Texas Tech Researchers Discover 'Great-Grandmother' of Crocodiles
Texas Tech is playing a key role in the examination and characterization of a fossil found on a ranch near Post, Texas. This find, the fossil of an ancestor of modern crocodiles, will soon help to shape our understanding of the evolution of crocodiles.
Thanks to a new CT scanner in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, researchers were able to look inside the skull of this animal to study the brain case and sinus cavities.
Dr. Shameem Siddiqui, Kerr-McGee Professor of Petroleum Engineering, collaborated with Dr. Sankar Chatterjee, curator of paleontology at the Museum of Texas Tech, on the project. Siddiqui said his CT scanner usually is used to study fluid flow through different types of rocks. However, it also can serve as a tool for imaging fossilized bones, and Siddiqui paired with Chatterjee this fall to learn more about the crocodile.
“When we scanned one of the samples with bones encrusted in the rock, we were able to find some hidden pieces of the crocodile,” Siddiqui said. “That was exciting. When we did the 3-D imaging of the skull, it was equally as exciting. Already, Sankar and I have been talking about using the CT scanner to measure bone density of more recent crocodiles and compare the data with bone densities of this ancient crocodile.”
Engineering Our Future Now Online
The latest issue of Engineering Our Future Magazine, the college's alumni magazine is now online. The magazine features faculty, staff, student, and alumni stories and news.
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Siddiqui Receives Patent
Dr. Shameem Siddiqui, Kerr-McGee Professor of Petroleum Engineering, and his former colleagues at Saudi Arabian Oil Co. were recently awarded a U.S. patent titled "Geostatistical Analysis and Classification of Core Data." This is the second patent for Siddiqui, who received a U.S. patent for "Method for Depth-Matching Using Computerized Tomography" in 2005.
Karim Elected to AIChE Fuels and Petrochemical Division Executive Committee
Dr. Naz Karim, department chair and Whitacre Chair in Chemical Engineering, has been elected to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Fuels and Petrochemical (F&P) Division Executive Committee for 2011. Karim was elected as one of the directors.
The F&P division provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among chemical engineers engaged in all phases of fuels and petrochemicals activities. The division coordinates activities through its own Ethylene Producers Subcommittee, as well as with other societies in the field. Each year, the F&P division sponsors some 350 papers in nearly 70 technical sessions at AIChE national meetings, relating to the production, refining, utilization, and conversion of liquid, solid, and gaseous fuels; and in the manufacturing and sales of petrochemicals derived from these fuels.
Maximum Green in Minimal Space
Texas Tech students and faculty recently built the Sustainable Cabin, a prefab dwelling created to test and quantify sustainable architectural concepts.
Students and faculty in Texas Tech's College of Visual and Performing Arts contributed the cabin's art, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering contributed to the building and mechanical development of the cabin.
The finished product was one of five design-build projects featured in the Dec. 2010 issue of Architectural Record. In addition, the sustainable cabin is also featured in design/architecture blog MocoLoco.
Grants and Contracts
12-15-2010 - 1-17-2011
Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics
Electrical and Computer Engineering
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