Frank Lu, professor of aerospace engineering, has been elected vice president of publications of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Dr. Lu, director of the Aerodynamics Research Center, joined UT Arlington in 1987.
He has served as editor-in-chief of AIAA Progress in Aeronautics and Astronautics and as an editorial board member of Shock Waves, Aerospace Science and Technology, and International Journal of Aerospace Innovation; and the book series Shock and High Pressure Phenomena.
AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, with more than 35,000 individual and 100 corporate members from 80 countries.
The Science and Engineering Library in Nedderman Hall is hosting a new herpetology exhibit featuring the Temple Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri), a relatively common species of viper found across the Sunda Shelf in southeast Asia, and research from recent trips to Indonesia by members of UTA’s biology department. The specimens will be on display through March.
“We have been on three trips to Indonesia so far and are leaving for a fourth in early May,” said Elijah Wostl, biology graduate teaching assistant. “The reptiles and amphibians of Indonesia have been understudied compared to neighboring countries. The objective of these trips is to discover and document the herpetological biodiversity in one of the most biodiverse regions on earth.”
The trips have also expanded on the study of amphibians and reptiles on campus through the addition of new specimens to the vast collection housed in the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center.
The exhibit was designed by Dr. Eric Smith, associate professor of biology, and mounted by Wostl and Peace Ossom-Williamson, a UTA librarian for biology.
Qinhong “Max” Hu, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, has been named a fellow by The Geological Society of America, an honor reserved for scientists making distinguished contributions to the geosciences.
Dr. Hu has been at UT Arlington since 2008. His research specialty is in describing and exploring the processes by which fluids move through porous and fractured porous media in the earth, such as tight rock formations. He is the principal investigator on $625,000 in grants to study fracture-matrix interaction in gas recovery in North Texas’ Barnett Shale.
“Dr. Hu’s world-class efforts to advance earth science are evidenced by an impressive history of publications, presentations, funding, and professional honors,” says Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science. “As a newly named fellow, he will undoubtedly continue these contributions in the years to come.”
The Geological Society of America is a global professional society with a growing membership of more than 25,000 individuals in 107 countries.
Khosrow Behbehani, a noted biomedical researcher, inventor and chairman of the UT Arlington Department of Bioengineering, has been appointed dean of the University’s College of Engineering.
Behbehani joined The University of Texas at Arlington in 1985 and has served as chairman of his department since 2002. He holds nine patents, with one patent pending, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
His work has attracted significant support from the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. In recent years, Behbehani has garnered recognition for his work to develop an ultrasonic sleep apnea detection system, a portable device that improves detection and ultimately treatment for patients.
Behbehani succeeds Jean-Pierre Bardet, who will continue as a member of the civil engineering faculty.
“Dr. Behbehani has played an integral role in the development of our research program, and we are pleased that he has agreed to lead the pioneering and cutting-edge work of our College of Engineering faculty and students,” President James D. Spaniolo said. “Dr. Behbehani has a long-standing passion for this University and understands the impact it has had – and will have – on our world.”
The UT Arlington College of Engineering serves more than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students and includes more than 200 faculty members. The College has an annual budget of $26.3 million and total research expenditures exceeding $30.6 million.
The College includes seven departments and more than 23,000 alumni, many of whom lead major national and international corporations.
“We have a tremendous amount of talent among our faculty members and students, and we are committed to moving the UT Arlington College of Engineering to the top tiers of engineering schools,” Behbehani said. “We will be a center of innovation for solving the world’s most pressing problems and the first choice for the best students who are want to pursue careers in engineering.”
Behbehani earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree in systems engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and his doctoral degree in engineering science from the University of Toledo.
He spent five years with the Puritan Bennett Corp., then a California-based manufacturer of critical care respiratory devices, before returning to the world of academic research at UT Arlington.
Behbehani’s work is representative of research excellence at The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive research institution of 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
Qilian Liang, an electrical engineering professor in the College of Engineering, has received grants from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation totaling more than $1.2 million.
The five-year, $797,500 ONR grant addresses a signal processing system that provides better information for radar even though it collects less data.
“When the Navy’s radar looks at a specific area, it takes into account everything in that area,” Dr. Liang says. “Much of that data isn’t needed for the system to come to a precise answer on what a radar system says is there. If you take in less data, it takes the system less time to make an informed decision.”
The three-year, $470,000 NSF grant is for developing a system in a cellphone that could automatically locate available space within a bandwidth, reducing or eliminating “dead spots” in coverage.
