University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering
January 2013

Retired Astronaut Joins UH as STEM Center Leader, Engineering Professor

Adding to an impressive list of accomplishments that continues to raise the national profile of the University of Houston, President Renu Khator has recruited and hired retired NASA astronaut and engineer Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar to lead a new University STEM Center (science, technology, engineering and math) and to join the faculty of the College of Engineering. A member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, Dunbar, a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering and a UH alumna, will provide transformative leadership in the development of a new integrated university STEM Center, building upon currently strong programs in several of the colleges, and leveraging their success in the larger K-12 community. Read More


Industry Consortium Seeks to Leverage Smart Grid Data

Researchers with the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering have established the Electric Power Analytics Consortium, signing CenterPoint Energy as its first official member. The consortium exists to develop computational techniques and mathematical models to make the best use of the data gathered from smart meters and other components of new smart electric power grids. If properly utilized, this data could offer the ability to predict power demand, help manage power generation, and even assist in planning the construction of future power plants. Read More


Molecular Sensing Gets Boost from ECE Researcher

Everything from environmental monitoring to medical diagnostics could benefit from recent research conducted by a professor with the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering. The research involves an advance to a molecular detection technique known as surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, or SERS, that was achieved through the creation of a hierarchical gold nanostructure—nanoporous gold disks each measuring 500 nanometers (nm) in diameter and 75 nm thick with an internal porous network 7 nm in diameter. The research was was conducted by Wei-Chuan Shih, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who published his findings in a recent issue of the journal Nanoscale. Read More


Alumnus Bill Fendley Named Engineer of the Year

William “Bill” Fendley, one of the Cullen College of Engineering’s most successful and committed alumni, has been named the Greater Houston 2013 Engineer of the Year. A 1971 graduate of the Cullen College, Fendley and fellow alumnus Odis Cobb founded Cobb, Fendley & Associates in 1980. In the 33 years since, the company has grown into one of the region’s largest and most successful privately held civil engineering firms. Fendley received the award from the Houston Engineers Week Committee, which bases its selection on the vote of past award winners. He will be recognized at the Gala Houston Engineers Week Banquet, set for Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Hilton Post Oak. Read More


Engineering Students Analyze NAE Grand Challenges

Students from the University of Houston recently participated in a poster presentation related to the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges program, in which women engineering students chose to investigate critical areas of emphasis for engineers in the 21st century. Students selected a topic of interest from among the list of challenges, explored issues related to solving the challenge, investigated the state of current research by scientists and engineers in the field, and gained an understanding of how the challenge impacts quality of life. The program gave freshman women the opportunity to discuss their progress with faculty mentors, and their findings were then summarized in a poster presentation at the Cullen College of Engineering. Read More


ChBE PhD Candidate Wins Three AIChE Awards

Alexandra Lupulescu, a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Houston Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was selected as the winner of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division Poster Competition held during the 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, for her poster titled “Employing Molecular Modifiers to Tailor the Crystal Morphology of Zeolite Catalysts.” As part of assistant professor Jeffrey Rimer’s research team, Lupulescu focuses on optimizing zeolites, a type of catalyst. Zeolites are crystalline materials that contain silica and alumina, which are used in a variety of chemical processes. Read More




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