[UTA Magazine]


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MANAGING TECHNOLOGY. A former researcher at the Salk Institute and chief executive of officer of what is now one of Canada’s top 20 biotechnology rms has been named director of the Arlington Technology Incubator. Geoffrey Grant, most recently the senior manager of research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, began in July as head of the collaborative effort between UTA and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. The incubator was established last year to foster entrepreneurial and research growth with a focus on technology transfer related to the University’s science and engineering research efforts.

THE FINEST OF FIBERS. Biomedical engineering Associate Professor Kevin Nelson has received a U.S. patent for his drug-releasing, biodegradable bers. The fibers carry drugs or chemicals to targeted areas of the body and then harmlessly dissolve. They have potential uses in battling cancers and repairing damaged nerve and organ tissue. Dr. Nelson, who has been working on the fibers since 1996, is in the fourth year of a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop applications leading to nerve regeneration.

MORE POWER TO HIM. Electrical engineering Professor Mo-Shing Chen, the founder and director of the Energy Systems Research Center (ESRC), retired in August after 42 years at UTA. Dr. Chen built the center into one of the world’s leading research and training facilities for power generation, transmission and distribution. He is serving on a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission panel investigating causes and solutions for the August power blackout that affected much of the eastern United States and Canada. Electrical engineering Professor Wei-Jen Lee has replaced Chen as ESRC director. Dr. Lee earned his Ph.D. at UTA in 1985 and joined the faculty a year later.

HIGH-TECH TUMOR TREATMENT. Biomedical engineering Associate Professor Hanli Liu has received the initial funding of a $1.036 million research grant to improve the effectiveness of radiation therapies on brain tumors. The four-year award from the National Cancer Institute also involves researchers from U.T. Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The grant will fund the development of a portable, non-invasive imaging tool that will help doctors select the optimal method of tumor treatment and evaluate its effectiveness.

THINKING FAST. UTA’s supercomputer recently consumed its one-billionth second of central processor unit time in a little more than a year. The research that’s been done using the supercomputer, a group of about 40 computers each with multiple processors, would have taken 32 years to accomplish with one processor. Unveiled in spring 2002, the system is used exclusively for research, making UTA the leader in high-performance computing among North Texas universities.

THE BENEFITS OF COMPOSTING. Motorists who drive through a 1,300-foot section of state Highway 108 near Stephenville are in the middle of a UTA research project. Sections of the road’s shoulders are being monitored via sensors to determine if two unusual mediums—cow manure compost and biosolids compost—can reduce shrinkage cracks on the unpaved areas. Unpaved shoulders are subject to cracking during high temperatures; then when it rains, the cracks let moisture penetrate the soil and under the pavement, which eventually damages the surface. Civil engineering Professor Anand Puppala was the principal investigator during the development stage of the project, which is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation.

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. A School of Urban and Public Affairs class recently provided detailed land-use planning for the neighborhoods considered most likely to be impacted by the Trinity River Corridor Project in Dallas. Students in Professor Ardeshir Anjomani’s spring 2003 project-planning class recommended how the area should prepare for the changes to the 40,000-acre region, which includes several declining neighborhoods south and west of downtown. Dallas’ plans for the corridor include a system of lakes and parks with signature bridges, promenades and hiking trails. Dr. Anjomani and his students continue to work on implementing their recommendations.


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