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National Academy Showcase

These UH Faculty members are justly celebrated for their scholarly acumen, industrious research and educational dedication.

Christine Ehlig-Economides

National Academy of Engineers

A new member of the University of Houston faculty, Christine Ehlig-Economides, joined the UH Cullen College of Engineering in 2014. She is the first-ever William C. Miller Endowed Chair Professor of petroleum engineering, as well as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Ehlig-Economides was elected to the NAE in 2003 and is one of 12 UH professors who belong to the organization. She became the first American woman to earn a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering, graduating from Stanford University in 1979. Ehlig-Economides was also named a Chief Scientist for the Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering as one of the Thousand Talents in China. Her career as a Schlumberger engineer allowed her to travel the world for 20 years. She has published more than 115 papers, lectured or consulted in 50 countries and holds two patents.

National Academy Of Inventors, Fellows

Benton Baugh, distinguished adjunct professor of mechanical engineering, earned his bachelor’s degree from UH and holds a masters and Ph.D. from Kennedy-Western University. He has more than 50 years of experience in oilfield and subsea systems and has been issued more than 100 patents.

Rathindra N. Bose, vice president/vice chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer at UH, holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgetown University. His work includes more than 96 published articles and the development of an anticancer drug now in clinical trials. He plans to return to the faculty as a professor in the Department of Chemistry in September.

Paul C. W. Chu, founding director and chief scientist of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH (TcSUH), opened the door to major energy breakthroughs with the discovery of superconductivity above 90° Kelvin. He has received numerous awards for his work, including election to the National Academy of Science.

Allan Jacobson, the director of the TcSUH, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. He joined UH in 1991 after discovering a new class of cathode materials. At UH, he discovered new microporous crystalline metal silicates, a group of compounds with potential applications as catalysts, supports, adsorbents, drying agents and ion exchangers.

Dmitri Litvinov, vice provost and dean of the graduate school, holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan. His research interests range from the development and applications of novel magnetic materials and devices at nanoscale dimensions to state-of-the-art sustainable interdisciplinary research.

Dan Luss, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include problems related to the reduction of environmental emissions from diesel engines. He was named to the National Academy of Engineering in 1984.

Zhifeng Ren, principal investigator at TcSUH and M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of physics, holds a Ph.D. from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He has produced work in a wide range of scientific fields, from high-temperature superconductivity to carbon nanotubes. He joined UH in 2013 and received the 2014 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Venkat Selvamanickam holds a Ph.D. from UH and is M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is also the director of the Applied Research Hub of TcSUH. In 2014, he received the inaugural IEEE Dr. James Wong Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductor Materials Technology.

Richard Willson, interim associate vice president for Technology Transfer and professor of biochemical and biophysical sciences, earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Willson is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Inventors.

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