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Faculty recognized for achievements

AUSTIN, TEXAS—March 11, 2009

A ceremony was recently held to recognize the faculty's achievements over the last year. The following individuals were honored:

Dr. Adela Ben-Yakar was recognized for her work in laser nanosurgery.

Dr. Adela Ben-Yakar was recognized for her work in laser nanosurgery.

Adela Ben-Yakar

Dr. Ben-Yakar received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award for her research in ultrafast laser nanosurgery using gold nanoparticles for cancer treatment. Her research has also been showcased in news articles in various newspapers and magazines, including Science, Wired, Esquire, New Scientist, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Telegraph, ABC News, and KUT radio.

Eric Bickel

Dr. Bickel received a grant for Optimizing Development Strategies to Increase Reserves in Unconventional Gas Reservoirs, for $395,000. He also received a two-year grant for SGER: Resource Allocation and the Value of Information, for $120,000 from The National Science Foundation. Finally, he was elected Vice-Chairman of Programs for the Operations Research in Sports (SpORts) section of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Dr. David Bourell received the Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award.

Dr. David Bourell received the Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award.

David L. Bourell

Dr. Bourell received the Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award from the Materials Processing and Manufacturing Division of The Mining, Metals and Materials Society, in February 2009. This award recognizes an individual who has made a long lasting contribution to design, syntheses, processing and performance of engineering materials, with significant industrial applications.

On August 6, 2008, Dr. Bourell and his graduate student Kaushik Alayavalli won the best poster award at the 19th International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium. The poster topic was indirect SLS of graphite bipolar plates for direct methanol fuel cells.

Mark Deinert

Dr. Deinert received the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Junior Faculty award for $450K for three years.

Dr. Dragan Djurdjanovic was awarded a total of $165K in grants.

Dr. Dragan Djurdjanovic was awarded a total of $165K in grants.

Dragan Djurdjanovic

Dr. Djurdjanovic received a grant of $100K from the International Sematech Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) and a $65K grant from the Foundry Co. (formerly known as AMD). He also received a 2009 Summer Research Assignment (SRA) from the University of Texas and was invited to spend a month at the Université de Franche-Comté as a visiting researcher. In the summer of 2008 Dr. Djurdjanovic was elected to the status of a "Research Affiliate" of the CIRP (International Academy for Research in Production – in French College International pour la Recherche en Productique). This is an honorary title currently bestowed on 66 researchers, 35 or younger across the world. Research affiliate tenure is 3 years.

Ofodike Ezekoye

Dr. Ezekoye and Dr. Sheldon Landsberger received $750K for three years from the Office of Naval Research for Historically Black College or University (HBCU) support.

Omar Ghattas

Dr. Ghattas won the TeraGrid Capability Computing Challenge Award for the paper Towards Adaptive Mesh PDE Simulations on Petascale Computers. He was also a finalist for the 2008 ACM/IEEE Gordon Bell Prize for the paper Scalable parallel mantle convection simulation on petascale computers. He held plenary lectures at the 2008 International Parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics Conference in Lyon, France and the World Modeling Summit for Climate Prediction in Reading, United Kingdom. Finally, he was co-organizer of the NSF Workshop on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Solid Earth Geosciences in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

John B. Goodenough

In honor of Dr. Goodenough, the Royal Society of Chemistry has inaugurated a John B. Goodenough Materials Chemistry Award.

Mark F. Hamilton

Dr. Hamilton began the year as President of the Acoustical Society of America for 2008-09. He also received $1.4M from the National Institutes of Health in a four-year award to model and control cavitation in shock wave lithotripsy.

John J. Hasenbein

In June 2008, along with Dave Morton, Dr. Hasenbein received a $380K, three-year NSF grant entitled Designing and Controlling Networks Under Parameter Uncertainty. In December 2008, he received a grant renewal for an ongoing project with International Sematech entitled Research in Advanced Methodologies. With this continuation, Sematech has funded $350K in research over the last several years.

Dr. Carlos Hidrovo received a Young Faculty Award from DARPA.

Dr. Carlos Hidrovo received a Young Faculty Award from DARPA.

Carlos Hidrovo

Dr. Hidrovo received one of the 39 Young Faculty Awards from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Hidrovo received this award for his project titled, High Speed Droplet Flows: Microscale Total Analysis and Thermal Management Systems Applications.

Paul S. Ho

Dr. Ho was the Conference Chair of an International Workshop on Stress Induced Phenomena in Metallization, which was held at the University of Texas at Austin in November of 2008.

