Texas A&M Engineering News The Look College is one of the largest engineering schools in the country, ranking third in undergraduate enrollment and sixth in graduate enrollment by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in its 2011 survey. The Look College also ranked seventh in the number bachelor's degrees awarded, 13th in master's degrees awarded and 10th in doctoral degrees awarded. And our college consistently ranks among the nation's top public undergraduate and graduate engineering programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. http://engineering.tamu.edu Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST A New Tool for Twitter Shawn Eyre <s-eyre@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/a-new-tool-for-twitter <p class="p1">Twitter is a highly used and very popular social media platform. However, when switching back and forth between several tabs and windows, it’s very easy to lose track of what you initially set out to explore.</p> <p class="p1">Associate Professor Andruid Kerne with the Interface Ecology Lab in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, along with his graduate students, Ajit Jain, Nic Lupfer, Yin Qu, and Rhema Linder, have developed <span class="s1">TweetBubble</span>, a free Chrome extension, that allows users to expand an @tweeter handle or #hashtags in the same window, without having to switch back and forth across tabs and windows.</p> <p class="p1">“It’s very easy to lose the context of your original thought once you start following different links,” says Kerne. “<span class="s1">TweetBubble</span> is designed to make Twitter more effective and easier for users to put together the big picture of who is connecting with whom.”</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">TweetBubble</span> is a free and open source Chrome extension that helps users explore social media network connections in Twitter. Download <span class="s1">TweetBubble</span> from the Chrome Store:<span class="s2"> <a href="http://goo.gl/2wouzT"><span class="s3">http://goo.gl/2wouzT</span></a></span></p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/a-new-tool-for-twitter http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/a-new-tool-for-twitter Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Summer Institute on Flooding Kathy Flores <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/summer-institute-on-flooding <p><img width="303" height="200" src="/media/1351249/Summer_Institute_Flooding_303x200.jpg" alt="Summer_Institute_Flooding.jpg" class="leftalign"/><strong>The 2014 and 2015 Summer Institute on Flooding</strong> brings together domain experts from invited federal, state, municipal, and NGO stakeholder agencies with academics and industry in a highly interactive visioneering format with talks, demonstrations, and walkthroughs at Disaster City.</p> <p><strong><a href="mailto:kimberly@cse.tamu.edu">Register Now</a></strong>:  <strong>Summer Institute on Flooding with Prizes for Posters </strong><br /><strong> June 3-5, 2014 Disaster City </strong><br /><strong>sponsored by the Center for Emergency Informatics</strong></p> <p>Researchers will come away with an understanding of the information needs of stakeholders and the state of the practice. Agencies will be exposed to emerging information technologies from industry and academia. Together, the group will create agency-university-industry partnerships and produce a multi-disciplinary roadmap for research, development, and technology transfer on all aspects of flooding and coastal resilience.</p> <p>The Texas A&amp;M community is invited to participate and present! There will be a poster session on June 4 with awards of $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd, and $200 for 3rd.</p> <p><strong>Schedule:</strong></p> <p><strong>June 3</strong>  Practitioner talks and process walkthroughs.  8AM-8PM including working dinner.<br /> <strong>June 4</strong>  Practitioner talks continued, selected academic and industry short presentations, technology demonstrations.  8AM-8PM including working dinner.<br /> <strong>June 5</strong>  Follow up day for industry for related one-on-one meetings with TEEX Product Development Center, TEES Center for Applied Technology, TEES small business program, Research Valley Partnership for economic development, and Lone Star UAS Center at Texas A&amp;M by appointment.<br /><strong>June 5</strong>  Training for the Roboticists Without Borders program members.</p> <p>Space is limited so apply now by contacting Kimberly Mallett at <a href="mailto:kimberly@cse.tamu.edu">kimberly@cse.tamu.edu</a>.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/summer-institute-on-flooding http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/summer-institute-on-flooding Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Anderson Awarded Graduate Research Fellowship Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/anderson-awarded-graduate-research-fellowship <p><img width="218" height="352" src="/media/1348143/s_anderson.jpg" alt="S Anderson" class="leftalign"/>For the second consecutive year, a graduate student from the Department of Aerospace Engineering has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Steven Anderson, a graduate student working on his doctoral degree in aerospace engineering has been named one of the 2014 winners.</p> <p class="BasicParagraph">The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers.