Media Contact

Ashley Lindstrom
Communications Coordinator

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.

Guihua Yu, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science in the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2018 Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship Award. Nano Letters and the ACS Division of Colloid & Surface Chemistry are co-sponsoring this annual award.

Department of Mechanical Engineering alumna Zahra Ahmed (’18) was selected to receive a University Co-op George Mitchell Undergraduate Student Award for Academic Excellence. There were five awards given this year, and she received the grand prize of $12,000 for her research project “Negative Stiffness Elements for Helmet Padding Application.”

Established in 1957, the Distinguished Engineering Graduate Award is the highest honor that the Cockrell School bestows on its alumni. The five distinguished engineering graduates for 2018 are innovators, entrepreneurs and highly respected leaders in their industries and communities. We honor them for their dedication and generosity, and we are proud to call them Cockrell School alumni.

The enterprising engineer can find inspiration in anything. For a group of graduate students from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, under the guidance of associate professor of mechanical engineering Chris Rylander, it was the design of a Slurpee straw.

For the past two decades, the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering (NRE) program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering has offered masters and doctoral degrees completed by distance learning. Through these advanced degrees, individuals can pursue career growth opportunities to become the next generation of national laboratory personnel. NRE students begin their master’s work at The University of Texas, and then transition to national laboratories as staff employees or graduate research assistants. Graduate students reside primarily at national laboratories, though some are in industry, and take courses to earn or complete their PhDs. 

Grani Hanasusanto, assistant professor of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been selected to receive a 2018 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award totaling $500,000 from the National Science Foundation. This award was designed to support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio