CULLEN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

News

Three Renowned Energy Researchers Join University of Houston

The University of Houston has recruited three renowned researchers working in the energy field – two members of the National Academy of Engineering and one member of the National Academy of Sciences – as part of the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI).

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the hires Thursday, part of an effort to recruit nationally recognized researchers to Texas institutions of higher education.

With annual research expenditures expected to top $150 million in 2016, UH is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university. The new hires will add to the University’s robust energy research efforts, which range from subsea engineering to materials research, clean energy and public policy.

UH President Renu Khator praised Abbott for his vision in implementing the initiative.

“These three highly accomplished individuals will be an invaluable addition to the team of dedicated researchers at the University of Houston, who are committed to expanding the frontiers of useful knowledge and providing real solutions to real-world problems,” she said. “We are grateful to Gov. Abbott for his vision in implementing this bold initiative and appreciate being among the first recipients of the program.”

The three researchers, she said “reflect the highest ideals of research, and we look forward to the important and innovative work they will undertake at the University, which will benefit our city, our state and our country.”

The GURI grant program was one of Abbott’s legislative priorities in the 2015 legislative session, with the goal of bringing more of the world’s top researchers to Texas. It offers matching grants to help eligible institutions of higher education in recruiting distinguished researchers. During the inaugural year, Texas institutions recruited 10 researchers, all members of national honorific societies including the National Academies and The Royal Society in the United Kingdom.

In addition to UH, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin also recruited new faculty with the GURI grants, which totaled $34 million, with one-to-one matching grant commitments from each university.

"Texas is the home of innovation, and with the addition of these world-class scholars to our university faculties, we will continue to lead the nation in cutting-edge research," Abbott said. "This strategic investment in higher education will further elevate future generations of students and faculty at Texas universities while spearheading new breakthroughs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, all of which are crucial to the long-term success of the Texas economy.”

The new hires at UH, made with $8.5 million in GURI funding, include:

  • Andrea Prosperetti. Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering. He previously was the Charles A. Miller, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and will lead the multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Computing and Data Systems, which applies high-performance computing to applications including energy, infrastructure, aerospace, health and national security.
  • Ganesh Thakur, Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering. He is President and Global Advisor at Thakur Services, Inc. and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Thakur will also serve as Director for Energy Industrial Partnerships at UH. This center represents efforts in upstream and midstream as they apply to important applications.
  • John Suppe, Distinguished Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM). He was previously a Distinguished Chair and Research Professor at National Taiwan University and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Suppe will establish and lead the multidisciplinary Center for Tectonics and Tomography at UH. This center will yield fundamentally new insights into the interaction of past plate motions and the global circulation of Earth's mantle.

University administrators said the new faculty members will add to the University’s efforts in both teaching and research.

“This support from Gov. Abbot’s GURI grants has a tremendous impact on UH Engineering’s research enterprise, as well as our college’s ability to graduate a growing number of talented and entrepreneurial engineers,” said Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering. “We are able to graduate the best and brightest engineers in the world because our faculty members are the best and brightest engineering researchers and educators."

Dan E. Wells, dean of NSM, said Suppe’s work will have a similar impact.

“John Suppe is a preeminent scholar and teacher of structural geology and tectonics,” he said. “Establishment of the UH Center for Tectonics and Tomography will enrich our research program bringing additional emphasis to the area of seismic tomography and the development of new tomographic models.”

More information on the GURI grant program is available at: http://gov.texas.gov/ecodev/guri/home

Department: 

Related News Stories

Houston universities team up to boost minorities in academia

Rice University, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston have won a National Science Foundation grant to help underrepresented minorities pursuing academic careers in engineering and science. The principal investigators are, from left: Reginald DesRoches and Canek Phillips of Rice, Pradeep Sharma and Hanadi Rifai of the University of Houston, Yvette Pearson of Rice and Wei Wayne Li of Texas Southern University. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

NSF grant to Rice, UH, Texas Southern will help future science, engineering professors

 

HOUSTON – (Aug. 13, 2019) – Rice University, Texas Southern University (TSU) and the University of Houston (UH) have won a multimillion-dollar grant to help increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing academic careers in engineering and science.

New Engineering Academy Puts UH at Katy in the Lime Light

The University of Houston at Katy campus – set to open this fall  – will offer programs in high demand throughout the Greater Houston region – engineering and nursing.

UH Cullen College partners with HCC to Better Serve Students, Industries

 

The recently announced partnership between the new University of Houston at Katy – set to open this fall – and Houston Community College (HCC) to enable Katy-area students to earn engineering degrees right in their neighborhood has the Greater Houston community buzzing with excitement.

A Wearable Device So Thin and Soft You Won’t Even Notice It

Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UH, led a project to develop a multifunctional, ultra-thin wearable human-machine interface.

Device Also Can Serve as Robotic Skin, Relaying Information Back to the User

 

Wearable human-machine interfaces – devices that can collect and store important health information about the wearer, among other uses – have benefited from advances in electronics, materials and mechanical designs. But current models still can be bulky and uncomfortable, and they can’t always handle multiple functions at one time.