Nicholas Peppas has been elected president of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, an international society for science and engineering. His three-year term began on July 1, 2021, and Peppas will help lead the organization’s continued focused on core goals of enhancing the health of the research enterprise, fostering integrity in science and engineering, and promoting the public's understanding of science.

The National Science Foundation just announced 11 new artificial intelligence institutes across the nation, and researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin will play prominent roles in two of them. UT Austin was already among the top universities in the world for AI, and its involvement in these new institutes bolsters its strength in this emerging area. Last year, the university was selected by NSF to lead an AI institute focused on machine learning, the technology that drives AI systems, enabling them to acquire knowledge and make predictions in complex environments.

The demand for clean energy has never been higher, and it has created a global race to develop new technologies as alternatives to fossil fuels. Among the most tantalizing of these green energy technologies is fuel cells. They use hydrogen as fuel to cleanly produce electricity and could power everything from long-haul trucks to major industrial processes. However, fuel cells are held back by sluggish kinetics in a part of the core chemical reaction that limits efficiency. But, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered new dynamics that could supercharge this reaction using iron-based single-atom catalysts.

Maša Prodanović, an associate professor in the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, earned two prestigious industry awards this month — she was named a Distinguished Member from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and she was awarded the Alfred Wegener Award from the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE).

The Cockrell School's José del R. Millán is part of an interdisciplinary team led by the Dell Medical School to map the brains fo adolescents beofre and after epilepsy surgery to examine how novel brain-machine interfaces and embodied learning technologies can help the brain rewire itself before surgery, move key functions away from the surgeon's target and recover more quickly afterward.

The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials (CDCM), a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), is partnering with Texas State University to establish the Center for Intelligent Materials Assembly. The new center is being developed through an NSF Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) grant.

In partnership with The University of Texas at Austin, Army Futures Command hosted the inaugural Advanced Technology Summit, July 21-22, on the UT Austin campus. The event brought together U.S. Army leaders, UT faculty and academic leaders, small businesses and non-traditional industry partners to discuss Army modernization priorities in areas such as energy storage and electrification with panels, keynotes from experts and the Army Innovation Combine pitch competition.

Sharon Wood does not start her day with coffee; she gave up caffeine during her undergraduate days. Instead, she starts by running or cycling. This will not surprise anyone who knows the hardworking, early rising engineer who, on July 19, becomes UT’s No. 2, the executive vice president and provost. “I drink cold water,” she says.

For decades, researchers around the world have searched for ways to use solar power to generate the key reaction for producing hydrogen as a clean energy source — splitting water molecules to form hydrogen and oxygen. However, such efforts have mostly failed because doing it well was too costly, and trying to do it at a low cost led to poor performance.

River deltas change over time, and the freedom to shift river location is important to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. However, humans are used to the stability of fixed infrastructure, so they struggle dealing with dynamic landforms like river deltas. And we tend to conflate river deltas that are changing with degradation, when in fact it is the opposite. Rivers changing course and evolving over time is a good sign for the delta and the environment around it.