Media Contact

Ashley Lindstrom
Communications Coordinator

Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Emerita Harovel Wheat was named Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). TSPE is one of the largest state societies in the United States, dedicated to serving the interests of the individual engineer in Texas across all branches of engineering.

Dr. Wheat is an exemplary leader and role model at The University of Texas at Austin. Her enthusiasm in working with young learners is both obvious and contagious. She is the faculty advisor for Pi Sigma Pi, the minority engineering society, and the Society of Women Engineers, and she is a faculty fellow at Kinsolving Residence Hall. She has served as the faculty advisor for both the National Society of Black Engineers and the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. 

Dr. Wheat was born in Greenville, Texas, in 1947. After graduating cum laude with a B.A. in chemistry from the University of Colorado in 1969, she went to work as a technical information specialist for Marathon Oil Company in Denver. She received her M.S. in metallurgy from the University of Denver in 1974 and worked as a research associate in the mechanical engineering department at Colorado State University from 1974 through 1975.

After receiving her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1985, she became a research associate in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University and later joined the faculty in 1986. She was awarded the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1989, the Department of Mechanical Engineering Teaching Award in 1991, the Banks McLaurin Fellowship in Engineering in 1991, and the Faculty Excellence Award in Mechanical Engineering in 1999.

In 2001, Dr. Wheat was appointed Associate Chair for Academic Affairs, and in 2004 she was appointed faculty advisor in Mechanical Engineering. Her research focuses on corrosion of structural materials, particularly steel-reinforced concrete in salt-containing environments and aluminum and copper metal matrix composites. Her research interests also include environmental degradation of polymer composites, corrosive properties of grouts and fuels; chemical aspects of laser sintering processes, and smart coatings.

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