Koola joins ocean engineering as professor of practice

Koola, Paul MarioDr. Paul Mario Koola has joined the Department of Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University as a professor of practice. Koola has more than 30 years of combined experience in teaching engineering and broad interdisciplinary research and development of complex interacting systems. 

Koola has prior teaching experience at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras Department of Ocean Engineering. He has more than17 years of small business innovative research experience at KBSI managing a wide range of interdisciplinary projects. He has developed and implemented complex and diverse technologies such as ocean wave power plants, data analytics, machine learning, data fusion and visualization in the domains of missile defense, aging aircraft, ship corrosion and paint degradation, NDI/NDE image mining, aircraft carrier autonomous aircraft integration, decision sciences and cyber physical systems and instrumentation.

Koola is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, a German Alexander Von Humboldt Fellow and a Danish Danida scholar. 

During his time at IIT Madras, he helped build one of the world’s first bottom-standing offshore wave power plants — the hydrodynamic design of which was part of his Ph.D. thesis. This unique practical experience coupled with international exposure drives his passion to educate the next generation of engineers to develop innovative solutions to the world’s problems.

Koola currently serves as the interim coordinator for freshman engineering at Texas A&M University at Galveston, motivating and instilling Aggie values to future budding engineers.  His vision for teaching is to introduce interdisciplinary systems thinking and new and innovative concept generation to the next generation. He is a proponent of experiential learning using student-led projects that can be sponsored by establishing strong relationships with industry partners.

His current research interests include applications of systems engineering, machine learning and AI targeted to the marine domain including novel ocean infrastructure. Some of these are smart energy absorbing structures (SEAS), energy stations at sea, renewable energy powered autonomous ocean exploration vehicles and marine cyber security.

Koola is a mechanical engineer with a Ph.D. in ocean wave energy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He also has an MBA from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M. He currently advises startups and small businesses across the globe.