Fall 2020 Issue

Sharon Wood portrait

Message from the Dean

What can I say about the past year — and about the unprecedented challenges society has faced — that hasn’t already been said? The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our spirits and transformed our lives, but it has also revealed extraordinary resilience…

Graphic image of an E-Sports team winning an E-sports competition

Game On

The University of Texas’ fingerprints are all over the rise in competitive videogaming, aka esports, as a college sport. Texas has one of the oldest esports communities in academia — its flagship group Longhorn Gaming has won more than $100,000 in…

Graphic composition of energy sources like cars, electric lines, wind turbines, etc.

This Year So Far

Brimming with breakthrough research, awards and honors, student innovations and tons more, every year in the Cockrell School of Engineering is one to remember. And — even as the coronavirus pandemic turned the world on its head — 2020 has certainly…

colorful illustration of hands on a laptop keyboard

Saved by the Zoom

Two years ago, in fall 2018, there were close to 3.2 million students in the U.S. enrolled in fully remote post-high school classes, representing roughly 17 percent of all students at that level. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic flipped this…

rendering of the Gary L Thomas Energy Engineering Building

GLT Rising

With students studying virtually and faculty lecturing from home, the engineering corridor of campus is quiet. But the energy at the construction site of our newest engineering building is as lively as ever. The foundation is set, walls are in…

Sumit Singh photo

Relentlessly Curious

From humble beginnings to running the nation’s top pet destination, Cockrell School alumnus Sumit Singh has enjoyed an exceptional career marked by perseverance and integrity — two important characteristics of a leader. In early fall, Sumit sat down…

Black and white image of John Goodenough receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Noble Nobel

The world learned on October 9, 2019, that John Goodenough had won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to the development of the lithium-ion battery. It was headline-making news not only for the award itself and for the breakthrough…

Rendering of the Automated Bag Breathing Unit

‘Like a Wartime Effort’

Engineers across all disciplines in the Cockrell School are applying their expertise to the problem in any way possible. Nearly eight months since the pandemic took hold in the U.S., an ever-growing cadre of research projects have been funded and…

Scott Evans holds a version a 3D printed mask

Custom Fit

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., one of the most immediate needs that arose was filling a shortage of PPE for health care workers. So, inside the Cockrell School’s Texas Inventionworks studio, engineers immediately galvanized into action to…

Diana Marculescu portrait

The Right Time. The Right Place.

It has been almost a year since Diana Marculescu — a renowned expert in energy-aware computing and a former faculty member and researcher at Carnegie Mellon University — began her tenure as the chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer…

Image of two people scaling a glacier in Antarctica

Texas Engineers in Alaska

Navid Saleh has dedicated years of his career to helping native populations across the U.S. manage and improve the quality of their water. It started in 2012 when he visited the Navajo Nation, and he later expanded this mission to help Texas border…

Van Truskett and Ashley Jennings

A Quick Change of Plans

Launched earlier this year in the Engineering Education and Research Center under the new leadership of Van Truskett, executive director, and Ashley Jennings, managing director, the new Texas Innovation Center primarily aims to guide entrepreneurs,…

Blue Origin New Glenn spacecraft

To the Moon and Back…and Back Again

On October 13, 2020, Blue Origin — the spaceflight company formed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000 — celebrated the 13th successful consecutive launch of its New Shepard vehicle, taking another step forward in its mission to lower the cost of…

Edison lightbulb

Commercializing Breakthroughs

The journey from an idea, to funding, to experimentation and to publishing a paper can be a long one. But in many cases, that’s really just the beginning. Along the way, researchers face a variety of important decisions, chief among them, whether to…

UT Tower in 1970s

The Courage to Change

It was 1970, and America was on the heels of one of its most significant decades in recent history. With the landmark installment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, discrimination based on race, color, religion,…

Mark Papermaster portrait

Know the Questions—and Help Find the Answers

Growing up, the dinner table talk in Mark Papermaster’s (B.S. ECE 1982) family gravitated toward science – what seems like an unconventional topic of conversation until you find out his father, Dr. Ben Papermaster, was a noted cancer researcher and…

Boston Dynamics Robot walks down the sidewalk with group of people including Army men and researchers behind

Where Robots Roam

Where Longhorns once played basketball, robots now play soccer. Where teams of athletes once worked together on the court, teams of engineers and scientists now collaborate on next-generation robotics. The newly renovated Anna Hiss Gymnasium is now…

Portrait of Sabah Jamal and Leslie McMaster

Connecting Across Generations

On March 13, 2020, the coronavirus pandemic sent UT students home packing. The remainder of the spring semester would be spent online, distanced from their peers and professors and faced with a new, unexpected challenge: social isolation. But Texas…

Texas Engineer Monogram