</p> <p class="BasicParagraph">Competition is fierce and selection is based on outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as the potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. With only 12 aerospace engineering students nationally being selected each year, these awardees share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are chosen. </p> <p class="BasicParagraph">Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $32,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.</p> <p>Anderson’s field of research is plasma-based space propulsion under the guidance of Dr. Sharath Girimajii, Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/anderson-awarded-graduate-research-fellowship http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/15/anderson-awarded-graduate-research-fellowship Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST ConocoPhillips donates $6 million to Texas A&M Engineering Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/14/conocophillips-donates-6-million-to-texas-am-engineering <p><img width="399" height="266" src="/media/1348142/conocophillips_399x266.jpg" alt="Conoco Phillips" class="rightalign"/>ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Texas A&amp;M University recently announced a $6 million contribution by ConocoPhillips to the university’s Dwight Look College of Engineering. The multi-year donation will support construction of the new Engineering Education Complex (EEC). During an event at the company’s Houston headquarters, ConocoPhillips Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance presented the check to Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&amp;M University.</p> <p>“An educated workforce drives our global economic future, and we’re proud to continue to support some of the best and brightest minds through this donation,” said Lance. “Texas A&amp;M consistently delivers top-tier graduates that continually make a substantial impact within our company and around the world.”</p> <p>The EEC will be dedicated solely to undergraduate engineering education, and will be built adjacent to the existing Zachry Engineering Center, which will be renovated during the new construction project. When completed, the two centers will feature 600,000 square feet of state-of-the-art learning space. An innovative learning environment, the complex will feature flexible classrooms, design and fabrication shared-use laboratories, collaborative space, tutoring services and will be the hub of undergraduate engineering. In recognition of the company’s support, the EEC lobby will be designated as the ConocoPhillips Atrium.</p> <p>“We are appreciative of ConocoPhillips for its continued support of Texas A&amp;M Engineering and for sharing our vision in this endeavor to provide a unique educational environment for our undergraduate students,” said Banks. “These new facilities will allow for hands-on, experiential learning and access to a wide range of multidisciplinary learning opportunities. This new approach to engineering education will produce technology leaders who are uniquely prepared to address tomorrow’s challenges.”</p> <p>ConocoPhillips remains a committed supporter of the Look College and Texas A&amp;M University, giving more than $25 million to the university during the past 49 years. By supporting education, charitable giving, volunteerism and civic leadership, the company helps build skills critical for the future. Through this and other educational contributions, ConocoPhillips aims to advance research in secondary and technical education; support diversity of the talent pool in math, science and engineering disciplines; and improve effectiveness of primary education.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">About ConocoPhillips</span></strong></p> <p>ConocoPhillips is the world’s largest independent E&amp;P company based on production and proved reserves. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips had operations and activities in 27 countries, $54 billion in annual revenue, $118 billion of total assets, and approximately 18,400 employees as of Dec. 31, 2013. Production from continuing operations averaged 1,502 MBOED in 2013, and preliminary proved reserves were 8.9 billion BOE as of Dec. 31, 2013. For more information, go to <i><a href="http://www.conocophillips.com/">www.conocophillips.com</a></i>.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Contacts</span></strong></p> <p>ConocoPhillips, Andrea Urbanek, 281-293-3472, <i><a href="mailto:Andrea.urbanek@cop.com">Andrea.urbanek@cop.com</a></i></p> <p>Dwight Look College of Engineering, Pam Green, 979-845-4960, <i><a href="mailto:p-green@tamu.edu">p-green@tamu.edu</a></i></p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/14/conocophillips-donates-6-million-to-texas-am-engineering http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/14/conocophillips-donates-6-million-to-texas-am-engineering Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Aggies on their way to UCLA Facebook Hackathon Rachel Dallas <rdaggie@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/11/aggies-on-their-way-to-ucla-facebook-hackathon <p>Four Aggies, three of whom took first place at the Facebook Texas Regional Hackathon last month, will compete again at LA Hacks on April 11-13. This 36-hour long hackathon is being held at UCLA, where the team, Eleni Mijalis, Bob Timm, Walter Pospick and Rafael Moreno, will compete against 1,500 other “hackers” from across the country.