Sheldon Landsberger

Dr. Landsberger served on two Air Pollution Engineering NSF panels. He and Dr. Ezekoye also received $750K for three years from the Office of Naval Research for Historically Black College or University (HBCU) support.

Arumugam Manthiram

Graduate student T. Muraliganth, supervised by Dr. Manthiram, received the Best Student Presentation Award in Materials Science at the Spring 2008 Meeting of the Texas Society for Microscopy, for the paper entitled LiFePO4 Nanorods Networked with Muti-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Energy Storage Applications by T. Muraliganth, A. Vadivel Murugan, D. Ferrer, P. J. Ferreira, and A. Manthiram.

Graduate student T. Muraliganth, supervised by Dr. Manthiram, received the Best Clean Energy Poster Award at the Nano Night 2008 & CleanTX Innovation Showcase poster presentation, for the poster entitled Rapid Synthesis of LiFePO4 Nanorods and their Nanohybrids for Energy Storage Applications by T. Muraliganth, A. Vadivel Murugan, and A. Manthiram.

Jeremy Meyers

Dr. Meyers received the DuPont Young Faculty Award, an unrestricted $25K grant for three years.

David Morton

In June 2008, along with John Hasenbein, Dr. Morton received a $380K, three-year NSF grant entitled Designing and Controlling Networks Under Parameter Uncertainty.

Robert Moser

Dr. Moser is the director of the Center for Predictive Engineering and Computational Sciences (PECOS). PECOS, a research unit within the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), received $17 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to develop computer-modeling techniques that can provide more reliable predictions of complex systems, such as re-entry of vehicles from space into Earth's atmosphere. The funds for the project will be awarded over five years.

Steven Nichols

Dr. Nichols received the 2009 Joe J. King Professional Engineering Achievement Award for making significant contributions to the engineering profession at the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Dr. Sean O'Kelly was selected to chair the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Working Group on Research Reactors.

Dr. Sean O'Kelly was selected to chair the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Working Group on Research Reactors.

Sean O'Kelly

Dr. O'Kelly was selected to chair the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Working Group on Research Reactors.

Elmira Popova

Dr. Popova was named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to lecture and conduct research in operations research and statistics during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Rodney Ruoff

Dr. Ruoff was chosen as a recipient of the "Lee Hsun Lecture Award" by the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences located in Shenyang, China. He was given this award "in recognition of past accomplishments in the research field of materials science and technology."

Dr. Ruoff is a Principal in Graphene Energy, Inc., a company with a focus, among other things, on ultracapacitor technology. Graphene Energy is a spinout company from this department.

He accepted several invitations in 2008 for invited talks in 2009, such as at the Spring APS Meeting to be held in Pittsburgh, the Spring ACS meeting to be held in Salt Lake City, the Fall ACS meeting to be held in Washington DC, and the annual AVS meeting to be held in San Jose, CA. He is also a plenary lecturer in conferences being held in Korea and Japan in 2009.

Erich Schneider

Dr. Scheider was awarded $160,000 from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in conjunction with Professor Sheldon Landsberger, Associate Professor Steven Biegalski and Dr. David Hernsberger, to develop a summer institute for nuclear engineering.

Carolyn Seepersad

Dr. Seepersad was awarded a three-year, $215K NSF grant titled, Extreme Experience Design: Breaking Barriers to Innovation.

Del Tesar

Dr. Tesasr was appointed to a three-year term as a member of the U.S. Army Science Board. This U.S. Army senior scientific advisory body is comprised of individuals from the private sector, academia, retired flag officer ranks, and non-U.S. Department of Defense government agencies.

UT Department of Mechanical Engineering

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) acting through its contractor, the Southeast Universities Nuclear Reactor Institute for Science and Education (SUNRISE), has awarded two three-year Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship Program (NFGFP) fellowships to be held in its entirety at the University of Texas at Austin. As a result of the reputation of Dr. Sheldon Landsberger and Dr. Steven Biegalski have had over the past six years in nuclear forensics and radiochemistry. The University of Texas at Austin was only one of eight universities that were selected to participate in this fellowship program. This marks an excellent achievement for the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program and the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab located at the Pickle Research Campus.

Billy Wood was promoted to Senior Lecturer, along with his colleagues in Engineering Comptuer Graphics, Dr. Krueger and Mostafa Pirnia.

Billy Wood was promoted to Senior Lecturer, along with his colleagues in Engineering Comptuer Graphics, Dr. Krueger and Mostafa Pirnia.

New Professors and Promotions

In addition to the honors announced, new professors were welcomed to the department, and faculty promotions were announced. The incoming professors this year were:

The following faculty were promoted:


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