Biology professor receives herpetology award

Jonathan Campbell, a biology professor known for traveling into the remotest regions of Central and South America to catalog biodiversity, has received the 2012 Henry S. Fitch Award for Excellence in Herpetology, a national honor given by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Dr. Campbell received the award last month at the 7th World Congress of Herpetology in Vancouver, Canada. The prize is awarded to an individual for long-term excellence in the study of amphibian and/or reptile biology, based principally on the quality of the awardee’s research. Consideration is given to educational and service impacts of the individual’s career.

“It is no surprise to see Dr. Campbell honored by his peers,” says Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science. “Here at UT Arlington he has been instrumental in building the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center into a nationally known resource and providing valuable field experiences and mentoring for biology faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates.”

Read more about the award for excellence.

Source: MavWire

Math Emporium supports student success in algebra

College algebra is becoming a little easier with the opening of the Math Emporium, a computer and tutorial lab as part of a new initiative to help students with the basic mathematics courses.

Rather than attending the traditional three lectures per week, students enrolled in college algebra will attend one lecture each week. The other two class periods will be in the 5,800-square-foot learning lab in Pickard Hall, working through software and video-based lessons with help from graduate teaching assistants.

The Math Emporium concept was pioneered by the National Center for Academic Transformation, a nonprofit that focuses on incorporating technology and innovative ideas to control college costs. Low passing rates for college algebra and similar lower-level mathematics classes is a national problem, with students spending time and tuition dollars on classes they must retake or risk not graduating.

“It’s the first time we’ve done something like this for college algebra,” says David Jorgensen, associate professor of math, who oversees the emporium.

UT Arlington professors expanding “big data” technology for ATLAS

UT Arlington is teaming with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven and Argonne national laboratories to develop a universal version of PanDA, a workload management system built to process huge volumes of data from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

The new project will bolster science and engineering research that relies on “big data,” a priority recently promoted by The White House. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research has awarded a combined $1.7 million to Brookhaven and UT Arlington to fund the PanDA work over the next three years.

Kaushik De, a physics professor and director of UT Arlington’s Center of Excellence for High Energy Physics, and Gergely Zaruba, an associate professor of computer science and engineering, are co-principal investigators for the University’s portion, which totals $704,488.

UT Arlington and Brookhaven developed PanDA for use by the ATLAS collaboration, a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. ATLAS includes 3,000 physicists from UT Arlington and more than 170 other institutions, 40 of which are in the United States.

ATLAS computing hardware is located at 100 computing centers around the world that manage more than 50 petabytes, or 50 million gigabytes, of data. UT Arlington is home to the ATLAS Southwest Tier 2 grid computing center.

Read more about the PanDA project.

Source: MavWire

Civil engineering research to explore manhole rehabilitation

Mohammad Najafi, a civil engineering assistant professor, is teaming with a private sector engineer to study different techniques for renewing and designing manholes.

Dr. Najafi and Firat Sever of Benton Associates of Illinois are partnering in the $251,000 grant from the nonprofit Water Environment Research Foundation to conduct the research at UT Arlington’s Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education.

Titled “Evaluation of Manhole Rehabilitation Technologies,” the project will look at structural strengths and weaknesses of common manhole rehabilitation materials.

The grant will allow the team to conduct compression tests, tensile tests, and shear strength tests to create a tool for developing a system that people can use to rehabilitate manholes.

Read more about the grant to be used in manhole rehabilitation.

Source: MavWire

Grant would create tools for assessing earthquake damage

Andreas Stavridis is being paid to create an earthquake from the roof down at a southeastern California building.

Through a National Science Foundation grant, the civil engineering assistant professor will develop new numerical simulation tools to predict performance and strength of buildings in future earthquakes.

His research results could lead to changes in building codes so that buildings could withstand more severe earthquakes with less damage.

“Predicting the strength of existing buildings and their performance in future earthquakes is crucial as it will allow us to determine which buildings are safe and which need to be retrofitted or demolished,” Dr. Stavridis says. “We will develop new models and provide guidelines so that practicing engineers can apply them on any building of the same type.”

Read more about the NSF grant for assessing earthquake damage.

