Texas Engineering alumni lead industries, launch companies and help develop solutions that improve lives around the world. We’re proud to share just a few of their accomplishments from the past year.


Michael Mahaffey (B.S. ASE 1973) was recognized as one of 10 Engineers of the Year by L3 Technologies, where he has been conducting numerous flight tests of state-of-the-art ISR systems and developing cutting-edge signal processing algorithms for several major national ISR platforms.

Mark Richards (B.S. ES 1977) was named provost of the University of Washington. Previously, he was a professor of Earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley.


Alan Stern (M.S. ASE 1980) received the 2018 Lowell Tomas Award in Engineering Exploration from The Explorers Club, an award that celebrates people who have engineered groundbreaking expeditions and expeditionary science. Stern is the lead principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to explore the Pluto system.

Susan C. Howes (B.S. PE 1982) received the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Honorary Membership, which is given to individuals for outstanding service to SPE and/or in recognition of distinguished scientific or engineering achievement in fields encompassed in SPE’s technical scope. Honorary Membership is the highest honor SPE confers and is limited to .1 percent of SPE’s total membership.

David C. Baldwin (B.S. PE 1985) received the 2018 Hoover Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The medal is awarded for “outstanding extra-career service by engineers to humanity.” Baldwin joins the ranks of other impressive winners, including U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter.

Mike Krames (B.S. ECE 1989) was named an IEEE Fellow for leadership in gallium-nitride-based LED physics and its commercialization.


U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt (B.S. ASE 1990) assumed command of the Air Force Recruiting Service in June 2018.

Hongming (Melissa) Chen (B.S. ChE 1992) was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for her contributions to the research, development and translation of drug delivery technologies.

Nimmi Ramanujam (Ph.D. BME 1995), who is a biomedical engineering professor at Duke University, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for her work in photonics-based health technologies.


Tyler Ley (M.S. CE 2002, Ph.D. CE 2007), a civil engineering professor at Oklahoma State University, received the prestigious Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

Pooja Jesrani (B.S. ASE 2007) was named a NASA flight director, joining a group of fewer than 100 people since NASA’s first flight director in 1958. She will lead teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts and support personnel around the world to make real-time decisions to keep astronauts safe in space.

John Slater (Ph.D. BME 2008), an assistant professor at the University of Delaware, received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study microstrokes and the clots that cause them.


Kelly Moynihan (B.S. BME 2012), an associate at Third Rock Ventures, was named one of Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, an honor given to young executives, entrepreneurs and innovators in Boston.

David Waters (B.S. BME 2012) was one of five to be named a Fannin Innovation Studio Entrepreneurship Fellow, a two-year full-time fellowship for scientists, physicians and engineers who have an entrepreneurial interest in drug or medical device development.

Zachary Smith (Ph.D. ChE 2014) won a U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Award, which is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during early career years.

Yogashri Pradhan (B.S. PE 2015) won the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Young Member Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes contributions to and leadership in the public and community arenas, as well as in SPE, the profession and the industry, by a member under the age of 36.

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