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Ashley Lindstrom
Communications Coordinator

Access to clean water remains one of the biggest challenges facing humankind. A breakthrough by mechanical engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin may offer a new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, the Cockrell School of Engineering celebrated the launch of Texas Inventionworks — a program established to introduce innovation and hands-on engineering experiences to all students, creating a new, systematic pathway for them to learn, solve problems, develop products and ultimately launch ventures.

Unraveling the mystery of superconductivity at high temperatures, specifically in copper oxide materials, remains one of the most puzzling challenges in modern solid-state physics. But an international research team of engineers and scientists — including Jianshi Zhou, a UT Austin research professor of mechanical engineering — may have taken one step closer to understanding.

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.

Yuebing Zheng, an assistant professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, was recently honored as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). 

J. Mike Walker, the co-founder of Dril-Quip and namesake of the Cockrell School of Engineering’s J. Mike Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, died on Dec. 27 at the age of 75, leaving a legacy of extraordinary generosity and support at The University of Texas at Austin.

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.

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