Source: MavWire

UT Arlington bioengineering associate professor named 2012 Tech Titan

The Metroplex Technology Business Council has named Mario Romero-Ortega, bioengineering associate professor and expert in neural regeneration, a 2012 Tech Titan in the Technology Innovator category.

The council is the largest technology trade association in Texas. It has about 300 member companies, representing about 250,000 employees. The Tech Titans awards are in their 12th year of recognizing outstanding technology companies and North Texas individuals who have made significant contributions to their industries during the past year.

“It is humbling to have our research recognized by the council,” says Dr. Romero-Ortega, who joined UT Arlington in 2008 from UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Of course, this award distinguishes the work of many people, from administrators and colleagues to students who have contributed to this work.”

Romero-Ortega was honored for developing better prosthetic arms that can allow injured military veterans and other amputees greater movement and may restore the sense of touch. The work is funded through a $2.2 million grant from DARPA, the research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Read more about the Tech Titan award.

MAKE magazine comes to SEL

Bringing ideas into reality with objects you have (or can get):  photolithography, cigar box guitars, Arduino circuit designs, scooters.  Things you actually touch (not concepts visualized on your mobile phone), using technology available.  Because you make stuff, it’s called the Maker Movement; but the creations are a lot more original than the name.

Makers are amateur tinkerers, electronics hobbyists, engineering students.  Projects ( ) are small, filling the little, interesting gaps in the world:  home automation, a pedometer with Web-enabled navigation, making cell phones into remote controllers, robots that perform useful tasks.  Makers exhibit and trade ideas at Maker Faires ( ; find “Maker Faire” on Facebook) and network informally.  Related activities are at Situ Studio ( ) and the MIT Media Lab ( ); but most Makers are proudly small-scale, often solo.  An article in VentureBeat ( ) explores the “next step” of venture capital, but it’s more useful as a description of the Maker Movement.

SEL’s subscription to MAKE magazine ( ) begins January 2013. MAKE features ideas of all kinds as well as covering Maker Faires.  It could be a source of undergraduate project ideas.  Unfortunately the Library can’t arrange an electronic subscription, so it will be in hard copy on the SEL periodical shelves.

SEL Exhibit – Become a Research Jedi

The Science & Engineering Library presents a new exhibit to celebrate the Information Fair to be held Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 11am-1pm. The event features games, prizes, free popcorn, and a free lunch for those who visit five of the 12 booths. The Fair also features a video game arcade on the sixth floor.

SEL Exhibit Info

Exhibit Site Exhibit Pics Book List

Some technology that is current (or just over the horizon) once only existed in science fiction. This exhibit showcases some of the resources located in this library that prepare science and engineering students to create technologies that were once only found in the imagination.

Here are some of the “sci-fi” topics covered in this library:

  • Robotics
  • Cybernetics
  • Informatics
  • Epigenetics
  • Nanoscience
  • Cyberspace
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Time Travel
  • Immersive Gaming
  • Space Colonies
  • Space Travel
  • Multiverses
  • Laser Technologies

Researchers receive grant to study new molecular models for how motor protons move

UT Arlington researchers have been awarded a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant to study a new model for how motor proteins behave in the body.

Their study could radically change the face of biology by explaining how proteins move and interact with other biological systems, says Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering.

Alan Bowling, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, is the lead investigator. Samarendra Mohanty, an assistant professor of physics, and Subhrangsu Mandal, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, are co-principal investigators.

The NSF award is funded through the Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research, or EAGER program. The grants support work on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches.

Read more about the NSF award.

Source: MavWire

Biologists taking coral reef research to Australia

Laura Mydlarz, an assistant professor of biology, is working with colleagues in Puerto Rico to assess the effects of warming ocean temperatures on coral reefs and will present her research at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Australia in July.

Dr. Mydlarz organized and co-chairs a series of talks on immune defenses of coral reef organisms at this summer’s conference. Coral reefs worldwide are threatened by pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

Mydlarz will present work conducted in her lab in collaboration with Jorge Pinzon, a post-doctoral fellow in the UT Arlington Biology Department. Mydlarz’ graduate students, Elizabeth McGinty and Whitney Mann, also will present their research at the conference.

Read more about Mydlarz’s coral reef research.

