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Whitacre College of Engineering Today
Faculty Recognitions
Staff Recognitions
Grants and Contracts
Student Accomplishments
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Pulsed Power Research Instrumental in Combating IEDs

P3EResearchers in Texas Tech’s Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics have been instrumental in the United States Department of Defense’s efforts to combat improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The center’s research was recently referenced in a Popular Mechanics story on the Navy’s research in defeating IEDs.

Considered the nation’s university leader in pulsed power research, the center has directed two five-year university research initiatives supported by the Department of Defense and is participating in a third. A primary goal of the center’s research is to discover various avenues of disabling electrical systems from a distance, including IEDs and car bombs, before they maim and kill civilians.

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Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Concludes

ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp While many middle school-aged students are spending their summer days at the pool, those participating in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at Texas Tech University have been escaping the heat by diving into a two-week adventure in math and science.

Through July 30, campers have delved into relevant topics such as sustainability, energy, clean water and robotics as they learn about exciting career opportunities available to them through science, technology, engineering and math.

Former astronaut Bernard Harris and ExxonMobil have partnered since 2006 to provide the two-week residential camp free of charge to underserved middle school students at 30 college campuses across the country, including Texas Tech.

Campers are taught by university faculty, attend daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics and technology, and enjoy activities including classroom study, experiments, individual and team projects, weekly field excursions and inspirational guest speakers. As part of their educational experience, the campers also work side by side with engineers and other professionals who are accomplished in their chosen technology-related careers.

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Texas Tech Engineering Hosts 12 Solar-Powered Cars in Lubbock

Solar Cars The college recently hosted a pit stop for the 2010 Hunt-Winston School Solar Car Challenge. The challenge was a cross-country solar car race for high school students, featuring 12 solar cars and their teams, which stopped in Lubbock as they raced from Dallas to Boulder, Colo. Approximately 90 vehicles and 216 individuals (students, advisors, etc) drove through the campus for the afternoon.

The Hunt-Winston School Solar Car Challenge was established in 1993 to help motivate students in science and engineering and to increase alternative energy awareness. The challenge, a part of The Winston School Solar Science Academy, teaches high school students around the world how to build roadworthy solar cars.

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Faculty Recognitions

Lloyd Heinze to Chair SPE Committee

Lloyd HeinzeDr. Lloyd Heinze, Roy S. Butler Chair, professor, and department chair of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, will serve as chairperson for the Education & Accreditation Committee of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. The Education & Accreditation Committee is charged to support accreditation activities by ABET by providing evaluators and team leaders. The committee assesses curriculum of petroleum engineering and makes recommendations that are consistent with the needs of industry. Heinze will serve for one year.

Donald Lie Teaches Courses in Taiwan

Donald Lie Dr. Donald Lie, Keh-Shew Lu Regents Chair and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, recently taught a special invited short course organized by IEEE SSCS Taipei Chapter in Taiwan titled, ”Design of Si-Based High-Efficiency RF Power Amplifiers and Polar Transmitters for Mobile Broadband Wireless Communications.” The course was taught at the National Chiao-Tung University in Hsin-Chu and at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Grants and Contracts

06-15-2010 - 07-27-2010

Chemical Engineering

  • Dr. Siva A. Vanapalli was awarded $100,000 by the American Chemical Society - Petroleum Research Fund. The title of the proposal was "Bounds on Energy Dissipation Due to Polymer-induced Elastic Instabilities in Curvilinear Creeping Flows."
  • Dr. Brandon L. Weeks was awarded $84,996 by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. The title of the proposal was "In-Situ Atomic Force Microscopy of PETN Crystal Growth and Coarsening."

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Drs. Kenneth A. Rainwater and Drs. Lianfa Song were awarded $101,597 by the Texas Water Development Board. The title of the proposal was "Demonstration of a High Recovery and Energy Efficient RO System for Small-scale Brackish Water Desalination."

Computer Science

  • Dr. Yu Zhuang was awarded $200,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "PIRE-Simulation of Electronic Non-Adaibatic Dynamics for Reactions with Organic Macromolecules, Liquids, and Surfaces."
  • Dr. Joe Urban was awarded $16,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "REU SUPPLEMENT: 0939088:Collaborative Research: II: From Middle School to Industry: Vertical Integration to Inspire Interest in Computational Thinking."
  • Dr. Susan D. Urban was awarded $15,000 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "REU SUPPLEMENT: SRS: A Decentralized and Rule-based Approach to Data Dependency Analysis and Failure Recovery in a Service-oriented Environment."

Construction Engineering and Engineering Technology

  • Dr. Daan Liang was awarded $33,303.60 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Development of a Quantitative Model for Measuring Regional Economic Resilience to Hurricanes."

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Dr. Hamed Sari-Sarraf was awarded $2,051 by DOE/UT-Battelle. The title of the proposal was "Large-scale Geospatial Image Indexing and Retrieval."
  • Dr. Tanja N. Karp was awarded $116,675 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The title of the proposal was "Oversampled Filter Banks for Multicarrier Communications with Built-in Error Correction Capabilities."

Mechanical Engineering

  • Dr. Jingzhou Yang was awarded $59,653 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The title of the proposal was "Acquisition of Head and Face 3D Scanner System."
  • Dr. Sukalyan Bhattacharya was awarded $73,082 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Radial Migration of Suspended Particles and its Effect on Multispecies Flow Inside a Conduit."

Nano Tech Center

  • Drs. Mark W. Holtz and Sergey A. Nikishinwere awarded $147,345 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The title of the proposal was "Development of New Semiconductor Materials for Nanoengineered Multi-junction Solar Cells."

Water Resources Center

  • Drs. Todd A. Anderson, W. Andrew Jackson, and Kenneth A. Rainwater were awarded $115,000 by USAF/AFMC. The title of the proposal was "Research Needs Related to Natural Perchlorate: Production, Occurrence and Stable Isotopic Signatures."

Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Office

  • Drs. John R. Chandler and A. Dean Fontenot were awarded $88,250 by the Texas Education Agency/Coleman ISD. The title of the proposal was "ARRA: Target Texas (T3) Collaborative Grant-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009."

Student Accomplishments

Outstanding Theses and Dissertations

Texas Tech University’s Graduate School recently announced the 2010 awards that recognize the quality of work displayed in several theses and dissertations of graduate students.

Peilin Cao, a graduate student in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, placed second in the master’s thesis - mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering category. Her thesis was titled, "Three-Phase Unsteady-State Relative Permeability Measurements in Consolidated Cores Using Three Immiscible Liquids."

Brett Moore, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science, placed second in the doctoral dissertation - mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering category. His dissertation was titled, "Reinforcement Learning for Closed-Loop Propofol Anesthesia: A Human Volunteer Study."

Pulsed Power Student Receives Two Significant Awards

George Laity, a Ph.D. student in the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, as been named a NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium Fellow for the 2010-2011 academic year. The fellowship consists of a $5,000 scholarship. He received the award for his work on the Vacuum UV project and its impact on high power systems deployed at high altitudes.

Laity also recently received a 2010-2011 Graduate Directed Energy Scholarship award from the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS). George is the first student from Texas Tech to receive this scholarship. DEPS is the premier organization for the exchange of information on the development and application of directed energy (DE), which includes both high energy lasers and high power microwaves. DEPS fosters research and development of DE technology for national defense and civil applications through professional communication and education.

Events of Interest

August 7 Summer Commencement
1:30 p.m.
United Spirit Arena
September 10 Engineering Kick-Off Event
Engineering Key
September 22 Engineering Job Fair
Lubbock Civic Center
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Submission Information

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Nov 20, 2014Mar 9, 2015