noel clemens portrait

As many of you have already heard, this fall marks the last semester that Texas ASE/EM will reside in the W.R. Woolrich (WRW) building. By the end of 2018 we plan to be in our new home—officially named the Aerospace Engineering (ASE) building—located at 101 E. 27th Street. I look forward to seeing our students, faculty and staff flourish in this newly updated home.

I am also excited to announce a $1 million, multi-year partnership with Firefly Aerospace to develop a dedicated rocket laboratory where students from all disciplines will have the opportunity to design, build and launch liquid fueled rockets alongside practicing engineers. More information will be available about this new undertaking in next year’s issue.

On the faculty front, I am pleased to welcome our newest faculty member, Karen Willcox, who is joining us as a tenured professor and is serving as the new director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. Our faculty continue to make strides with their research, like Ufuk Topcu, who is leading a $7.5 million MURI grant to develop autonomous UAVs that can learn “on the fly.” 

I hope you’ll take some time to read all of the Texas Engineering stories we have featured in this issue. Our faculty and students are all making a difference in the world with their teaching, research and more, and I am proud of each of them for their hard work and achievements.

Noel T. Clemens
Chair, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Bob R. Dorsey Professor in Engineering

stage move firefly web

UT and Firefly Academy, a non-profit organization run by Firefly Aerospace, will soon launch a $1 million, multi-year partnership that will give hundreds of undergraduate and graduate engineering students the opportunity to design, develop and assemble an industrial-scale rocket. The innovative new program, which will be led by professor Philip Varghese and headquartered in the Cockrell School’s Engineering Education and Research Center, focuses on hands-on rocket engineering for liquid-fueled rockets and culminates in the 2021 Base 11 Space Challenge competition. Get ready — the partnership officially “lifts off” later this fall!