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University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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Haleh Ardebili Takes Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative to New Heights

By: 

Audrey Grayson
Haleh Ardebili
Haleh Ardebili

Haleh Ardebili, Bill D. Cook associate professor of mechanical engineering, was recently appointed as director of the UH Cullen College of Engineering's Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative.

Ardebili, an award-winning teacher and business-savvy inventor, took over the reigns of the Cullen College's entrepreneurship initiatives in June. Her goal is to bring the Cullen College's mission of transferring new technologies that benefit society to life by introducing new entrepreneurship programs and cultivating a culture of innovation among the UH engineering community.

"Over the next few years, an engineering technology incubator will be established at the college to support increased student and faculty IP generation and start-ups," she said.

An accomplished researcher and inventor, Ardebili is no stranger to taking innovative ideas out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. Her research focuses on energy storage, with a variety of projects aimed at developing flexible, stretchable batteries capable of powering everything from spacesuits to submarines. A patent is pending for her stretchable batteries while her research continues to receive funding from NASA, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Subsea Systems Institute and many more.

Her work in energy storage earned her the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 2012, the Texas Space Grant Consortium's New Investigator Award for 2014-2015, and the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH Award in 2010.

Ardebili is equally devoted to teaching and supporting her students' careers as she is to inventing better batteries. She serves as director of the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates, a ten-week summer program that allows undergrads from around the country to work in her lab creating new, sustainable materials for manufacturing and energy. Last year she received the W.T. Kittinger Teaching Excellence Award, the highest teaching award given by the Cullen College.

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Cullen College of Engineering and several of its programs are ranked among the “best of the best” institutions in the country for veterans to earn degrees in the 2019 Best for Vets rankings.

The University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering and several of its programs are ranked among the “best of the best” institutions in the country for veterans to earn degrees by College Factual in its 2019 Best for Vets rankings.

Overall, the Cullen College sits in the top 10 percent of institutions for best value and most popular engineering degrees among veterans, as well as the top 15 percent of colleges with the highest paid graduates.