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News

U.S. News and World Report Rankings

Four Texas Tech University Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering graduate programs have joined the elite ranks of U.S. News & World Report’s top engineering programs.

The Department of Industrial Engineering ranked 26th in the Industrial/Manufacturing category, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ranked 65th in the Civil category, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering ranked 65th in the Computer Engineering category and 69th in the Electrical/Electronic/Communications category.

“Our faculty members are committed to providing a quality education to each of our graduate students,” said Pamela Eibeck, dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. “The U.S. News rankings confirm that our programs are gaining national recognition.”

The graduate rankings, available in the 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” were calculated based on two types of data: expert opinions about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. These data come from surveys of more than 1,200 programs and some 11,000 academics and professionals that were conducted in fall 2008. The graduate rankings can be found at:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools


GEAR

Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR)

Nearly 200 students from 14 West Texas elementary and middle schools participated in the 3rd annual GEAR competition held at Texas Tech University over the last two months.

GEAR (www.gearrobotics.org) is a six week LEGO robotics competition that challenges student teams to build and program LEGO robots (using the MINDSTORMS NXT kits) to perform specified tasks. This year’s competition, organized by Drs. Tanja Karp and Richard Gale from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dr. John Chandler from the T-STEM Center, kicked off during the college's Engineering Week. Participants designed robots to compete in the first ever robot Olympics. Competition events included basketball, hockey, ring toss, darts, tower of tugs, and power lift. To solve the challenge, students utilized math and scientific principles and important engineering concepts such as brainstorming, building, testing, troubleshooting, and design improvement. School teams were mentored by engineering students. The following teams won prizes during the competition:

  • 1st Place: ACE 8, Lamesa Middle School
  • 2nd Place: Super Stars, Harwell Elementary School
  • 3rd Place: R2D2, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • 4th Place: ACE 29, Lamesa Middle School
  • 1st Place Young Engineer Award: Lightning Bolts, Wester Elementary School
  • 2nd Place Young Engineer Award: Super Nova, Wester Elementary School
  • Most Elegant Robot Award: ACE 10, Lamesa Middle School
  • Best Themed Award: The Crushers, Wester Elementary School
  • GEAR Head Award: Titanium Tigers, Frenship Middle School
  • Judges Award: The Mad Scientist, Harmony Science Academy

Prizes were sponsored by Xcel Energy, Ludlum Measurements, the T-STEM Center, and Texas Tech alumni. For information on upcoming LEGO robotics events please contact Dr. Tanja Karp.

Faculty Recognitions

University Faculty Honors Convocation

The University Faculty Honors Convocation was held on April 21. The university gave the following awards to Whitacre College of Engineering faculty:

President�s Excellence in Teaching Award
Dr. Brian Nutter, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Outstanding Research Award
Dr. Andreas Neuber, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award
Dr. Tim Matis, Department of Mechanical Engineering


Tenure and Promotions

Dr. Walt Oler, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was promoted to Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies on April 16.

Drs. Darryl James, Sergey Nikishin, and Jahan Rasty have been promoted to the rank of Professor.

Dr. Hongchao Liu has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure.

Dr. Timothy Matis has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.


Tau Beta Pi Professor of Excellence

Dr. Mohammad Saed, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was selected for the Tau Beta Pi Professor of Excellence Award for 2008-2009 and was recognized at the Spring 2009 Tau Beta Pi initiation ceremony on Friday, April 24.

Staff Recognitions

President's Excellence in Diversity and Equity Award

Rosa Gallegos, director of student services in the Dean's Office was awarded the Texas Tech University’s 2008-2009 President’s Excellence in Diversity and Equity Staff Award on April 22.

Three other awards were given to Jaclyn Cañas, assistant professor, Department of Environmental Toxicology, the faculty award; Orlando Espino, a junior international business major, the undergraduate award; and Serkan Balyimez, a physics student from Turkey, the graduate student award.

The four winners were selected based on their efforts to make Texas Tech a welcoming campus through their commitment to service, mutual respect, academic and intellectual freedom and diversity. Awards were presented by President Guy Bailey and Juan Munoz, vice president of institutional diversity, equity and community engagement.


New Staff Members

Linda Whitebread was hired in the Department of Mechanical Engineering on April 22.

Grants and Contracts

03-19-2009 - 04-27-2009

Chemical Engineering

  • Drs. Muhammad N. Karim, Rajesh S. Khare, and Brandon L. Weeks were awarded $225,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Computational and Experimental Studies of Cellulose Degradation for the Production of Biofuels."
  • Dr. Raghunathan Rengasamy was awarded $136,982 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "GOALI: An Integrated Framework for Stiction Detection and Compensation in Control Loops."
  • Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was awarded $10,750 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The title of the proposal was "JPS - Physics."
  • Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was awarded $6,375 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "REU Supplement: Ultrathin Polymer Films: Viscoelasticity, Physical Aging, and Failure."

Computer Science

  • Dr. Eonsuk Shin was awarded $712 by ETRI, Korea. The title of the proposal was "Study on Self-Healing Methods for the OPRoS Component Middleware."

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Dr. Michael G. Giesselmann was awarded $158,928 by AFOSR/University of Texas Austin. The title of the proposal was "MURI Distributed Railgun Development for Affordable Space Access."

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Dr. Donald Lie was awarded $75,000 by Texas Instruments Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Analog Design Research for TI."
  • Drs. Mary C. Baker, Brian S. Nutter, and Ranadip Pal were awarded $241,449 by the Texas Workforce Commission. The title of the proposal was "Building Engineers in West Texas." Nutter is the PI.

Mechanical Engineering

  • Dr. Ming-Chien Chyu was awarded $11,377.80 by USDA/Texas Tech University Health Science Center. The title of the proposal was "Community-Based Approaches to Overweight and Obesity Among Young Children in West Texas."
  • Dr. Jingzhou Yang was awarded $25,085 by Caterpillar, Inc/University of Iowa. The title of the proposal was "Hand Simulation Model."
  • Dr. Edward E. Anderson was awarded $192,431 by the U.S. Air Force Academy. The title of the proposal was "IPA Agreement - Edward E. Anderson."

Water Resources Center

  • Drs. Ernest B. Fish, Kenneth A. Rainwater, and Richard E. Zartman were awarded $25,000 by the White River Municipal Water Distrct. The title of the proposal was "Evaluation of the White River Lake Watershed." Rainwater is the PI.

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

Concrete Canoe

The Texas Tech ASCE Concrete Canoe Team competed at the Texas-Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competition on April 3-4, 2009 at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. The team placed 2nd overall, winning 1st place in Final Product, 3rd in Design Paper, 1st in the Women's Sprint, 2nd in Men's Sprint, and 1st in Coed Sprint.



Gray

Student Publication

Travis P. Gray, a graduating petroleum engineering senior, was recently published in the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Journal of Petroleum Technology. The title of the paper was "Well-Performance Diagnostics Using Smart Plunger Technology."

He presented at the 2007 Southwestern Petroleum Short Course, the 2008 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop in Denver, CO, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers' 2009 Production and Operations Symposium in Oklahoma City, OK.


Art Guenther Outstanding Pulsed Power Student Award

Andrew Young, a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering will be presented with the 2009 IEEE NPSS PPS&T Committee's Art Guenther Outstanding Pulsed Power Student Award in Washington D.C. during the 17th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference.


Tau Beta Pi Stabile Scholarship

R. Greyson Geer, a senior civil engineering and architecture major, recently received Stabile Scholarship from The Fellowship Board of Tau Beta Pi. The award was given on the competitive criteria of high scholarship, campus leadership and service, and the promise of future contributions to the engineering profession.

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