obama, hayhoe and dicaprio on stage talking.

Katharine Hayhoe Talks Climate Change with President Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio

Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center, was part of a conversation on climate change with President Barack Obama, moderated by Academy Award-winning actor, producer and activist Leonardo DiCaprio on the south lawn of the White House. The South by South Lawn event happened in October. The discussion focused on the importance of protecting the planet for future generations.

"I am honored to participate in an event that puts a spotlight on this critical global issue," Hayhoe said. "Some people may say, why focus on climate change when we have so many other, bigger problems in the world today? The reality is we can pour all our money and our efforts, our time and our prayers into trying to fix the big issues, like global hunger, poverty, water contamination and disease; but if we don't fix climate, we don't have a chance of fixing these other problems, either. Climate change is affecting our food, our water, our air and even our economy – and those already vulnerable and disadvantaged are the ones being hit the hardest by its impacts."

administrators in front of groundbreaking sign

Texas Tech Breaks Ground on Costa Rica Campus

Texas Tech University officials joined with Costa Rican officials to break ground on the Texas Tech University Costa Rica campus in October, the university’s first international campus that will allow students to earn degrees from an accredited U.S. university.

“We are delighted Texas Tech University has selected Costa Rica as the site to open a campus for students in the region,” said Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, in a released statement. “This represents a recognition of the political and economic stability, and a reputation in the field of education, with prestigious academic centers with national recognition.”

The campus in San Jose will offer students in Central America an opportunity to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees in select courses.

“Texas Tech is about making dreams come true,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, who has been involved in the project since its inception when he served as provost. “Through opportunities provided to our students and faculty with the establishment of Texas Tech University Costa Rica, the access to those opportunities will be expanded and the impact of Texas Tech will continue to grow. We are appreciative and proud of the relationships we have developed within Costa Rica to extend these opportunities globally.”

The Texas Tech University Costa Rica University Plaza will be located in the capital city of San Jose. The first class of students is scheduled for enrollment in spring 2018.

radar on a truck with wind turbines in the background.

Radar Prototype Could Reduce Energy Costs

National Wind Institute researchers developed a new radar system capable of measuring wind flow within wind energy plants.

The new system, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, will enable researchers to understand how wind turbines interact with one another. In large wind farms, turbines create wakes, which impact power performance. The data from the new radar system will allow wind plant operators to improve power generation, thereby reducing the cost of energy.

researcher in lab

Geology Researcher Among 30 Scientists on Two-Month Research Voyage

Postdoctoral researcher Jeremy R. Deans studied rocks from the floor of the Indian Ocean while aboard the JODIES Resolution.

Deans was one of 30 researchers on the voyage, which was funded by the International Ocean Discovery Program. Over a two-month period, the researchers examined the properties of rocks collected from Atlantis Bank to gain new information about the Earth’s crust.

supermarket meat counter

Texas Tech Center Chosen for Retail Meat Surveillance Program

Texas Tech University's International Center for Food Industry Excellence (ICFIE) has been selected as a National Surveillance Lab for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Retail Meat Surveillance Program through a competitive federal grant process.

Texas Tech will receive $700,000 to monitor beef, pork and poultry products for pathogens and antibiotic resistance.

space with two waves magnified

Texas Tech Researcher’s Approach Leads to NASA Discovery

Tom Maccarone, associate professor in the Texas Tech Department of Physics, published a paper suggesting scientists use radio waves rather than X-rays to search for black holes.

Using Maccarone’s method, scientists determined that VLA J2130+12, which was previously thought to be a distant galaxy, is a black hole that is slowly pulling in matter from a companion star. This is the first time researchers have been able to discover a black hole in such a quiet state outside of a globular cluster.

doctors discussing exrays of lungs

Grant from National Institutes of Health Enables Cancer Drug Therapy Research

Professors Ranadip Pal and Souparno Ghoush received a three-year grant to develop a computer model that will predict the effectiveness of cancer treatment options.

When complete, the model will account for the type of cancer, the patient’s genetic factors, and the available drugs to determine which treatment option will be most successful for each individual patient. Because factors such as a person’s metabolism and protein expression affect the effectiveness of certain drugs, this model will improve survival rates by allowing more individualized treatment plans.

bubbles on magnified ultrathin film, mckenna headshot.

Researcher Awarded NSF Grant for Ultrathin Film Study

Greg McKenna, a Horn Professor and John R. Bradford Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering, received a $525,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ultrathin films.

McKenna is using the Texas Tech University Nanobubble Inflation Method to examine the mechanical properties of ultrathin films. The grant will fund both computer simulations and experimental work that will lead to a better understanding of how ultrathin films change, which will advance the development of nanotechnology.

needle and syringe on white background

Needle-Free Injections

Inovio Pharmaceuticals awarded Jeremy Marston, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, a $235,794 grant to study the hydrodynamics of needle-free injections.

Marson will use high-speed cameras and other specialized technology to discover how different fluids penetrate the skin and disperse through the body. This study will advance needle-free injection technology, which can be a more sanitary and more effective solution.