</p> <p>This event is much larger than the previous hackathon held in Austin, which was hosted by Facebook in its office, which had a cap of 120 people. LA Hacks is sponsored by 60 different companies and more than 1,200 people are expected to attend and compete.</p> <p>“This event with how large it is brings in some of the best innovators in the industry,” said Timm, a sophomore computer science major. “Many of the LA Hack judges are pioneers and leaders in their industry. It is a great medium between engineering students and potential careers.”</p> <p>In the early days of Facebook, when someone had an idea for the company, they would stay up all night and build a prototype. As Facebook grew, hackathons became organized events where people from around the country could do the same, while also being in a learning environment surrounded by peers. This atmosphere provides opportunities for computer engineers of all backgrounds to collaborate together and efficiently execute ideas as a team.</p> <p>“I like going to these events for two reasons,” said Moreno. “Number one, being that the computer science curriculum does a great job of giving you the critical thinking skills and the foundation for being a great developer, but at these events, you are forced to go out of your comfort zone to build something on a platform that you have never used, such as Android, IOS, a web app, Windows Phone, etc.”</p> <p>The impact of these hackathons continues to grow as more and more students and engineers compete. Mijalis, Timm, Pospick and Moreno will have 36 hours to show LA Hacks what Texas A&amp;M is all about.</p> <p>            </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/11/aggies-on-their-way-to-ucla-facebook-hackathon http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/11/aggies-on-their-way-to-ucla-facebook-hackathon Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Civil's Miller receives prestigious NSF CAREER Award Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/10/civils-miller-receives-prestigious-nsf-career-award <p><img width="210" height="270" src="/media/1338709/image-of-gretchen-miller-101215-am.jpg" alt="Image -of -gretchen -miller 10.12.15 AM" class="leftalign"/>Dr. Gretchen Miller, assistant professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has received a 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for her research in groundwater management.</p> <p>The NSF awards the prestigious CAREER grants to outstanding junior faculty members to help them advance their research and teaching activities.  Miller’s project, “Science for Sustainable and Resilient Groundwater Management,” will continue through May 2019.</p> <p>“I am excited to be receiving the CAREER award,” said Miller. “Groundwater is a critical natural resource, particularly for the State of Texas, and it is important that we continue to develop smart ways of managing it, ones that balance economic, social, and environmental needs.</p> <p>“In the near future, population growth and increased urbanization will have large impacts on our consumption of groundwater while climate change will affect its supply in uncertain ways. It is critical that we have both the scientific tools to help inform our decision making and the professionals trained to address these issues in a holistic fashion.”</p> <p>The research in Miller’s project has three specific goals. The first is to improve the detection and modeling of groundwater dependent ecosystems, such as those associated with springs, riparian areas, and deep-rooted vegetation. The second is to test and create improved metrics for quantifying sustainability and resilience of groundwater resources, which would be applied to ratings systems similar to LEED certification for buildings.</p> <p>The project will then explore management strategies for optimizing groundwater withdrawals to reduce impacts on ecosystems and prevent water system failures; new methods for improved timing and location of pumping, as well as aquifer storage and recovery, will be developed.</p> <p>Along with these research aims, the project will address the teaching of sustainable engineering practices across the civil engineering curriculum and offer new continuing education opportunities for groundwater managers, consultants, and policy makers.</p> <p>Miller received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley in 2009 and joined the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&amp;M the same year. Her teaching and research interests include groundwater, ecohydrology, vadose zone hydrology, groundwater-soil-plat atmosphere interactions, and Earth systems modeling.</p> <p>The NSF established the CAREER program to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance of the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning. For more on the NSF and the CAREER program, visit <a href="http://www.nsf.gov">http://www.nsf.gov</a>.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/10/civils-miller-receives-prestigious-nsf-career-award http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/10/civils-miller-receives-prestigious-nsf-career-award Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST ECE professor’s student wins numerous prizes for their research Deana Totzke <deana@ece.tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/ece-professors-student-wins-numerous-prizes-for-their-research <p><img width="273" height="286" src="/media/1338699/intelisef3-2-_273x286.jpg" alt="shankar award" class="leftalign"/></p> <p>A high school student working in an engineering research lab has won several awards for her research.