Source: MavWire

Ruthenium-based complexes show benefits in cancer research

A chemistry team researching ruthenium compounds as possible anti-cancer drugs has discovered a way to make their complexes more effective against cancer cells and less toxic to healthy cells in lab tests.

Chemistry Professor Fred MacDonnell presented the team’s work this month at the 24th International Symposium on Chiral Discrimination in Fort Worth.

Platinum-based drugs are now the first line of treatment for many cancer patients. Scientists working with similar elements, such as ruthenium, hope to develop effective, less toxic alternative chemotherapy drugs.

Dr. MacDonnell noted that these ruthenium compounds work well against tumor cells under hypoxic, or low-oxygen, conditions. Such compounds could be useful to target the subpopulation of hypoxic cancer cells in solid tumors, as these cells are often the most resistant to drug treatment.

MacDonnell’s co-presenters at the conference were Abhishek Yadav, Thamara Jaranatne, and Arthi Krishnan, all past graduate students at UT Arlington.

Read more about the cancer research.

Source: MavWire

Radar system coming to campus

A weather radar system to be installed soon atop Carlisle Hall promises faster, more precise information about severe weather and flash flooding that may save lives by giving people more time to take action.

The system is a joint venture of the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

D.-J. Seo, an associate professor of civil engineering, is leading a research team that will help mine the data for important weather information that can be used in emergency management, development, and stormwater drainage planning.

“In severe weather, minutes can mean the difference between life and death,” Dr. Seo says. “The new system can see the small details in the atmosphere. You can tell what is happening very close to the ground every minute.”

Read more about the weather radar system.

Source: MavWire

NASA grant fuels study for aerospace engineers

Two engineering researchers have been awarded a three-year, $640,000 NASA National Research Award to study novel injector designs to support combustion at hypersonic speeds, work aimed at reducing air travel times and making space access affordable.

Luca Maddalena and Luca Massa, both assistant professors in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, are the only collegiate researchers in the country to garner the NASA hypersonic award.

“We’re honored to be the only U.S. grant winners to study this very important topic,” Dr. Maddalena says. “This study on the effectiveness of new fuel injection schemes might lead to enabling affordable access to space for large hypersonic vehicles.”

Hypersonic speed is that which reaches Mach 5, or 3,500 miles per hour and more. Hypersonic technology differs from rocket technology in that hypersonic engines pull oxygen from the surrounding air. Rocket propulsion engines carry their oxygen source on board, which limits the payload of what the aircraft can carry.

Read more about the NASA grant.

Source: MavWire

Professors selected as fellows in national nursing academy

Two nursing professors have been selected as fellows of the American Academy of Nursing for their contributions to the nursing profession.

Judy LeFlore, a professor in the College of Nursing, and Jeannette Crenshaw, a clinical assistant professor who teaches in the college’s online program, will be honored along with 174 other fellows from around the world at the Academy’s 39th annual meeting and conference this fall in Washington D.C.

Dr. LeFlore is director of pediatric, acute care pediatric, and neonatal nurse practitioner programs. She has garnered national attention in recent years for her leadership in using simulation and game-based technology in teaching.

Dr. Crenshaw is an expert in evidence-based maternity practices, preoperative fasting practices, and administrative practices. In 2010 she led a unique study using video-ethnography and interactive analysis to improve immediate skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding rates. Collaborating with experts from the U.S. and Sweden, she improved skin-to-skin care during cesarean surgery by 25 percent.

Read more about the national honors.

Source: MavWire

Engineering professor appointed to national transportation research group

The Transportation Research Board, an arm of the National Academies, has named Anand Puppala to its Design and Construction Group.

Dr. Puppala, a distinguished teaching professor of civil engineering and interim associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, joins 16 leading U.S. engineers and scientists who will set the agenda for design and construction practices in transportation-related research.

The Design and Construction Group oversees eight sections including design, pavement management, structures, asphalt materials, concrete materials, geology and properties of earth materials, and soil mechanics as well as 57 national committees and two task forces.

“I look forward to working with the group, which is very important in guiding and shaping research directions in today’s and tomorrow’s transportation-related design and construction issues,” Puppala says. He has served several years as chair of the committee on soils and rock instrumentation of the Transportation Research Board.

