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Eight faculty members from The University of Texas at Austin have been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to receive Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards totaling more than $2 million. The awards are the most prestigious offered by the NSF’s CAREER Program.  

Mechanical Engineering professor Tiger H. Tao and his team of researchers have developed the first silk-based optical medical devices that serve as antibacterial patches and can be programmed to deliver drugs over time before they disappear into the body. The researchers describe how their biocompatible, biodegradable patches release antibiotics in a paper published on Feb. 13 in Advanced Materials.

A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.

Yuebing Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been selected to receive an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) award for a project titled “Reconfigurable Multiband Metasurfaces and Devices with Atomic-Layer Materials.” The award totals more than $500,000 over three years. 

Richard R. Neptune, Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been selected to receive the prestigious American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Van C. Mow Medal.

Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research and practice, including pioneering new and developing fields of technology and making major advancements in the engineering field and profession.


When Sundeep Kumar graduated from the Cockrell School with his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2014, he had no idea that just two years later he would be leading a startup. He joined Dell as an operations project manager for their server business and quickly excelled in his role. But a chance encounter led him to leap into the world of entrepreneurship. Today, as co-founder and chief operating officer of LoftSmart, a startup based in New York City, Kumar is leveraging his engineering background to help students find off-campus housing via a one-stop-shop web platform.


Homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, according to research from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid. 

The smart electrolyte the researchers developed is a novel and “active” strategy to build thermally safe electrochemical energy storage devices because it can self-suppress the heat generation at elevated temperature while resuming to original working state with high performance at normal temperature.  

John B. Goodenough and Sidigata V. (S.V.) Sreenivasan of Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), along with James W. McGinity of the College of Pharmacy.

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