<br />Shreya Shankar, a junior at A&amp;M Consolidated High School, began working in June 2013 on a research project titled “Supporting 3-Dimensional Movement through Etherware, a Middleware for Networked Control Systems,” in the Cyber-Physical Systems Lab of Professor P. R. Kumar, the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Engineering, working under the supervision of his Ph.D. student, Woo-Hyun Ko. Since she began her research, Shankar has won the Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award, the US Navy Science Award, the Yale Science and Engineering Association award, the Society of Women Engineers Award and the Energy Day Academic Award.<br />Shankar’s honors also include being one of the 40 students worldwide to be selected for the 2013 Stanford University Mathematics Camp and being chosen as one of the 30 students worldwide to be chosen for Catapult, a business incubator program at Harvard University. She also is an American Invitational Mathematics Exam qualifier, plays first violin in varsity orchestra and represents her school in swimming. She plans to major in computer science and engineering in college.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/ece-professors-student-wins-numerous-prizes-for-their-research http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/ece-professors-student-wins-numerous-prizes-for-their-research Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Engineering honors outstanding alumni Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/engineering-honors-outstanding-alumni <p>The Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University honored six alumni April 3 during the Outstanding Alumni Awards Banquet.</p> <p>Receiving the Outstanding Alumni Honor Award were William A. Coskey ’75, chairman, CEO and president of ENGlobal Corporation; Mark A Fischer ’72, chairman, CEO and president of Chaparral Energy Inc.; Gregory E. Hall ’82, president of Drillers Supply International; and George K. Hickox ’80, general partner of Heller Hickox &amp; Co.</p> <p>Receiving the Outstanding Early Professional Achievement Alumni Honor Award were Ashok Gowda ’98, president of BioTex and COO of Visualase; and Chris Jones ’99, director of strategic technology development of iRobot Corporation.</p> <p><strong><br /><img width="150" height="210" src="/media/1338693/coskey_150x210.jpg" alt="Coskey" class="leftalign"/>William A. Coskey ’75</strong></p> <p><strong>Chairman, CEO and President, ENGlobal Corporation</strong></p> <p>Coskey is the founder of Houston-based ENGlobal Corporation and currently serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. ENGlobal is a leading provider of engineering, automation, and project services to all sectors of the energy industry, throughout the United States and internationally.</p> <p>The company’s engineering segment provides consulting services for the development, management and execution of client projects requiring professional engineering, construction management, and related support functions. ENGlobal's automation segment offers a wide range of services dedicated to the implementation of automation, control, and process analytical systems.</p> <p>The company’s government services group specializes in the turnkey installation and maintenance of automated fuel handling facilities for branches of the U.S. military at installations worldwide.</p> <p>Coskey, a 1975 summa cum laude graduate of Texas A&amp;M University, received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. His career has been marked by entrepreneurship, as both a founder and investor in numerous oil industry service firms. Coskey has served on the Texas A&amp;M University Electrical Engineering Department Advisory Council since 1999, and as chairman of the council since 2006.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><img width="150" height="188" src="/media/1338694/fischer_150x188.jpg" alt="Fischer" class="leftalign"/>Mark A. Fischer ’72</strong></p> <p><strong>Chairman, CEO and President, Chaparral Energy Inc.</strong></p> <p>Fischer graduated from Texas A&amp;M University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree with honors in aerospace engineering. He began his career with Humble Oil Company, now Exxon Company USA. In 1988, Fischer founded Chaparral Energy, Inc., as a privately held independent oil and gas production and exploration company with headquarters in Oklahoma City.</p> <p>He has served as its chairman, chief executive officer and president since its inception. Chaparral Energy, under Fischer’s guidance, has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies and has been an Oklahoma City Metro 50 award winner eight times and Texas A&amp;M Aggie 100 award winner four times.</p> <p>Fischer is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute and has served as a director of the API from 1984-1986. In 2012, Fischer was a national finalist for the Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He sits on several non-profit organization boards including the Boy Scouts of America and he is currently serving on the Dwight Look College of Engineering Advisory Council and the board of the Association of Former Students for Texas A&amp;M.