University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering
Laser Mapping Center Wins Renewed NSF Support
August 2013

NSF Renews Funding for Laser Mapping Center

The University of Houston’s National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) has, in the past few years: located ancient ruins, identified levees in danger of failing, charted land erosion following hurricanes, created flood maps for urban areas, found near-drought conditions in seemingly healthy plants, mapped the sea floor, charted areas prone to landslides, and helped identify how the presence of life impacts geographical features. And that’s just scratching the surface. Given all that it has done and can do in the future, the NSF has chosen to renew funding for the center, granting it approximately $3.18 million to continue its work for the next five years. In addition, NSF Co-PI Craig Glennie won a grant to develop a real-time laser mapping system for disaster areas.
Read More: Laser Mapping Center gets NSF Funding
Read More: Disaster Recovery Gets Boost from NSF Grant


ARPA-E Grant Could Transform EV Battery Space
For all their virtues, electric vehicles have two major drawbacks: their cost – usually tens of thousands of dollars more than comparable gasoline-powered cars – and how far they can travel on a single charge. Yan Yao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering and Robert A. Welch Professor with UH’s Texas Center for Superconductivity, will work to solve both of these problems thanks to a major grant from the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). Read More

Subsea Professor Wins SPE Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Phaneendra Kondapi is well-known at the UH Cullen College of Engineering as one of the pioneering instructors of subsea engineering. Now, he is being recognized outside of the college for his fantastic contributions as a subsea engineering instructor. Kondapi was awarded the 2013 SPE Teaching Excellence Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International for his innovative and highly-successful teaching techniques. Kondapi’s unique teaching method emphasizes not just teaching theories to students, but teaching students how to connect those theories to their real-world applications. Read More

Retired Astronaut/UH STEM Center Director Discusses Future of Space, STEM
Bonnie Dunbar, a retired astronaut and now director of the UH STEM Center, and Larry Bell, director of UH’s Space Architecture Program, discuss the future of space exploration and America’s Role as a leader in this field in a recent column. In addition, Dunbar recently penned a blog post on changing the conversation surrounding STEM Education.
Read Forbes Article | Read Blog Post

UH Nanofab Gets Faster Thanks to NSF Grant
Nanotechnology researchers at the University of Houston will soon be able to work faster than ever thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The $568,000 award will be used to purchase a nanolithography imprint system, which can cut the time it takes to create certain nanoparticles and features (which are measured in billionths of a meter) from hours – and even weeks – to mere minutes. The grant covers roughly 70 percent of the system’s purchase price, with the university covering the balance. Read More

Why You Should Join a Student Organization
Did you know that students who are active members of organizations tend to have more positive college experiences than those who aren’t? “Educational researchers tell us that students tend to do much better in college when they have high levels of engagement, meaning they take an active role in their overall college experience,” said Kathy Zerda, director of the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES). “One way for students to do that is to participate with their peers in extracurricular activities such as student organizations.” Read More

ECE’s Small Satellite Research Lab Receives NASA Funding
Thanks to electrical and computer engineering faculty members David Jackson and Ji Chen, the University of Houston will be among only 13 universities chosen by NASA to design and develop new small satellite technologies. With seed funding provided by the Cullen College of Engineering, Jackson and Chen launched a research program at the college just last May to develop antennas for small satellites – called “cubesats.” Beginning this fall, Jackson and Chen will receive up to $200,000 from NASA over the next two years to continue their research. Read More

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