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Ashley Lindstrom
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today awarded two highly competitive research grants of $2.3 million each in total costs to engineering and science faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin for innovative approaches to addressing challenges in biomedical research. Yuebing Zheng, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, and Xiaolu “Lulu” Cambronne, assistant professor of molecular biosciences in the College of Natural Sciences, will receive the grants over five years. They are part of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards, established in 2007 to support early-career investigators conducting high-risk, high-impact research. Zheng and Cambronne were two of 55 New Innovators awarded in 2017.

More than a decade in the making, the highly anticipated, 430,000-square-foot Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) has officially opened at The University of Texas at Austin.

By experimentally verifying the existence of Willis coupling, Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Michael Haberman and his team have laid a foundation for new research that makes use of its unique material response. The findings lend themselves to a wide range of applications in acoustical engineering ranging from sound diffusers in architectural acoustics to biomedical imaging using ultrasonic waves.

The Welch Foundation announced mechanical engineering professor Dr. John B. Goodenough as the 2017 recipient of the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry. Goodenough first received wide acclaim for his research following the invention of the lithium-ion battery in 1980, leading the way for the extraordinary growth in portable electronic devices that continues today. More than 30 years later, Goodenough continues to contribute groundbreaking research.

The engineering profession has long been proud of its world-changing contributions through infrastructure, water treatment, medical devices, computers and many other technological advancements that continually impact society.

The Cockrell School’s Certificate in Humanitarian Engineering takes engineering for society to the next level, providing undergraduate students with a rewarding, multidisciplinary program that allows them to focus their learning around communities that need their help the most — from low-income populations to people with special needs. Students who pursue the certificate commit themselves to building better, safer, stronger communities by developing innovative solutions that improve lives.

Department of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Yuebing Zheng is among eight university researchers to receive the NASA 2017 Space Technology Research Grant. He was selected for his proposal “An Ultracompact Opto-electrico-fluidic System for Preconcentration and Separation of Chiral Molecules in In-situ Life Detection.” Dr. Zheng will receive a total of $600,000 over three years.

A considerable challenge in the realm of neuroscience and neurological diseases is understanding and overcoming what is known as the blood-brain barrier. Lining the brain’s blood vessels, this essentially impermeable barrier that prevents foreign agents in the blood from entering the brain. While this barrier is naturally meant to block and protect, it cannot actively distinguish between what is harmful and what is helpful, so beneficial drug treatments that need direct contact with the brain cannot permeate it.

Every year, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), grants more than 75 awards that recognize achievement, service and literature in the realm of mechanical engineering. The winners of these awards consist of some of the most innovative and dedicated individuals in the field. S.V. Sreenivasan, a professor in the Cockrell School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has received this year’s Machine Design Award.

For engineers in the Texas Materials Institute (TMI) at The University of Texas at Austin, the allure of materials science — the study and development of new materials — is that it has so many applications and so much potential. Whether in energy, electronics, cybersecurity, medicine, transportation or manufacturing, the identification and advancement of materials can often lead to revolutionary solutions.

Mechanical Engineering assistant professor Guihua Yu recently received the 2017 Small Young Innovator Award from the International Small Sciences Symposium hosted in Hong Kong. 

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