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><img width="150" height="225" src="/media/1338695/hall_150x225.jpg" alt="Hall" class="leftalign"/>Gregory E. Hall ’82</strong></p> <p><strong>President, Drillers Supply International</strong></p> <p>Hall developed the drilling plan that freed 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after a copper-gold mine caved in the Atacama Desert, Chile on Aug. 5, 2010. Hall worked on the complex rescue plan for months before putting the plan into action on Oct. 12, 2010. All 33 miners were brought to the surface safely.</p> <p>He is also the owner and chief executive officer of Drillers Supply International (DSI). Hall started DSI in 1986 in Houston. Seven years later he opened the branch, Drillers Supply S.A, in Chile and another branch of DSI in Minnesota in 2000. </p> <p>Hall has received many accolades and awards, such as the 1991 Presidential "E" Award for export excellence from President H.W. Bush and the Aggie 100 award in 2008 for his company being one of the 100 fastest growing companies owned by a Texas A&amp;M alumni. He received his degree in engineering technology from Texas A&amp;M.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><img width="150" height="226" src="/media/1338696/hickox_150x226.jpg" alt="Hickox" class="leftalign"/>George K. Hickox ’80</strong></p> <p><strong>General Partner, Heller Hickox &amp; Co.</strong></p> <p>Hickox has been General Partner in the private equity firm of Heller Hickox &amp; Co. since 1991. The partnership was formed to make oil and gas company equity investments and is focused on transactions involving recapitalizations, restructurings, bankruptcy, workouts and special situations.</p> <p>Hickox joined Texas Oil and Gas Corporation in 1981 where he held both drilling and production engineering positions. In 1983, he accepted a position at InterFirst Bank Houston, N.A., as assistant vice president in the energy lending group, and subsequently worked in the bank’s energy loan workout group. Hickox worked in investment banking and energy finance from 1986 until forming his current partnership. Hickox served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Wiser Oil Company from June 2000 until the sale of the company in June 2004 and presently serves as a director of NATCO Group, Inc., and as a director and officer of several other private companies.</p> <p>Hickox received a bachelor’s degree in geology in 1980 and a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1981, both from Texas A&amp;M University, and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Houston in 1985. Hickox is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Industry Board of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><img width="150" height="162" src="/media/1338697/gowda_150x162.jpg" alt="Gowda" class="leftalign"/>Ashok Gowda ’98</strong></p> <p><strong>President, BioTex and COO, Visualase</strong></p> <p>Gowda received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1991 and his master’s and doctoral degrees in bioengineering from Texas A&amp;M University in 1994 and 1998 respectively.</p> <p>While completing his graduate work, he co-founded a medical technology incubator, BioTex, Inc. To date, under his direction as president of BioTex, the company has raised more than $20 million in funding through various grant mechanisms, successfully licensed a number of technologies, spun-out two separate commercial stage companies, Visualase, Inc. and Base Pair BioTechnologies, and continues to thrive as a medical device research, development and manufacturing firm.</p> <p>Gowda has served as principal investigator on more than 15 National Institute of Health grants, has authored more than 40 peer reviewed publications, and is an inventor on more than 20 issued patents. He continues to direct research and development efforts at BioTex, while also serving as Chief Operating Officer for Visualase, where he oversees numerous aspects of the company’s commercial efforts.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><img width="150" height="194" src="/media/1338698/jones_150x194.jpg" alt="Jones" class="leftalign"/>Chris Jones ’99</strong></p> <p><strong>Director of Strategic Technology Development, iRobot Corporation.</strong></p> <p>Jones is the Director of Strategic Technology at iRobot Corporation. He has more than 15 years of experience in robotics research and development and got his start in robotics at Texas A&amp;M University in 1997 as an undergraduate working for Dr. Nancy Amato. His contributions to robotics have included developments in the areas of autonomous robotic systems, natural interfaces for intuitive human-robot interaction, and novel robotic mobility and manipulation systems.</p> <p>In addition to multiple technology and leadership roles at iRobot since 2005, he has been involved in robotics research and development at the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems at the University of Southern California, the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center at Sandia National Laboratories, and the Robotics Research Lab at Texas A&amp;M.</p> <p>Jones also co-founded SBIR Source, a web-based platform empowering small high-tech businesses and researchers to find and win funding through the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to commercialize their technology and grow their business. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Texas A&amp;M  and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Southern California.