Read more about Puppala’s appointment.

Source: MavWire

Tang named fellow of international society

Bioengineering Professor Liping Tang has been named a fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. This recognition is bestowed upon a select group of biomaterial engineers, totaling 218 fellows worldwide.

“Professor Tang’s recognition by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering illustrates the outstanding education and research taking place in the College of Engineering at UT Arlington,” says Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering. “He is passionate about bringing science and engineering not only to his students at the University level, but also to high school students through science fairs in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.”

Dr. Tang’s research focuses on tissue engineering and regeneration and adult stem cell harvesting. He was named a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2011.

Read more about Tang’s honor.

Source: MavWire

SEL Exhibit – Transit of Venus 2012

Don’t miss the last Transit of Venus you’ll see in your lifetime! The next one will occur in 105 years (2117)!

View a short video about Transits of Venus

Transit of Venus in the DFW Area
June 5, 2012

*Find your local transit times and dates.

A Transit of Venus occurs when Venus travels between the sun and the earth. It’s like an eclipse, only Venus does not come close to blocking out the sun.


  • Eye safety – do not look directly at the sun! Items to buy or make.
  • Download a mobile app for iPhone or Android to participate in a worldwide experiment and learn more about the Transit.
  • Read more about this astronomical event:
  • Events
    • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 5-7pm, parking lot south of museum. Followed by talk on Venus by UT Arlington Professor of Philosophy & Humanities Charles Chiasson.  More info.
    • Dallas Amateur Astronomy Group, Park Forest Branch Library, 3421 Forest Ln, Dallas TX 75234. Will have lots of eclipse glasses and at least one filtered telescope. Learn how Venus has impacted our world. Free and open to all.
    • Live Webcast by NASA EDGE from observatories in Hawaii, where the entire Transit will occur during sunlight hours.

Come and few our exhibit, curated by C.D. Walter, in B03 Nedderman Hall.

Have fun and be safe from the Science & Engineering Library staff!

Prof’s novel profiles historical mathematician

Dora Musielak, an adjunct professor of physics and aerospace engineering, has taken on the mystery of how a woman growing up in late-18th century France came out of nowhere to make a name for herself with the world’s most renowned mathematicians.

The Mathematical Association of America recently republished Sophie’s Diary: A Mathematical Novel. In the 279-page book, Dr. Musielak uses fiction to take up where records about mathematician Sophie Germain leave off.

The author follows Germain from ages 13 to 17, during the years 1789 to 1793. She hopes the novel inspires mathematicians, especially young women, and informs the world about Germain’s contributions.

Read more about Musielak’s book.

Source: MavWire

Course Reserves – Spring and Summer 2012

Science and Engineering Library will begin taking off the Spring 2012 Course Reserves on Thursday, May 17, 2012 (Books, paper and electronic reserves).  Professor’s copy (book or paper) will be returned via campus mail unless your office is in Nedderman Hall.  We will deliver these to the department’s reception/secretary.  Please give us 24 Hour notice if you need your material before May 17, 2012.

If you have a course reserve request for the Summer 2012 session please send it in ASAP.  If you want to retain your current material on course reserve for the Summer or Fall 2012 session please send an email.  We need to know if the course or section number has changed.

Reserve request can be made using the UTA server

Click on Placing Materials on Reserve and under Putting Materials on Reserve click on reserves request form or send an email to both and

A word document or syllabus can be inserted in the library reserve URL listed above or you can contact the subject librarian

Instructions for viewing current course reserve items:

Click on drop arrow and select instructor’s name, hit search and the list of items the professor has on reserve will pull up.  Narrow the search by using course name and number

Information needed: professor name, course name, number and section number, title of book, author, copyright date, catalog number or ISBN, and check out period (choose from options below).

Library Reserve Options:

  1. 2 Hour Reserve Library Use Only
  2. 3 Hour Reserve May Leave the Library
  3. 24 Hour Reserve
  4. 3 Day Reserve
  5. 7 Day Reserve

Let us know if we can be of any assistance to you.

Donna Kelley

Library Assistant III — Ext. 21418
Science and Engineering Library
Nedderman Hall, B03