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Whitacre College of Engineering Today
Faculty Recognitions
Student Accomplishments
Staff Recognitions
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Distinguished Engineers

Eight Distinguished Engineers Named

The Whitacre College of Engineering named Dennis Carroll, Randy Crawford, Terry Fuller, Paul Grimmer, William Guion, Mary Anne Hicks, Jack Rentz, and Walter T. Winn Jr. as recipients of the 2011 Distinguished Engineer Award on April 15.

The Distinguished Engineer Award was established during the 1966-67 academic year to recognize the most outstanding alumni of the college. Since that time, 199 graduates have received this honor.

Recipients of the award must be distinguished in their profession, an inspiration to their peers, and have demonstrated a continuing interest in areas outside the field of engineering.

“The Distinguished Engineer Award is an opportunity for the Whitacre College of Engineering to recognize our exceptional alumni,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the college. “Our entire scholarly community is proud of the accomplishments of our latest group of alumni to earn the title ‘Distinguished Engineer.’ These individuals have distinguished themselves in various and unique ways as outstanding engineers and business leaders and are a testimony to the outstanding education provided by our faculty and staff to all our students: past, present and future.”

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Texas Tech Receives Gift from ConocoPhillips

Gift from ConocoPhillips

Texas Tech students will benefit from a $500,000 gift from ConocoPhillips received April 11.

The Whitacre College of Engineering’s ConocoPhillips Academic Success Bridge Program, the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholars program, and the new Rawls College of Business Building Fund are among the programs to receive funds from the gift.

Tom Mathiasmeier, senior vice president, ConocoPhillips Gas & Power, said his company is pleased to announce continued support for Texas Tech.

"I’m proud of the strong relationship between ConocoPhillips and Texas Tech University,” Mathiasmeier said. “Through financial support and program sponsorship, ConocoPhillips is continuing to make a positive impact on students at Texas Tech. Overall, I am very proud to see our strong partnership continue to grow"

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Fluor International Engineering Program Receives Global Vision Award

International Engineering Program
Fluor International Engineering Program

Texas Tech University's President Guy Bailey presented a Global Vision Award to the Whitacre College of Engineering on April 21 during the annual Global Vision Award ceremony, hosted by the Office of International Affairs. The awards recognize an individual and an office especially active in promoting campus internationalization during the previous year.

The Whitacre College of Engineering received the award for its initiative, through the Fluor International Engineering Program, to maximize study abroad opportunities for engineering students – most importantly at the Texas Tech Center in Seville, Spain. The office recognized the college for increasing the numbers of students participating in study abroad programs from 51 in 2009-2010 to 109 in 2010-2011. Last summer the college sent two faculty-led programs with 23 students abroad. This summer, the program has more than doubled to 87 students at four sites. In the fall, six students will participate in an exchange program with the Czech Republic.

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Engineering Hosts 500 Elementary and Middle School Students For Robot Challenge

GEAR Competition

The Whitacre College of Engineering hosted 500 students from more than 30 schools from the Lubbock area and across the South Plains as they participated in Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR) Competition Day.

GEAR is an eight-week LEGO robotics challenge for elementary and middle school students in grades K-8. Student teams build and program LEGO robots, using MINDSTORMS NXT kits to perform specified tasks. To solve the challenge, students learn engineering skills through a teaming exercise in designing, building, programming, testing, and troubleshooting wheeled LEGO robots that perform and compete on an eight-foot-by-eight-foot field.

Texas Tech freshmen engineering students mentor the elementary and middle school students and assist with robot programming.

During the last four years, Texas Tech served as a local GEAR hub for the competition in Lubbock.  During this time period, the competition has grown from a trial run held with Harwell Elementary School in 2006 to a competition with 150 participating teams.


Faculty Recognitions

Engineering Faculty and Staff Awards Breakfast

At the Engineering Faculty and Staff Awards Breakfast held on April 12, the college recognized faculty awards from the university and the college, as well as faculty members that received promotion or tenure.

Faculty Promotion and Tenure Recognition

Promoted to Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mary Baker
Promoted to Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Hamed Sari-Sarraf
Tenured and Promoted to Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Sukalyan Bhattacharya
Tenured and Promoted to Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Zhaoming He
Tenured in Industrial Engineering Timothy Matis

University Teaching Awards

Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award Audra Morse
President's Excellence in Teaching Award Richard Gale
Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award Jingzhou (James) Yang

College Teaching Awards

George T. and Gladys Abell-Hanger Faculty Award Hamed Sari-Sarraf
Dr. Charles Burford Faculty Award Mohammad Saed
Lockheed Martin Award Ayrton Bernussi
Halliburton Teaching Excellence Award Siva Vanapalli

University Research Award

Barnie E. Rushing Jr. Faculty Distinguished Research Award Hongxing Jiang

College Research Awards

Whitacre Excellence in Research Yu Zhuang
Whitacre Excellence in Research Moon Won
Whitacre Excellence in Research (Growth in Research) Jingzhou (James) Yang

Sari-Sarraf Receives Commercial Development Grant

Hamed Sari-Sarraf

The Texas Tech University System (TTUS) has announced four awards in the first funding round of its Commercial Development Grant Program. The $1 million, three-year program was announced last fall as a way to expedite the commercial development of ‘market-ready’ technologies created within TTUS.