“In the wireless network industry, bandwidth is everything,” says Liang, who has been at UT Arlington since 2002. “The system I’m developing shows where the room is in a bandwidth.”
The UT System Board of Regents has named Vistasp M. Karbhari president of UT Arlington effective June 1.
The board unanimously approved the appointment at a special called meeting on Tuesday. Dr. Karbhari was named lone finalist for the position at a Board of Regents meeting last month.
He will succeed President James D. Spaniolo, who announced last June his intention to step down from the top post once his successor is in place. Spaniolo has served as UT Arlington president since 2004, and his last day will be May 31.
“UT Arlington is an incredible institution, and I am committed to advancing UT Arlington toward Tier One status, while maintaining and strengthening excellence in both research and education and ensuring the success of our undergraduate and graduate students,” Karbhari says. “I am honored by the board’s decision to name me as president, and I am looking forward to leading this wonderful University and building on the tremendous foundations laid by President Spaniolo.”
Karbhari currently is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Prior to that, he served as professor and vice chairman of the Structural Engineering Department at the University of California-San Diego.
UT Arlington will remember alumna and Columbia astronaut Kalpana Chawla through events planned for Thursday, Jan. 31, and Friday, Feb. 1, the 10th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia disaster that killed her and six fellow astronauts.
A vigil and storytelling at Kalpana Chawla Hall begins at 6 p.m. today. Each person participating will be given a flameless candle, and there will be a moment of silence. Flags of the United States and India will be displayed to honor Chawla as the first Indian-American woman in space.
At 7:59 a.m. Friday—the time and date NASA Mission Control lost contact with Columbia—white biodegradable balloons will be released outside KC Hall.
In Nedderman Hall, Chawla’s flight suits, several photographs, and historical and biographical information about her and the space program are on permanent display. Also included are a flag flown over Johnson Space Center during the memorial for the fallen Columbia astronauts.
Chawla was one of the University’s most celebrated graduates. She earned her Masters of Science degree in aerospace engineering in 1984 before becoming an astronaut.
Physics Professor Zdzislaw Musielak has been awarded a three-year, $301,339 National Science Foundation grant to investigate Alfvén waves in the sun, a phenomenon vital to understanding Earth’s nearest star.
“The sun is the source of energy that sustains all life on Earth, but there is much that remains unknown about it,” says Dr. Musielak, a two-time winner of the international Humboldt Prize for his research into the sun and solar-type stars. “With this research, we hope to explore one of the great mysteries—what forces fuel the heat of the sun’s outer atmosphere and the basic physical processes for creating its magnetic influence on Earth and other planets.”
Alfvén waves are magnetic plasma waves named after Hannes Alfvén, who received a Nobel Prize in 1970. Their existence helps explain why the sun’s corona, or upper atmosphere, is hotter than the solar surface. Understanding Alfvén waves is also crucial to explaining the speed of solar winds, a stream of highly charge particles released into space by the sun.
Daniel W. Armstrong, the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, discusses “Testing for Performance Enhancing Drugs: The Case of a Chiral Stimulant” in the Focus on Faculty presentation at noon Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the sixth floor parlor of the Central Library. A light dessert reception follows the talk.
He will give an overview of performance-enhancing drug types and effects and a recently banned stimulant that was a component of one of the largest-selling nutritional supplements in the world.
Dr. Armstrong received the UT Arlington 2012 Distinguished Record of Research or Creative Activity award and has more than 450 publications. He has been named by the Scientific Citation Index as one of the world’s most highly cited scientists and is considered the “father” of micelle and cyclodextrin-based separations.
For more information, contact Maggie Dwyer at 2-5366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human-like robots with skin and clothes embedded with sensors that could help machines accurately perceive the environment and better assist human owners are at the heart of a new $1.35 million National Science Foundation project led by Dan Popa, associate professor of electrical engineering.
Dr. Popa, who leads the Next Gen Systems group within the College of Engineering, is the principal investigator of a collaborative effort to advance robots and robotic devices, improve prosthetics, and enable those devices to perform tasks that people can no longer do themselves.
The four-year project is part of the NSF’s National Robotics Initiative, which is aimed at accelerating the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people. The UT Arlington team’s grant was the largest among the initiative’s 37 awards this fall.
Co-principal investigators are Zeynep Celik-Butler, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Nanotechnology Research and Education Center; Donald Butler, professor of nanotechnology and electrical engineering; Frank Lewis, professor of electrical engineering and the Moncrief-O’Donnell Endowed Chair; and Nicoleta Bugnariu, associate professor of physical therapy and neuroscience at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
Unique viruses called bacteriophages may play an important role in competition among bacterial strains, influencing the overall ecosystem of the human intestine, scientists at UT Arlington and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say.
