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Moncrief Grand Challenge Faculty Awards

2016 Grand Challenge Awardees

Thomas Hughes, professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics; Chandrajit Bajaj, professor of computer science; Mary Wheeler, professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, and of petroleum and geosystems engineering; and Ofodike Ezekoye, professor of mechanical engineering.

Four faculty received ICES’ 2016 W. A. "Tex" Moncrief Grand Challenge Awards, based on their highly compelling research proposals related to the Grand Challenges in computational engineering and sciences that affect the competitiveness and international standing of the nation.

Chandrajit Bajaj, professor of computer science; Ofodike “DK” Ezekoye, professor of mechanical engineering; Thomas Hughes, professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics; and Mary Wheeler, professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, and of petroleum and geosystems engineering will receive stipends of up to $75,000 per award per semester to cover salary and other expenses necessary to further their research.

Bajaj’s work will address the three-dimensional (3D) imaging of the chemistry of disease.

Ezekoye seeks to develop a more rigorous method to assess the evidence in fire forensics reconstruction cases in the legal system. 

Hughes’ group will develop a computational framework to create a 3D plaque model and run realistic blood flow simulations to aid in the detection of vulnerable plaques, a common underlying cause of heart attacks. 

Wheeler’s project will develop a simulation to identify the likelihood of sinkholes developing from injection of wastewater and carbon sequestration in the subsurface. 

The list of Grand Challenges appropriate for submission under this program is very broad and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Computational Medicine and Biomedicine (Cardiovascular Engineering, Laser Treatment of Cancer)
  • Next Generation of Energy Sources (Bio Fuels, Fuel Cells, Solar Energy)
  • Carbon Sequestration Methods
  • Water Sustainability
  • Drug Design and Delivery
  • Advanced Materials
  • Modeling of Rising Seas
  • Nano-Science and Engineering (Nano-manufacturing Processes);
  • Weather Prediction
  • National Security

The number of awards made each year will vary depending on the proceeds of the endowment.

Recipients are expected to prepare a final report summarizing their accomplishments. In addition, opportunities will be available to present research accomplishments in the ICES Seminar Series.

Call for Proposals: February 1 (Annually)

Proposal Deadline: March 1 (Annually)

Selections will be announced the week following spring break.

For questions regarding this program, please contact Jon Bass: bass@ices.utexas.edu.