Figuring out how to efficiently extract heat from the earth’s sub-surface and use it as a power source is a priority across the energy industry. Cockrell School engineers are on the front lines of this push to learn more about geothermal energy and the best ways to harvest and utilize it.

In a major boost to efforts to combat COVID-19 globally, a vaccine that recently entered human trials in Vietnam and Thailand, and is slated for a clinical study in Brazil, holds promise for affordable vaccine manufacturing in countries currently dependent on imported vaccines. The vaccine is the result of a partnership between The University of Texas at Austin, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and global partners interested in advancing the supply of affordable vaccines to address the pandemic.

With three programs in the top five, seven in the top 10 and all programs finishing in the top 20, the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin is once again named one of the best engineering programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 graduate engineering program rankings, released today.

Lithium-ion batteries have made possible the lightweight electronic devices whose portability we now take for granted, as well as the rapid expansion of electric vehicle production. But researchers around the world are continuing to push limits to achieve ever-greater energy densities — the amount of energy that can be stored in a given mass of material — in order to improve the performance of existing devices and potentially enable new applications such as long-range drones and robots.

Carmen Wright is the first Black woman to graduate with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UT Austin. We sat down with Wright to learn more about her other "firsts" and how she encourages others to not let being the first deter you from reaching your goals, to let your idea of success evolve and change as life evolves, and to enjoy the journey rather than solely focusing on the end goal.

Alumna Elizabeth Bodine-Baron (B.S. Electrical Engineering, B.A. Plan II Honors 2006) is a senior information scientist specializing in complex networks and systems at the RAND Corporation; she also serves as the associate director of the Force Modernization and Employment Program in Project Air Force (PAF).

As temperatures plummeted below freezing for 10 straight days and snow and ice blanketed Texas, all eyes turned to the state’s power grid to understand how 4.5 million Texan customers could lose electricity at once. Frigid temperatures wreaked havoc on Texas’ natural gas, nuclear and coal plants, as well as wind turbines that struggled to operate during the storm. Many have blamed the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the energy grid operator for 90% of the state, for its failure to upgrade and winterize equipment to better withstand subfreezing temperatures.

atlas wang

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the trendiest technologies in the world right now, and The University of Texas at Austin is rapidly becoming a leader in advancing these concepts as they come to impact more aspects of our daily lives. UT’s AI/ML chops leveled up even further this year when Zhangyang “Atlas” Wang joined the Cockrell School after three years as an assistant professor at Texas A&M University. Wang’s research has garnered recognition from such luminaries in the field as Amazon and IBM.

For two and a half years, fear and chaos defined Cockrell School alumna Azita Sharif’s daily reality as a teenager in the 1970s living through the Iranian Revolution – a revolution that led to a short civil war and a long, brutal international war with Iraq.

For an entire year now, the pandemic has upended life. Using publicly available data, researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have quantified the many ways day-to-day activity has changed since the pandemic began.