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Is Houston Missing the Next Energy Wave? Houston Chronicle Features the UH Engineers Who Are On the Case

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Audrey Grayson
Daniel Araya, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, demonstrates how his wind tunnel can generate electricity. Photo courtesy of Michael Ciaglo, Houston Chronicle Staff
Daniel Araya, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, demonstrates how his wind tunnel can generate electricity. Photo courtesy of Michael Ciaglo, Houston Chronicle Staff

Clean energy research in the UH Cullen College of Engineering was the subject of a front page story in last Sunday's Houston Chronicle, which explores why the city of Houston is failing to draw new tech ventures for a world shifting away from the use of fossil fuels. Daniel Araya, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was featured prominently in the story titled "Is Houston missing the next energy wave?"

Araya conducts research on unconventional wind turbines, like the one he invented for use on urban rooftops to generate electricity from shifting winds and turbulence caused by tall buildings. Araya was drawn to the University of Houston primarily because of it's location in the Energy Capital of the World and is actively seeking private funding to install his turbines on top of Hess Tower in downtown Houston. 

Despite the abundance of clean energy research at the University of Houston, the city of Houston has very few start-up companies incubating new, clean energy technologies. The Houston Chronicle spoke with Hanadi Rifai, associate dean of research and facilities, about the Cullen College's plans to help curb some of those trends, including a startup pitch event where engineering entrepreneurs can showcase their business plans to potential investors.

Click here to read the full story in the Houston Chronicle

 

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