Eric Hequet from the Fiber and Biopolymer Institute and Hamed Sari-Sarraf from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering received a grant for commercial development of a machine vision system that digitally measures the properties of stain release and material shrinkage in fabrics.

Three additional grants were also awarded.

The Commercial Development Grant Program provides researchers at TTUS institutions with grants of up to $50,000 for the commercial development of their research. Early stage investment in these technologies helps attract the attention of private investors and venture capitalists, as well as state and federal agencies. The program is administered through the TTUS Office of Technology Commercialization.

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CEET Professor Receives $5,000 Equipment Grant

Dr. Tewodros Ghebrab, an assistant professor in the Department of Construction Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET), recently received a $5,000 equipment grant from the TEXO Education and Research Foundation. The grant will be use to leverage matching university funds to maintain and expand development of CEET laboratories and undergraduate facilities in the college. TEXO is a professional organization representing a membership of over 1,900 commercial contractors located in northern and eastern Texas.

Karp Named Fulbright Advisor

Tanja Karp

Dr. Tanja Karp, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, accepted an invitation from Texas Tech Provost Bob Smith to become Texas Tech's Fulbright U.S. Student Program Advisor. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."

With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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Li's Paper Wins Award at WAMICON

Changzhi Li

Dr. Changzhi Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented "Radar Motion Sensing for Accurate Tumor Tracking in Radiation Therapy" and won the third place award in the best conference paper competition of the twelfth annual IEEE Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON) on April 18-19 in Clearwater, Florida. Changzhan Gu, an electrical engineering doctoral student, was second author on the paper.

Student Accomplishments

Chemical Engineers Place at AIChE Regional Competition


Students from the Department of Chemical Engineering participated in the 2011 Southwest American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Regional Student Conference on March 25-27 in College Station, Texas. The results of the competition are listed here:

CompetitionPlacingTeam Members
Chem-E Car Competition 2nd Place Dustin Drueckhammer
Ian Renkes
Thomas Hoover
Zach Powell
Paper Competition 1st Place

3rd Place
Abel Cortinas

Erika Yamasaki
Poster Competition 2nd Place Chem-E Car Team
Chem-E Jeopardy 1st Place Corey Brazenec
Braden Burchett
Zach Powell
Anne Freeman
Thomas Hoover

Levy Receives Student Academic Citizenship Award

Eric Levy

Eric Levy, a senior in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Houston, was selected to be the Whitacre College of Engineering's recipient of the 2010-2011 Student Academic Citizenship Award from the Texas Tech Parents Association. Levy was recognized for his work with incoming engineering freshmen as a mentor in the ConocoPhillips Academic Success Bridge Program, as well as his work leading LEGO robotics classes for elementary and secondary school students with the IDEAL program.

Voss Receives Simpson Scholarship

Matthew A. Voss, a senior in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received a $1,000 Structural Engineering/Architecture Student Scholarship from Simpson Strong-Tie Company, Inc. The Structural Engineering/Architecture Student Scholarship Program offers scholarships to support education and encourage the design and building of safer structures in our communities. Since the incept ion of this program, a total of $373,000 in awards has been granted with 33 schools currently participating.

Bao to Present Poster at AAAI-11

Forrest Sheng Bao, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science advised by Dr. Yuanlin Zhang, will present "Resolving Medical Treatment Conflict with Symptom Priority Ranking in Answer Set Programming" at the Twenty-Fifth Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-11) in August. The research is a collaboration with Dr. Zhizheng Zhang, an associate professor of computer science at Southeast University in Nanjing, China. He was also selected to attend the AAAI/SIGART Doctoral Consortium at AAAI-11 with a $1,000 travel award.

Staff Recognitions

Andrews and Ceja Receive Orval Leroy Lewis Award

Andrews   Ceja
Andrews   Ceja

At the Engineering Faculty and Staff Awards Breakfast held on April 12, the Orval Leroy Lewis Awards were given to Glenna Andrews, senior advisor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Margie Ceja, advisor in the Department of Construction Engineering and Engineering Technology. The awards are in recognition of employees who demonstrate positive and friendly attitudes toward faculty, students, and colleagues, and commit personal energy over and above that required by the job description.

