UTA faculty members key players in engineering research Several engineering professors at the University of Texas at Arlington are leading new, innovative research in their fields of expertise. Anand Puppala, — photo – associate dean of research for the College of Engineering, has been named chair of the National Research Council’s soil mechanics unit. Puppala, who also is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Civil Engineering, will oversee nine committees that report to the soil mechanics unit, one of the council’s three units. Each committee is comprised of up to 30 members. Puppala will hear from committees delving into concerns including, transportation earthworks, soil and rock instrumentation, foundations of bridges and other structures, subsurface drainage and geosynthetics. Kytai Nguyen, — photo — an associate professor of bioengineering, has received a four-year, $1.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to create a nanoparticle system to shore up arterial walls following angioplasty and stenting procedures to treat coronary arterial disease.
Nguyen specializes in developing new techniques for drug delivery that are critical to advancing health care. She previously received two American Heart Association grants to study heart disease. Her co-principal investigator in the funded NIH research is Jian Yang, an associate professor of bioengineering at Penn State University and former UT Arlington bioengineering associate professor. Her other collaborators are Tang and Subhash Banerjee, an associate professor of medicine and co-director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at UT Southwestern Medical Center and VA North Texas Health Care System at Dallas. Four UT Arlington Research Institute faculty members have partnered to develop safety systems for unmanned aircraft. The team includes Frank Lewis, Moncrief-O’Donnell chair at the institute and electrical engineering professor; Kamesh Subbarao and Atilla Dogan, both associate professors of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Brian Huff, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. Most of their research will focus on technology development that will enable safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, into the National Airspace System. On Feb. 5, UT Arlington reported it reached a record high enrollment this spring, with 34,249 students taking classes, up from 459 from last spring. The College of Engineering saw a 19 percent increase in enrollment, with 768 students taking classes.
Jasper honored as top regulator Brent Jasper, regulatory project manager and mitigation bank coordinator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District’s Regulatory division, recently was presented the 2013 Don Lawyer Outstanding Regulator of the Year Award by Brig. Gen. Thomas Kula, commanding general, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Southwestern Division. The award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding regular whose work is reasonable, decisive and timely, and resonates a positive and professional image of the Corps. “Brent’s work exemplifies the expertise and sound judgment needed in the complex regulatory field it has and why he is so deserving of this award,” Kula said.
FW District receives $1.22 million federal grant The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, received a $1.22 million grant from the Department of Defense to develop a new analytic tool to help cut energy consumption at military installations worldwide. The two-year grant, from the DoD’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, will support a collaborative effort led by the district’s Planning Support Center within the Regional Planning and Environmental Center. Other program partners include the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Ill.; and two joint installations where the technology will be deployed – Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. This is the first time a division has partnered with USACE labs to obtain this type of DoD research and demonstration grant funding, according to Rumanda Young, chief of the district’s Master Planning Section and the Southwestern Division energy development manager. With the grant, the team will integrate the capabilities of two existing analytic tools to more quickly, effectively and routinely evaluate ways to cut the Pentagon’s energy bill at each installation, Young said.