer Engineering
William Lawson Civil and Environmental Engineering
Audra Morse Civil and Environmental Engineering
Name Department
Scott Norville Civil and Environmental Engineering
Brian Nutter Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ken Rainwater Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mohammad Saed Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sanjaya Senadheera Civil and Environmental Engineering
Douglas Smith Civil and Environmental Engineering
James L. Smith Industrial Engineering
Milton Smith Industrial Engineering
Richard Watson Computer Science
   

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Alumni News
Hanley
Hanley

Aeronautical Engineering Alum Hanley Writes Book on WWII POW Experience

Fiske Hanley II, a 1943 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from Texas Tech, recently published his book, "Accused American War Criminal," with the Texas Tech University Press. The book explains the war in the Pacific theater and captures his experience as a Special Prisoner.

Less than twelve hours after receiving his degree in aeronautical engineering, Hanley was on a train bound for basic training as an Air Force Aviation Cadet. Nine months later he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Assigned as a B-29 flight engineer, he was attached to the 504th Bombardment Group (VH). In January 1945, they flew their new B-29 to Tinian Island in the Pacific and began bombing missions over Japan. On the seventh mission, their plane was shot down. Lt. Hanley arrived on Japanese soil via parachute and thus began his harrowing experience as an Accused American War Criminal.

Kept in overcrowded, filthy dungeons cells in Tokyo, they were not treated as Prisoners of War but were designated as Special Prisoners to be tried and executed for the killing of innocent women and children. While awaiting trial they were considered subhuman—starved on half POW rations, issued no clothes or basic hygienic needs, denied medical treatment and allowed to suffer and die from torture.

The book is available from the Texas Tech University Press in hardcover and as an e-book.

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Maldonado
Maldonado

Maldonado Named Chancellor of Houston Community College

Dr. Cesar Maldonado, a 2008 graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in systems and engineering management, has been named the next chancellor of Houston Community College (HCC). The institution conducted a nationwide search for the next leader of the institution and selected Maldonado, who successfully transitioned his private industry management expertise into public higher education administration. Maldonado is an accomplished engineer, civic and business leader, and higher education administrator. Before coming to HCC, he served as president of Texas State Technical College in Harlingen, where he was responsible for many important accomplishments and advances for the college and its students since 2008.

Maldonado’s business experience includes strategic planning, project management, infrastructure design, industrial systems, and software design. Maldonado holds Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, and is an alumnus of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

On a professional level, Maldonado has worked with the state legislature on education initiatives regarding school finance and science, technical, engineering and math education. In addition to his demonstrated business acumen, he led legislative efforts to create high school/college dual enrollment opportunities in Texas, and has served as a board member of the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District since 2003. He served as the interim chair of the Border Governors Conference on Science and Technology, where he worked to foster bi-national research and technology exchange with scientists across the U.S. and Mexico border. He was also appointed by the governor to serve as a regent of the Texas State Technical College System.

Grants and Contracts

April 17 – May 13, 2014

Investigator(s) Agency Title Amount
Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation
Dr. Alon Kvashny,
Dr. Hongchao Liu,*
Dr. Cynthia B. McKenney,
Dr. Sanjaya P. Senadheera, and
Dr. Moon-Cheol Won
TX Dept of Transportation Technical Assistance to Texas Department of Transportation $9,981
Chemical Engineering
Dr. Gregory B. McKenna
Dr. Brandon L. Weeks
Office of Naval Research Resolving the Complexity of Hot Spots Caused by Weak Energy Concentration and Coupling in Composite Energetic Materials $65,518.50
Dr. Raghunathan Rengasamy NSF/SysEng LLC STTR Phase I: Development of a Computational Tool for Modeling, Simulation and Design of Next Generation Discrete Droplet Microfludic Systems $85,588
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Stephen M. Morse
Dr. H. Scott Norville
Enclos Corporation The effect of Ceramic Frit on the Strength of Heat-treated Glass $31,819
Computer Science
Dr. Yong Chen
Dr. Mohan Sridharan
National Science Foundation REU Site: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Cybersecurity, Robotics, and Software Engineering $54,686.18
Industrial Engineering
Dr. Joseph E. Urban
Dr. Susan D. Urban
National Science Foundation REU Site: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Cybersecurity, Robotics, and Software Engineering $64,196.82
Dr. Shiren Wang National Science Foundation REU Supplement: CAREER: Exploring Novel Organic Thermoelectric Composites with Hierarchical Architecture and High Figure of Merit $10,000
Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Jordan M. Berg National Science Foundation Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement - Jordan Berg $92,452
Dr. Michelle L. Pantoya Systems and Materials Research Corporation Nanosilicon Combustion Characterization $25,000
Dr. Jingjing Qiu National Science Foundation REU Supplement: BRIGE: Scalable Bottom-up Synthesis of Well-defined Diamond Nanowire/Nanotube Arrays $10,000
Dr. Michelle L. Pantoya Office of Naval Research Resolving the Complexity of Hot Spots Caused by Weak Energy Concentration and Coupling in Composite Energetic Materials $32,759.25
Dr. Jungkyu Kim DOE/HJ Science & Technology Inc SBIR Phase II: Portable Microfluidic Platform for Real-time, High Sensitive Detection and Identification of Trichloroethylene and Other Organochloride Compounds $69,628
Nano Tech Center
Dr. Jordan M. Berg National Science Foundation Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement - Jordan Berg $92,452

* Primary Investigator

Events

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Aug 15, 2014