Grants and Contracts

3-11-2011 – 4-18-2011

Chemical Engineering

  • Dr. Harvinder S. Gill was awarded $105,931 by the National Institutes of Health. The title of the proposal was "Targeting the Oral Cavity Epithelium for Inducing Mucosal Immunity against HIV."

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Dr. Hongchao Liu was awarded $58,000 by the Lubbock Metropolitan Planning Organization. The title of the proposal was "South Loop 289 Corridor Study-Phase II."

Computer Science

  • Dr. Yu Zhuang was awarded $95,700 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "Computer Simulation of Chemical Dynamics."

Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation

  • Dr. Moon-Cheol Won was awarded $6,000 by the Texas Department of Transportation. The title of the proposal was "Forensic Evaluations and Testing to Improve Pavement (ICA with Houston TxDOT)."

Center for Nanophotonics

  • Drs. Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin were awarded $158,324 by the National Science Foundation. The title of the proposal was "ARRA-Bridging the Miscibility Gap in InGaN Alloys."

Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics

  • Dr. James C. Dickens was awarded $20,000 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Enabling Technology for Compact Directed Energy Systems Addressing Asymmetric Explosive Threats."
  • Drs. James C. Dickens and Andreas A. Neuber were awarded $25,272 by DOD/General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. The title of the proposal was "SUPPLEMENT: Lightning Bug Project Support."
  • Dr. Stephen B. Bayne was awarded $13,908 by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The title of the proposal was "Support for 4th US-Japan Pulsed Power and Symposium on Pulsed Power and Plasma Applications."

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Dr. Brian S. Nutter was awarded $73,125 by Innovative Integration. The title of the proposal was "LTE Modeling and Implementation."

Industrial Engineering

  • Dr. Ismael R. De Farias was awarded $44,570 by the Office of Naval Research. The title of the proposal was "Cardinality Bounded Mathematical Programs: New Techniques, Models and Computation."
  • Dr. Shiren Wang was awarded $15,000 by 3M, Inc. The title of the proposal was "Understanding Organic Solar Cell Efficiency: Insight and Novel Solution."

Mechanical Engineering

  • Dr. Jingzhou Yang was awarded $1,600 by the Texas Space Grant Consortium. The title of the proposal was "Design of Multipurpose Rescue EVA Litter."
  • Dr. Jingzhou Yang was awarded $1,600 by the Texas Space Grant Consortium. The title of the proposal was "Design of a "Coffee the Way You Like It" Coffee System Adapter for Astronaut Use on the International Space Station."
  • Dr. Alan A. Barhorst was awarded $8,000 by FIRST. The title of the proposal was "FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Outreach."
  • Dr. Alan A. Barhorst was awarded $10,000 by FIRST. The title of the proposal was "GRI/FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Outreach."
  • Dr. Yanzhang Ma was awarded $38,401 by the Dept. of Army/Iowa State Univ. The title of the proposal was "Phase Transformations in Ceramics under Compression and Shear."
  • Dr. Yanzhang Ma was awarded $75,000 by DOD/DTRA/Iowa State University. The title of the proposal was "Search for New Highly Energetic Phases under High Pressure and Shear."


Petroleum Engineering Professors Present Paper at SIAM Conference

Siddiqui   Soliman
Siddiqui   Soliman

"Demonstration of the PEGrid Environment for Uncertainty based Optimization of Subsurface Reservoirs" was presented at the SIAM Conference on Mathematical & Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS11) on March 21-24 in Long Beach, Calif. Drs. Ravi Vadapalli, Alan Sill, Shameem Siddiqui, and M. Y. Soliman of Texas Tech University and Franz Deimbacher of Schlumberger Information Solutions were authors on the paper.

Events of Interest

April 22 3 p.m. Presentation - Dr. Bamin Khomami
"Rational Design of Bio-Hybrid Photovoltaic Materials"
Livermore Center 101
April 25   No Classes
April 27 10:30 a.m. Presentation - Dr. Soumik Banerjee
"From energy applications to environmental impact of nanomaterials: A molecular perspective"
Mechanical Engineering Room 106
April 27 3:30 p.m. McDonald-Mehta Lecture Series: Dr. Timothy Reinhold
"Advances in Full-Scale Wind Tunnel Testing of Buildings and Structures"
Electrical Engineering 217
April 28 4 p.m. Engineering Interdisciplinary Speaker Series
Dr. M. Nazmul Karim
"Desert Biofuels: What are the challenges and opportunities in the context of Texas Tech University?"
Civil Engineering Room 205
May 3   Last Day of Classes
May 5-10   Final Exams
May 12 3 p.m. Presentation - Dr. Corey S. O'Hern
"Soft and biological materials: From sand to proteins to cells"
Mechanical Engineering Room 106
May 16 1:30 p.m. Presentation - Dr. Mark Ediger
Livermore Center 101

See more events on the college's online calendar.

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Nov 20, 2014Apr 30, 2020