Seven University of Texas at Austin researchers are confronting what the scientific community has defined as this century's grand challenges in drug design, environmental sustainability and improved oil recovery using Moncrief Grand Challenge Faculty awards for 2011-12.

Professors Tom Hughes and Mark Mear of the department are among those selected.

The awards, funded by the private donations of oilman and philanthropist W. A. "Tex" Moncrief of Fort Worth and an anonymous donor, enable scientists and engineers to work at the Institute for Computational and Engineering Sciences (ICES) on challenges that affect the competitiveness and international standing of the United States.

Hughes' research project is on modeling the behavior of nanoparticles in blood vessels to design drug delivery systems.

Mear's research project is on modeling the behavior of soil and rocks to improve recovery of natural resources such as groundwater and oil.

Grand challenges are problems that must be addressed to achieve a sustainable, economically robust and politically stable future. These involve using computational methods to study such topics as cardiovascular engineering, water sustainability and weather. Other vitally important areas include carbon sequestration, drug design and delivery, advanced materials, rising seas modeling, national security, nano-science and engineering, and computational medicine and biomedicine.

Over the past three years the Moncrief Grand Challenge Awards Program has provided more than $1 million in funding for university faculty to pursue research in computational science and engineering.

Spotlight

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Robotics Research

Building Future Bots to Assist Astronauts and Boost Physical Strength

Luis Sentis is bringing science fiction to life by creating humanoid robots that can lend a hand on space missions and give the human body a bionic boost.

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Student Research

Texas Spacecraft Lab Prepares for Satellite Launch

Members of the Texas Spacecraft Lab are busy preparing for the launch of ARMADILLO.

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Faculty Positions

Join Our Faculty

Learn more about our faculty openings for tenured faculty and non tenure-track positions.

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Department News

October 17, 2017

ASE/EM Hosts Harrington Fellow Justin Wilkerson for 2017-18

Professor Justin Wilkerson of the University of Texas at San Antonio joins ASE/EM as a Harrington Fellow for the 2017-18 academic year.

September 13, 2017

GRACE-FO is Earth's Friend

The GRACE-FO satellites, scheduled to launch in 2018, are expected to surpass the current GRACE satellites' accuracy with new laser technology.

Upcoming Seminar

November 09, 2017

Tailoring Instabilities in Microstructured Magnetorheological Elastomers: Experiments, Numerical Analysis and Theory

Kostas Danas

Location: WRW 102
Time: 3:30 pm

Research Visualized

  • Pluto and Charon
    Pluto and Charon
    As Pluto's upper atmosphere escapes into space, a portion is attracted toward its largest moon, Charon, which captures a thin atmosphere of its own. Charon's gravity draws particles onto its leading face while focusing them into a high density (orange) region in its wake. -Computational Fluid Physics Lab (Goldstein/Varghese)

  • Earth's Time-Averaged Gravity Field
    Earth's Time-Averaged Gravity Field

    This image of Earth's time-averaged gravity field shows features in the continental and oceanic crust with unprecedented detail for use in studies of ocean circulation, structure and properties of the Earth's crust, surveying, and terrestrial space navigation. -Center for Space Research

  • Rippling of Graphene Sheet
    Rippling of Graphene Sheet
    An atomistic landscape: Rippling of a graphene sheet (a monolayer of carbon atoms) -Huang Research Group
  • RACE Satellite
    RACE Satellite
    The RACE (Radiometer Atmospherc Cubesat Experiment) satellite uses reflected radiation from the Earth to measure atmospheric water vapor. UT is partnering with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the RACE mission. -Texas Satellite Lab
  • Strain Contours
    Strain Contours
    Strain contours from DIC analysis of an isothermal tension experiment on pseudoelastic NiTi tube. The results show the helical fingered deformation pattern through which the phase transformation spreads. -Center for Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Materials (Kyriakides Research Group)
  • Two Point Alignment
    Two Point Alignment
    Experimental laser set up used to make Raman scattering measurements in flames. The laser beam is bounced back and forth between highly reflective mirrors while maintaining a tight focus at two points so as to make measurements with high spatial resolution (within a very small volume). -Laser Sensors Lab (Varghese Research Group)
  • Computational Fluid Physics Laboratory
    Computational Fluid Physics Laboratory
    Computational layer transitioning from laminar-to-turbulent behind a roughness element. -Computational Fluid Physics Laboratory (Goldstein Research Group)
  • Chaotic Flames
    Chaotic Flames
    This chaotic flame, which is burning jet fuel in the Flowfield Imaging Laboratory, helps to assess the sooting characteristics of new types of fuels, like those derived from natural gas. (Clemens Research Group)
  • Stretchable Electronics
    Stretchable Electronics
    A researcher is handling a 1um thick semi-transparent polyimide film as a substrate for stretchable electronics inside a glove box because polyimide is sensitive to moisture during the curing process. -Mechanics of Bio-Integrated Electronics Lab (Lu Research Group)
  • Plasma Streams
    Plasma Streams
    Pulsed plasma jets are used to control separation in a shock wave/boundary layer interacion. The photo was captured in a mach 3 wind tunnel at the JJ pickle Research Campus. The flow is from left to right and the shock is induced by the compression ramp at right. -Flowfield Imaging Lab (Clemens Research Group)
  • Simulation of Boiling and Condensation
    Simulation of Boiling and Condensation
    Vapor bubbles are generated at discrete sites of the heated bottom surface. The vapor flows are condensed to liquid droplets on the top cooled boundary. Density isosurfaces and velocity streamlines are depicted. -ICES Computational Mechanics Group (Liu and Hughes)


  • Deepwater Horizon Spill
    Deepwater Horizon Spill
    This Landsat 5 image of the Mississippi Delta was collected in May 2010 and used to observe and forecast the movement of surface oil slicks during the Bp Deepwater Horizon spill. -Center for Space Research (Dawson and Wells Research Groups)
  • Graphene Grown on Copper
    Graphene Grown on Copper
    This scanning electron microscope shows monolayer (lighter) and bilayer (darker) graphene grown on copper. The underlying copper grain structure and ridges within its grains can be seen. Bilayer graphene has a characteristic wrinkling pattern. -Liechti Research Group


  • Simulation of Perturbed Jet
    Simulation of Perturbed Jet
    A shallow water simulation of a perturbed jet (at day 6) on the earth's surface using an upwind Hybridized Discontinuous Galerkin method. The figure shows the (relative) vorticity field of a barotropcially unstable (zonal) flow. -Computational Engineering and Optimization Group (Bui-Thanh)
  • HexaCopter
    HexaCopter
    Todd Humphreys and his research team successfully performed GPS spoofing attacks on a 213-foot superyacht while it traveled on the Mediterranean Sea. A hexacopter with an HD video camera flies near the superyacht's satellite antennas. -Radionavigation Lab (Humphreys Research Group)

8th Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program

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8th Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Program

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4th Most Influential Research Institution in Aerospace

Thomson Reuters State of Innovation Report

9th Aerospace Engineering Program

Center for World University Rankings