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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.

Mechanical Engineering Associate Academic Advisor Ashlee Vrana and Technical Staff Assistant Mark Phillips were honored last month with departmental staff excellence awards for their exemplary service and commitment. 

A military drone flying on a reconnaissance mission is captured behind enemy lines, setting into motion a team of engineers who need to remotely delete sensitive information carried on the drone’s chips. Because the chips are optical and not electronic, the engineers can now simply flash a beam of UV light onto the chip to instantly erase all content. Disaster averted.

This James Bond-esque chip is closer to reality because of a new development in a nanomaterial developed by Yuebing Zheng, a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering. His team described its findings in the journal Nano Letters on Nov. 10.

In the 2016 ranking of the U.S.’ top degree-producing engineering schools, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has ranked the Cockrell School of Engineering the No. 3 producer of minority engineering graduates in the nation and the No. 1 in Texas.

Mechanical Engineering assistant professor Guihua Yu has been selected by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) to receive its 2017 Early Career Faculty Fellow Award. 

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