Back to Faculty Directory
Photo of Schmidt, Philip
Office Location: ETC 5.156

Philip Schmidt

Professor Emeritus

Donald J. Douglass Centennial Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Professor

Department Research Areas:

Philip Schmidt, A Retrospective

Dr. Philip S. Schmidt received his B.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from M.I.T in 1962 and worked as a helicopter aerodynamicist for two years before returning to graduate school, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford in 1968. He served as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow at Prairie View A&M College from 1968-1970, then joined the faculty at U.T. Austin. He retired from active teaching and research in 2013.

Dr. Schmidt taught courses in thermodynamics and design of thermal-fluid systems, as well as short-courses on industrial electrotechnology. He was co-founder of the Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program and of the Engineering Instructional Media Laboratory (now the Faculty Innovation Center) and served as Associate Chair for Undergraduate Development and Director of the PROCEED (Project-Centered Education) Program in the ME Department from 1998 until his retirement.

Dr. Schmidt's research focused on optimization of energy efficiency in industrial processes. From 1981 to 2002 he was Head of the Process Energetics Program in the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources. He published over 80 articles in the research literature and is the author or coauthor of three books and several book chapters. While on sabbatical leave in 1981-82 he served as senior consultant-in-residence at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Throughout his career he consulted with numerous corporations, national laboratories, and state and federal government organizations on matters pertaining to industrial energy efficiency and process waste reduction.

Dr. Schmidt has received several teaching awards, both institutional and national, including the Ralph Coats Roe Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (1992) and Texas Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1994). In 1995 he was selected as one of the 10 inaugural members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers of the University of Texas at Austin. In 2009, he received the Chancellor’s Council Teaching Excellence Award and the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from UT Austin and the University of Texas System, respectively. In 2010, the American Society for Engineering Education recognized Dr. Schmidt with the Chester F. Carlson Award, the society’s highest honor for innovation in engineering education.

Dr. Schmidt is currently active in several STEM outreach programs with public schools and museums in Austin and Denver, CO.