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Ashley Lindstrom
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Kayla Kelley and Ralph Wiser, undergraduate seniors in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been chosen as the recipients of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Undergraduate Scholarship. Each student will receive a $10,000 award directed toward their fall and spring semester tuition and fees. 

“Mike Walker has made an extraordinary investment in the future of engineering, not only for The University of Texas, but for our state and our nation,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin. “Our students and faculty will benefit tremendously. And, because of Mike’s generosity, our mechanical engineering department will continue to expand its reputation as one of the best in the country.”

Junmin Wang, Professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as a co-recipient of the 2018 IEEE Andrew P. Sage Best Transactions Paper Award in the IEEE Transactions of the Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society (SMCS).

Vaibhav Bahadur (VB), Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UT Austin published research concerning biomass gasification-based atmospheric water harvesting in India in Energy, an international, multi-disciplinary journal in energy engineering and research.

The Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted its annual Mechanical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni (MEADA) Award Ceremony on September 14, 2018. This event honors nominated alumni in four different categories: Outstanding Young Mechanical Engineer, Distinguished Mechanical Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Hall of Fame, and Honorary Mechanical Engineer. This year, the department honored 12 new members at the San Jacinto Hall at UT Austin.

In a rare occurrence and an extraordinary act of philanthropy, The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University each received $20 million gifts from J. Mike Walker to support their Departments of Mechanical Engineering.

This year’s incoming faculty members exhibit a wide range of engineering expertise and bring research interests that range from nuclear and computational engineering to extreme environments and environmental fluid mechanics. Learn more about our newest Texas Engineers.

In a breakthrough for nanotechnology, engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed the first method for selecting and switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors among multiple modes with simple visible light as the stimulus. The capability of mechanical reconfiguration could lead to a new class of controllable nanoelectromechanical and nanorobotic devices for a variety of fields including drug delivery, optical sensing, communication, molecule release, detection, nanoparticle separation and microfluidic automation.

The finding, made by Donglei (Emma) Fan, associate professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Ph.D. candidate Zexi Liang, demonstrates how, depending on the intensity, light can instantly increase, stop and even reverse the rotation orientation of silicon nanomotors in an electric field. This effect and the underlying physical principles have been unveiled for the first time. It switches mechanical motion of rotary nanomotors among various modes instantaneously and effectively.

The need for faster and smaller electronics has resulted in microelectronic components that produce progressively more heat. Thus, heat dissipation is an important issue, and one solution for cooling is to develop novel semiconducting materials with high thermal conductivity. The UT Austin team includes post-doc fellows Xi Chen and Jaehyun Kim, graduate students Sean Sullivan and Yuanyuan Zhou and professors Jianshi Zhou and Li Shi from the Cockrell School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Texas Materials Institute.

Prof. Guihua Yu of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and materials science program in the Cockrell School of Engineering has been selected to receive the prestigious Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Research Award. His research project will expand fundamental knowledge of how nanoscale synthesis and self-assembly can encode properties and functionality into materials and will have direct implications for advanced energy science and technologies.

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