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Department History

2000

  • Dr. Robert Bishop reworked the Advanced Flight Simulator Laboratory, bringing in three additional simulators.

  • Dr. Anthony Bedford was inducted into the University of Texas Austin Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

  • Drs. Cesar Ocampo and K. Ravi-Chandar joined the department faculty.

2001

  • The Texas Spacecraft Lab (TSL), in which undergraduate and graduate student teams could fabricate small satellites (nanoSats) and payloads for balloons and sounding rockets, was established under the leadership of Glenn Lightsey.

  • The Control Systems Laboratory was established. Read more...

  • The first issue of The Longhorn Liftoff newsletter was circulated to alumni and friends of the department.

2002

  • The twin GRACE satellites, under the leadership of Dr. Byron Tapley, were launched from Plesetsk, Russia, with the objective to improve knowledge of the earth’s gravity field by several orders of magnitude. [Read more] This project was selected by Popular Science as "Best of What's New" in aviation and space.

  • Drs. Rui Huang, Thomas Hughes, and Laxminarayan Raja joined the department faculty.

  • The tracking station used with Mightysat-1 was donated by the U.S. Air Force through the efforts of Dr. Glenn Lightsey. The tracking station was installed on the roof of the W.R. Woolrich building to track and communicate with many Earth orbiting satellites. Read more...

2003

  • Dr. Max L. Williams, Jr. was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

  • Dr. Robert Bishop assumed chairmanship of the department.

  • ASE/EM observed the Centennial of Flight Celebration with social events, contests, and a “History of Aviation” seminar given by Dr. Hans Mark. Read more...

  • NASA astronaut Robert L. Crippen’s (BS ASE, 1960) flight jacket was donated to the department during the Centennial of Flight Celebration by his grand-nephew, Matthew Monroe, and is now on display in the reception lobby.

  • The Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics (TICAM) was renamed the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES).

2005

  • Dr. Ivo Babuska was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

  • Drs. Belinda Marchand and Venkat Raman joined the department faculty.

  • The AIAA student chapter’s team placed third in the national Rube Goldberg Contest where college students compete to design machines that use a very complex process to perform a simple task.

  • Dr. Philip L. Varghese was inducted into the University of Texas Austin Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

  • Michael Webber (BS ASE, 1995) was selected as a College of Engineering Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate. Read more...

  • Dr. Wallace Fowler (PhD ASE, 1965) was featured in and depicted on the front cover of Prism magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society for Engineering Education. Read more...

  • NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson (MS ASE, 1992) was selected for the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award and honored during The University of Texas at Austin Commencement Ceremony. Read more...

2006

  • John Hicks (BSE ASE, 1969) donated the original model of NASA’s X-43A, the first scramjet-powered airplane to fly at almost Mach 10 speed and artifacts from when he was the program manager on the solar-electric Helios aircraft, which set the world’s record for altitude with a powered aircraft at almost 97,000 feet. 

2007

  • Dr. Stelios Kyriakides was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

  • Dr. Chad Landis joined the department faculty.

  • Dr. Raynor Duncombe donated the original 1957 Sputnik Tracking Document to the department. A copy of this document is now on display in the reception lobby. Read more...

  • Dennis Lee McWilliams (BS ASE, 1993), founder and CEO of Apollo Endosurgery, Inc., was selected for the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award and honored during The University of Texas at Austin Commencement Ceremony. Read more...

  • The Spacecraft Control Center (the Control Systems Lab) was upgraded for mission control. Read more...

  • The UT Lockheed Martin Air Systems Design Laboratory was established under the leadership of Dr. Robert Bishop. Read more...

  • The Sensors and Actuators Laboratory was established under the leadership of Drs. Robert Bishop and Glenn Lightsey. Read more...

  • The Longhorn Rocket Association was established with Dr. Varghese as its sponsor and Dr. Hayes as its advisor. Read more...

2008

  • Dr. Timothy Crain (BS ASE, 1995), an aerospace engineer in NASA’s Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics division, was selected for the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award and honored during The University of Texas at Austin Commencement Ceremony. Crain was also selected as one of four Outstanding Young Graduates by the Cockrell School of Engineering. Read more...

  • ASE/EM student teams won 2nd and 4th place at the AIAA Design, Build, Fly Competition, an international competition in which college students design and build remote controlled aircrafts to complete different missions.
    Read more...

  • Robert B. Tenison (BS ASE, 1946) received his diploma after 66 years. Read more...

  • Drs. Armand Chaput, Jayant Sirohi, and Charles Tinney joined the department faculty.

More highlights coming soon.