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UTA In The News — Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

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Renewable fuels

The Dallas Morning News reported that UTA chemistry and engineering professors Frederick MacDonnell and Brian Dennis have discovered an environmentally friendly way to create a “crude gasoline mix.” With industrial production in mind, the team used abundant elements rather than rare ones that would drive up costs. The research is documented in the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chemistry honors

Samir Iqbal, a UTA associate professor of electrical engineering, has been named a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry, the United Kingdom-based association representing more than 50,000 of the world’s leading chemical scientists, AZO Nano reported.

Smart cushion

Researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute and Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh are creating an automated seat cushion intended to prevent pressure ulcers in wheelchair users,, Medical Design Technology and many other media outlets reported. The $740,000 project, funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Department of Defense and awarded by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, is focused specifically on relief for wheelchair users whose impairments were caused by spinal cord injuries or other neurological complications. 

Sustainable energy

A team of UTA chemists and engineers has proven that concentrated light, heat and high pressures can drive the one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water directly into useable liquid hydrocarbon fuels, Yahoo! Mexico and Kallanish Energy reported.

Nursing leader

The National League for Nursing has released its new vision statement, which among other things, calls on the nursing education community to lead efforts to expand diversity among faculty and students, and numerous other media organizations reported. “It is imperative that educational institutions produce health professionals that mirror our nation and have the capacity to meet the health care needs of all communities and individuals, including those of various abilities, ages, cultures, ethnicities, gender identity, race, and socioeconomic status,” said Anne Bavier, NLN president and dean of the UTA College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Maverick recognized

Ashley Purgason, UTA assistant vice president for Strategic Initiatives, is one of “40 Under 40” that will be recognized in a March 24 ceremony hosted by Fort Worth Business, Fort Worth Business reported. The event celebrates and recognizes brilliance of people under 40. Forty individuals are honored each year. They are people that Fort Worth Business says are destined for striking accomplishments in their chosen field, from the corporate sector to maverick entrepreneurialism.  

STEM skills

More than 130 local high school students learned about STEM disciplines and leadership skills at the “Latinos on Fast Track” symposiums held this week at UTA, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.  “We’re here to inspire them,” said Army Reserve Maj. Miguel A. Juarez, UTA assistant professor of military science. “Even if they’re not planning to be in the military, they will be education, corporate and even religious leaders.” The Army and Hispanic Heritage Foundation teamed with UTA to host the event.

CMAS Technology Lab

State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, noted the new technology lab at the UTA Center for Mexican American Studies, on the newsletter page of his Texas House of Representatives website. A grant from General Motors helped LULAC fund the lab, which offers free laptop and Internet access.

Latino vote

Telemundo 39 Dallas interviewed state Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, and UTA students during its broadcast from UTA Tuesday that focused on the importance of the Latino vote. The station also interviewed Jorge Bilbao, a forward on the UTA Men’s Basketball team. That segment is available online here.

STEM studies

Educate Texas, a public-private partnership, announced recently that it has awarded grants for a new statewide initiative that encourages both K-12 and college students to pursue STEM careers, Rambler Newspapers reported. The Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator Initiative, in partnership with UTA and other institutions, has been created to increase the number of students who graduate from college with STEM credentials.

Maverick speakers

Urging young people to get politically active is the theme of Donna Brazile’s lecture Thursday as part of the 2015-16 Maverick Speakers Series at The University of Texas at Arlington, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. “I want them to think about what kind of country they want to build,” Brazile said.  

Diversity in film

Krys Boyd, host of the NPR Dallas program “Think,” will talk to Ya’Ke Smith, the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film at UTA, about Hollywood’s diversity problem and how it affects filmmakers at all levels. The program airs today at noon on KERA 90.1 FM.

Texas politics

A new WFAA Texas TEGNA poll shows that Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are tied in the race for Texas voters, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. “Ted Cruz is supposed to win Texas,” said Allan Saxe, a UTA associate professor of political science. “If Donald Trump can beat him, or come close to beating him in Texas, it will be a win for him."

UTA evolution

UTA Libraries chronicles the change from rural private school to urban university in the special exhibit “Academic Evolution: The University of Texas at Arlington,” on display on the sixth floor of Central Library, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Time frames noted. The exhibit is free to the public and ends Aug. 20.