Mechanical Engineering

VIDEO: Giving a Hand to Those in Need: Two UH Undergrads Share Their Gifts

8-year-old Rafael tries on pieces of his gift - a new hand from UH students

On a Wednesday evening in November, Maria Sanchez sits quietly weeping inside a private room on the first floor of the University of Houston M.D. Anderson library.

"My baby just held a cell phone with his left hand," she allows, as the tears continue to stream.

Might not seem tear-worthy to most, but her baby is 8-year-old Rafael. Likely born with a form of symbrachydactyly, Rafael’s fingers never formed in utero, leaving him with only a tiny fist-like hand.

Cullen College Alumnus Honors Wife with Endowment

Bertha “Bo” Lohec, a friend to engineering

When Bertha “Bo” Lohec passed away on Nov. 1, her husband, UH mechanical engineering alumnus Ron Lohec, knew the perfect tribute – an endowment to the UH Cullen College to help students achieve their dreams of becoming engineers. 

PHOTOS: H. David Hibbitt Rockwell Lecture

Computer simulation software allows engineers to predict how certain materials will perform under specific – and often extreme – conditions. For instance, major advances in aerospace and flight were made possible due to engineering simulation based on computational solid mechanics, leading to pioneering work conducted by the company Boeing.

UH Cullen College Engineer Creates Better Than State-of-the-Art Materials to Repel Ice

Iceman: Assistant Professor Hadi Ghasemi (far left) is joined by students Seyed Mohammad Sajadi, Peyman Irajizad and Nazanin Farokhnia. Irajizad holds the new magnetic slippery surface.

In 1989, an Air Ontario flight, with ice and snow covering its wings during takeoff, fails to attain the proper altitude. Unable to get above the trees, it crashes into them, killing 25 passengers. In 1994, an American Eagle plane flies into treacherous icing conditions and the pilots lose control of the plane. It crashes, killing all 68 souls onboard. From 1990 to 2000, 12 percent of all weather-related air disasters were due to icing.

VIDEO: Engineers and Engineering in the Movies

Once upon a time you got your best action and science fiction fix from the movies.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” showed us how pedestrian structures on the moon might seem; Walt Disney brought us tiny robots called microbots in “Big Hero 6”; Robert Zemeckis convinced us we wouldn’t need roads when he created Marty McFly’s hoverboard in “Back to the Future II”; and, “The Fast and The Furious” showed us what it would be like to fly like the wind while staying on track.

Photos: Women in Manufacturing Events Hosted at UH Engineering

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when women in manufacturing jobs were hard to come by. It wasn’t until World War II when, faced with a depleted workforce, American women rolled up their sleeves and went to work in factories and shipyards across the country.

Cutting Down Time to Speed Up Progress in the Aerospace Industry

It all starts here: At the computer, Theocharis Baxevanis creates new technology for the aerospace industry

Deep within a UH computer, models being built by Theocharis Baxevanis, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, just may cause a sea change in the aerospace industry. The hydro-mechanical system actuator, like an on/off switch, that controls the wing flaps (you see them coming up as a plane is landing) could be replaced with a new solid-state actuator made of a new High Temperature Shape Memory Alloy (HTSMA) that is lighter and more cost efficient.

How the Guardian of Our DNA Gets its Donut-Like Structure

Ph.D student Mehdi Torbati, left, and Dr. Ashutosh Agrawal are peering into cell nuclei to improve health

Deep within your body there exists donut-shaped objects – many of them, in fact. No, these donuts aren’t from the box of Shipley’s that mysteriously disappeared, despite the fact your diet had just started. These particular donuts are the membranes of the nuclear envelope, which surround and protect the cell’s nucleus, where the all-important genetic material, or DNA, is stored.

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