Nicholas Peppas, professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, pediatrics, surgery and pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin and an expert in biomaterials and drug delivery systems, has been elected as a foreign member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

The leading cause of death in Texas is heart disease, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, accounting for more than 45,000 deaths statewide in 2017. A new wearable technology made from stretchy, lightweight material could make heart health monitoring easier and more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines — a technology that has changed little in almost a century.

Fluoride is a naturally existing ion, like sodium, calcium or magnesium, found in abundance in many environments around the world, including groundwater, oceans and soil.  In optimal concentrations, fluoride can strengthen our bones and pearly whites, and since the mid-20thcentury, it’s been added to drinking water, toothpastes, dental products, and supplements. But too much fluoride can have devastating consequences.

Michael Langford, who is graduating this spring with degrees in both computational engineering and music, is working on an honors thesis to study machine learning methods for music composition. The idea for the thesis was sparked in part by the “fireworks” he experiences while listening to music due to his associative chromesthesia — a form of synesthesia that invokes an involuntary experience of color — along with his interest in how computers can interpret data to predict future scenarios. We sat down with him to learn more about his thesis, its potential applications for the future and how he plans to develop his concept.

A remote glacier on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula has been named after GRACE, the satellite mission developed by Cockrell School of Engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin almost two decades ago. This is in recognition of the contributions made from the data collected by the Earth observation twin satellite system — data that has helped engineers and scientists understand climate patterns in one of the most remote places on Earth.

Mandeep Patel doesn’t like to slow down. He is fascinated by fast jets, fast cars and fast-paced business. While completing his engineering degree, Mandeep has founded two startups focused on normalizing renewable energy. His most recent venture, ElecTrip, is an electric vehicle transportation company. The company offers hassle-free business travel between Texas cities that is competitive with flying and without the wasted time of security screenings.

The rose may be one of the most iconic symbols of the fragility of love in popular culture, but now the flower could hold more than just symbolic value. A new device for collecting and purifying water, developed at The University of Texas at Austin, was inspired by a rose and, while more engineered than enchanted, is a dramatic improvement on current methods. Each flower-like structure costs less than 2 cents and can produce more than half a gallon of water per hour per square meter.

Jenny Jiang, an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Dell Medical School’s Department of Oncology, has been named a National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine. The NAM today announced the 2019 scholars, a group of 10 individuals who are early- to mid-career professionals from a wide range of health-related fields, from microbiology and surgery to sociology and biomedical engineering.

John Goodenough, a University of Texas at Austin professor in the J. Mike Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, has won U.K. Royal Society's Copley Medal, thought to be the world’s oldest scientific prize. Already a fellow of the Royal Society, Goodenough has been honored for his exceptional contributions to materials science, including his discoveries that led to the invention of the rechargeable lithium battery used in devices such as laptops and smartphones worldwide.

Established in 1957, the Distinguished Engineering Graduate Award is the highest honor that the Cockrell School bestows on its alumni. The five distinguished engineering graduates for 2019 are innovators, entrepreneurs and highly respected leaders in their industries and communities. Including this year's honorees, 286 alumni have been selected for this award, recognizing them as highly respected professionals, dedicated engineers and supporters of higher education. We honor them for their dedication and generosity, and we are proud to call them Cockrell School alumni.