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Woman in business casual clothes posing for professional headshotDr. Cynthia Hipwell has been named one of the beneficiaries of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s 2017-18 Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI), a program aimed at bringing the best and brightest researchers in the world to Texas.

Hipwell, a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member, joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Distinguished Research Professor.

“We are proud to be part of such a transformative initiative that will enable the Department of Mechanical Engineering to be a leader in the area of innovation,” said Department Head Dr. Andreas Polycarpou.

The GURI program’s goal is to attract nationally recognized and transformative researchers to Texas institutions of higher education.

Hipwell is looking to do two things with the grant funding: leverage her experience developing commercially relevant nanoscale technology and create new tools and business processes to promote innovation and speed technology development. First, she would like to expand Texas A&M’s capability in devices and industrial applications based on nanotechnology. She would also like to explore how new tools, such as virtual and augmented reality and machine learning applied to mechanical engineering problems, can speed the innovation and technology development process.

“This grant will allow me, along with my collaborators, to establish a strong presence for Texas A&M in these areas,” Hipwell said.

GURI recipients aim through their research to serve as economic catalysts for the Texas economy for years to come.

"Texas universities continue to make great strides in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, making the Lone Star State the home of innovation," said Governor Abbott. "Not only do our university faculties spearhead cutting-edge research, but they continue to educate and develop the leaders of the future. 

Before joining the faculty at Texas A&M, Hipwell led R&D and Product Development groups at Seagate Technology and Engineering and industrial solution provider Buhler. At both companies, Hipwell worked to innovate technology and development to create positive impacts for business and the economy.

Hipwell received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her areas of research include devices based upon nanoscale phenomena and the application of tools for innovation acceleration such as 3-D printing, machine learning and design virtualization.