Department News & Events
Jerome D. Hall, Jr. “Joey” grew up in Amarillo, Texas. He began his oil and gas career while attending Amarillo College when he applied for what he thought was a drafting job at Mesa Petroleum; however, it turne out to be a job in the mailroom. He continued his part-time roles in the mailroom and later as a maintenance man for the remainder of his time in Amarillo College and during summers and weekends while he attended Texas Tech. Joey was a first-generation college student and graduated in 1989 with a BS in mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he moved back to Amarillo to continue his career with Mesa Petroleum as a Building Engineer. In 2010 he moved back to Texas to be Vice President of the Eagle Ford Asset Team where he was responsible for all of Pioneer's activities and was promoted to Sr. Vice President of South Texas. He is an honorary member of both the Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering Academies at Texas Tech. He serves on the Dean's Council for the Whitacre College of Engineering and is a board member for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.
Mark Olsen began his career as a drilling
engineer, providing technical support for
both onshore and offshore drilling operations within the United States. Three years into his career, Mark leveraged his technical knowledge to negotiate a $100M rig contract for an exploration venture in the Middle East. He then served as the lead engineer for an offshore platform in Sakhalin, Russia where he drilled the world's longest oil and gas well (42,650 ft) and drilled ExxonMobil's first multilateral well. Mark later moved to the Production Company where he supervised a team of engineers to optimize oil and gas production for dozens of assets across eight different countries. Since his graduation, he has remained active in the Whitacre College of Engineering, supporting student development through meaningful, educational experiences. Mark has been an active member of ExxonMobil's recruiting team at Texas Tech for over 10 years and has placed dozens of students into internship and full-time positions within his company.
This year, Dr. Pantoya celebrates the 22nd anniversary of the Combustion Lab. With their grant funding growing and many graduate students involved, the Combustion Lab has been very successful.
She has published over 200 archival journal publications with graduate or undergraduate
students as the first author and several children´s books introducing the engineering
design process to young kids (Designing Dandelions, Engineering Elephants, and Optimizing
an Octopus). Throughout the years, Dr. Pantoya has been awarded many prestigious awards
including the US Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE) and the DoD Young Investigator
Award. She is also the director of the growing STEMS Consortium. Her group´s vision
is to promote the development of safer and more effective energetic materials through
formulation development and rigorous combustion characterization analyses. Her group
receives research grants from various federal agencies, particularly Department of
Energy and Department of Defense.
Dr. Ming Chyu closes the gap between healthcare and engineering.
This is a year of reward for Dr. Chyu who is featured in the Top 100 Innovators and Entrepreneurs Magazine due to his accomplishment in healthcare engineering. Dr. Chyu is also recognized as the Pioneer in Healthcare Engineering in the cover story of the Exeleon Magazine. In addition, he is one of the top five dynamic leaders in healthcare recognized by CIO Times, a respected magazine in the international business world.
Dr. Ming-Chien Chyu, Founding President of Healthcare Engineering Alliance Society (HEALS), is one such erudite personality who has been bridging the gap between healthcare and engineering for over 15 years. “Engineering has been playing a crucial role in serving healthcare, bringing about revolutionary advances in healthcare. Many healthcare problems have benefited from engineering solutions, while many advancements in healthcare stem from breakthroughs in engineering/technology. Healthcare engineering encompasses engineering involved in all aspects of healthcare,” mentions a passionate Dr. Chyu. A transformational leader in every right, Dr. Chyu spearheads over 15,000 members and followers in a quest to bridge the gap between healthcare and engineering, advancing the industry, and promoting collaborative and innovative exchanges between the two domains.
As an engineering professor, Dr. Chyu helped many of his students explore job opportunities
in the healthcare industry. In doing so, he has realized that there is a deficiency
in the current engineering curricula and students should be trained to work in healthcare.
Due to this, he began exploring the industry of healthcare and introduced several
programs that would tackle this burgeoning deficiency
Engineering Professor Looking to Mitigate Injury Risks for Military Free-Fall Jumpers
Dr. James Yang, a professor of Mechanical Engineering, recently received a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) to model the biometrics of parachute opening shock. The focus of his project is to study what happens inside the human body during parachute opening shocks.
His goal is to develop a multiscale human model to conduct biomechanical analyses
where they can study the parachutists' potential injuries during this action, seeking
the improvement of capabilities and safety of these operations. The results will be
used by instructors and developers to prevent, reduce, screen, and diagnose musculoskeletal
injuries in military free-fall parachute jumps. His research is designed to lower
injury rates in paratrooper´s bodies, but this is not the only project in mind. “Later
we'll do other aspects,” Yang said. “ The DOD is interested in what happens from the
time soldiers jump out to the landing, so this is just the first project we will be
working on.” Yang's research is part of a larger effort by the U.S. Army Aeromedical
Research Laboratory (USAARL) and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental
Medicine (USARIEM) entitled “Parachute Health Hazard Effects.” “Our soldiers are our
most important asset,” said Song-Charng Kong, chair of the Department of Mechanical
Engineering. “Dr. Yang's research will mitigate the health risks in parachuting and
provide additional protection to our soldiers. The health benefits to the soldiers
go far beyond their military careers. The impact of Dr. Yang's work is tremendous.”
Stephen Ekwaro-Osire received a five-year grant to help increase the capabilities of the undergraduate engineering program at Jimma University in Ethiopia.
Dr. Stephen Ekwaro-Osire, a professor of mechanical engineering, received a five-year, $816,392 grant from Jimma University in Ethiopia to help lead the institution's Pathway Toward Global Engineers program. “This grant was motivated by the pandemic disruptions, and there are two objectives,” Ekwaro-Osire said. “One is to increase the capabilities and quality of the undergraduate engineering students from Jimma University. The second is to increase the capacity – meaning the faculty, the facilities, everything – to offer high-quality engineering programs.” Ekwaro-Osire will work with professors and administrators at Jimma University as well as local industry members and stakeholders during this process. “We aren't going to be physically teaching classes,” Ekwaro-Osire said, “but we will conduct workshops for faculty and administrators on how to do certain things and, with other additional interventions and collaborations, a shift in the educational paradigm will be facilitated.” Jimma University´s purpose is to have a program that is shock responsive. With 12,000 students, 13 engineering bachelor´s degree programs, and 1,000 undergraduate engineers a year, this is a challenge that they are excited about. Lloyd Heinze, a professor in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, also is involved and sees the opportunity for Texas Tech to recruit potential graduate student candidates for our college.
Dr. Jeff Hanson, an Instructor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech Unversity, was one of the ten recipients of the Professing Excellence award, a formal ceremony created in 2002 by University Student Housing as a way to recognize Texas Tech instructors and professors for their impact on the academic success of students living in the residence halls.
Dr. Hanson has taught students from freshmen to seniors since 2003. Dr. Hanson has a long-standing reputation among students as an accessible, fair, rigorous, compassionate, and totally student-focused professor. His dedication to teaching is not only reflected in the success of his students but also in their feedback.
Dr. Hanson has over 17 years of industry work experience in areas of Management, Manufacturing, Robotics, Sales, and Industrial Engineering. He brings this experience into the classroom when teaching students which gives a unique perspective to the material being presented. For the last eight years, Dr. Hanson has served as the Engineering Faculty Liaison in the Sevilla Center in Sevilla, Spain, during the summer study abroad program.
Dr. Hanson spends a large portion of his time tutoring struggling students. If he is in his office, there is a continuous line of students outside waiting for help. Many of these students are not even in his classes, but they know he will help anyone. Dr. Hanson's passion is teaching and helping students develop a passion for engineering.