Biology Assistant Professor Jorge Rodrigues is part of a team led by Lora V. Hooper, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at UT Southwestern, that examined the bacteriophages, or phages, produced by genetic information harbored in the chromosome of the mammalian gut bacterium Enterococcus faecalis.
They found that a phage unique to Enterococcus faecalis strain V583 in mice acts as a predator, infecting and harming other similar, competing bacterial strains. They believe these lab results suggest what goes on in the human intestine.
Researchers examining how the hormone jasmonate works to protect plants and promote their growth have revealed how a transcriptional repressor of the signaling pathway makes its way into the nucleus of the plant cell.
They hope the recently published discovery eventually will help farmers experience better crop yields with less use of potentially harmful chemicals.
“This is a small piece of a bigger picture, but it is a very important piece,” says Maeli Melotto, an assistant professor of biology.
Khosrow Behbehani, chair of the Department of Biogengineering, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Dr. Behbehani, also a bioengineering professor, was honored for his contributions to the development of respiratory therapy devices in chronic pulmonary diseases. He becomes the seventh UT Arlington faculty member to be elevated to IEEE fellow.
The majority of Behbehani’s work has focused on inventing devices and methods for diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. In the 1990s, he and his team developed a device for treating sleep apnea patients, which was commercialized and used for treatment on several hundred people. Behbehani and his colleagues hold nine U.S. patents on devices and methods related to sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.
“Behbehani’s work on sleep apnea is so important because the malady affects so many people in various ways,” says Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering. “And Behbehani’s sleep apnea research could lead to all kinds of different applications from here. What’s important is that better detection can lead to early and effective treatment.”
Engineering Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet was among those named to the Task Force on Engineering Education for Texas in the 21st Century last week.
UT System Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell and Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa announced the creation of the task force. The goal is to determine the current state of engineering degree programs in Texas, study current and future demand for engineers, and identify strategies for the Texas Legislature and higher education leaders that will foster student success in engineering while supporting economic growth across the state.
“The field of engineering is incredibly important, both to our state and to our nation, and enhances the economic vibrancy in Texas,” Chancellor Cigarroa says. “We need to determine if our higher education system has the capacity, including enough faculty, to prepare our engineering students and produce not only enough engineers but also the right types of engineers to support the increased workforce demands of Texas.”
Faculty and students from UT Arlington have been selected to partner with Pittsburgh-based RE2 and Michigan-based Soar Technology to compete in a major national robotics competition supported by the Defense Department’s research arm.
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Robotics Challenge selected 18 teams for the competition, which runs through 2014. UT Arlington was one of 11 teams selected for DARPA funding to develop software that will run in a government-provided simulation environment. The goal of the program is to develop, build, and demonstrate innovative robotics technologies to aid in disaster response operations when conditions are deemed too dangerous for humans.
UT Arlington faculty participating in the program include Dan Popa and Frank Lewis in electrical engineering, Alan Bowling and Kamesh Subbarao in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Gian Luca Mariottini in computer science and engineering.
The research will take place at the UT Arlington Research Institute. Retired Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch is the executive director of the institute. He recently was named a consultant and member of the RE2 Advisory Board.
Arnold Petsche, founder of A.E. Petsche Co., has made a $1 million commitment to the College of Engineering to establish the Arnold E. Petsche Center for Automotive Engineering, pending UT System Board of Regents approval. His gift will double in value through the University’s Maverick Match program to create a $2 million endowment for the center. The Maverick Match leverages natural gas royalties to attract new philanthropic commitments.
The center will promote engineering education, innovation, and entrepreneurship, especially through student participation in the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers program. Each year, participating students design an FSAE car from the tires up and then race their vehicles against collegiate teams across the country.
The center will allow students to earn a new Certificate in Automotive Engineering and a Certificate in Engineering Entrepreneurship. It also will promote other automotive engineering initiatives, especially in cost-effective manufacturing of composites and other advanced materials.
The meeting, which is being held in Texas for the first time, will feature a public lecture by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg titled “The Standard Model, Higgs Boson, Who cares?” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 24, on the UT Arlington campus.
The semiannual conference has added significance because of a July 4 announcement from researchers at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, that they’ve almost certainly found the elusive Higgs boson.
As the next step in discovery, the proposed International Linear Collider, or ILC, will be a 31-kilometer-long electron-positron collider to complement and expand the work of the proton-proton colliding LHC, says Jaehoon Yu, UT Arlington physics professor and co-organizer of the event.