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/engineering-honors-outstanding-alumni http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/engineering-honors-outstanding-alumni Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Researchers use common spray gun to create self-assembling nanoparticle films Ann Stephen <annstephen@neo.tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/researchers-use-common-spray-gun-to-create-self-assembling-nanoparticle-films <p>The promise of nanoparticles stems from their potential to modify the physical and mechanical properties of polymers for diverse applications, such as photovoltaic cells, sensors, and separation membranes. Methods currently used to create desired nanostructure, however, rely on complex and energy-intensive techniques, such as layer-by-layer or patterning approaches, which are limited in scale and often have poor stability.</p> <p>Publishing in <i>Nature Communications</i> (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4589), Dr. Minhao Wong, a former graduate research assistant in the Polymer Technology Center of Dr. H-J Sue, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Dr. Ryohei Ishige of I<sup>2</sup>CNER (International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research), Kyushu University in Japan, have developed a simple approach of applying a surface coating of thin, flat nanoplatelets using a common spray gun, such as can be purchased off-the-shelf from an art supply store, to create a surface coating in which nanoplatelets <i>spontaneously</i> <i>self-assemble </i>into “nano-walls.” The nano-walls act as rigid barriers that prevent oxygen gas from reaching the surface, and are effective at low and high humidity levels.</p> <p>Using this scalable and simple processing method, researchers have achieved extremely fine and highly ordered nano-scale features that are conventionally achieved with complex and energy-intensive manufacturing techniques. This new technology is expected to be immediately useful in any application where blocking oxygen molecules is important, such as anti-corrosion paints for metal surfaces. The technique is simple and could be easily extended to other functional nanosheets.</p> <p>To understand this process, imagine a bricklayer who dumps a barrow of bricks and the bricks spontaneously build up into a wall on their own. A similar process of “self-assembly” occurs for the nanoplatelets to create nano-walls that increase the barrier efficiency of the film by more than twenty times.</p> <p>The advantage of the spray-coating method is its simplicity. It is now possible to achieve very fine and highly ordered nanoscale features that are usually seen only through the use of photolithographic manufacturing techniques. This means that the same degree of order can be achieved without the need for clean room facilities.</p> <p>In the future, researchers hope to adjust the composition of the nanoplatelets to control the passage of gas molecules through the nano-wall, for very inexpensive, yet efficient, gas separation membranes useful in industrial processes. They are also interested in introducing new functionalities such as electrical conductivity or sensitivity to magnetic fields, so that large-area smart nano-walls can be fabricated. Many different kinds of nanoplatelets may potentially be used with this technology, so there are potentially countless possibilities for applications. In addition, incorporating different nanoplatelets to create hierarchical structures with improved properties is seen as another promising application for this technology.</p> <p>For more information, <a href="mailto:hjsue@tamu.edu">Dr. H-J Sue</a></p> <p>Department of Materials Science and Engineering</p> <p>Polymer Technology Laboratory</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/researchers-use-common-spray-gun-to-create-self-assembling-nanoparticle-films http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/researchers-use-common-spray-gun-to-create-self-assembling-nanoparticle-films Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST Lutkenhaus receives 3M Nontenured Faculty Award Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/lutkenhaus-receives-3m-nontenured-faculty-award <p><img width="210" height="270" src="/media/1338684/image-of-jodie-lutkenhaus.jpg" alt="Image -of -jodie -lutkenhaus" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus, the William and Ruth Neely Faculty Fellow in Chemical Engineering and an assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been awarded a 3M Nontenured Faculty Award. Lutkenhaus was recognized for her work on electroactive polymers for energy storage.</p> <p>3M provides this grant to exemplary new faculty in order to help them advance their careers and achieve tenure.</p> <p>In 2011 Lutkenhaus received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has also received the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSOR) Young Investigator Award (YIP).</p> <p>Earlier this year Lutkenhaus was a presenter at the Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Young Investigators Symposium at the Spring 2014 American Chemical Society meeting. She was one of 13 individuals selected to present.</p> <p>Lutkenhaus joined the faculty at Texas A&amp;M in 2010 and her research interests focus on designing organic thin films and nanostructures to enable the development of novel organic energy systems and smart coatings.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/lutkenhaus-receives-3m-nontenured-faculty-award http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/04/09/lutkenhaus-receives-3m-nontenured-faculty-award Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST