W.M. Keck Center 3D Printer | Photo courtesy UTEP/W.M. Keck Center for 3D

Department of Energy Official Praises UTEP’s Commitment to Advanced Manufacturing Research

A research leader from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lauded The University of Texas at El Paso’s research capabilities during the Southwest Emerging Technology Symposium (SETS) and Regional Small Business Summit, an event hosted by UTEP’s NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR).

Briggs White, Ph.D., technology manager of the Crosscutting Research Program of the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), was a keynote speaker at the event, which provides career-building opportunities for students from UTEP and throughout the country in a professional conference setting, connecting these students with researchers, scholars and industry professionals for possible recruitment opportunities.

“UTEP has been a national model for creating highly competitive academic and research programs while maintaining a deep commitment to serving its student demographic,” White said. “So, I was particularly pleased to participate in UTEP’s summit to help highlight its successes in important research with national implications.”

UTEP has long been a mainstay of NETL’s research collaboration through the agency’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Institutions (HBCU/OMI) initiative.

Jack F. Chessa, Ph.D., chair of UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said White’s sentiments are a testament to the continued efforts of the campus’ faculty to engage in externally funded research to drive innovation and enhance the experiences offered to students.

“We are quite excited to have had Dr. White visit and speak,” Chessa said. “DOE has been a strong supporter of research in the department as well as for cSETR and the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation. But I think this visit really brought into focus how much critical DOE research is going on here. The faculty in the department really have done an excellent job to position their research interests and capabilities to align with the critical needs of DOE. There is a lot of potential moving forward.”

White said one example of UTEP’s success through the HBCU/OMI initiative focused on advanced manufacturing.

“Advanced manufacturing enables the nation to build high-tech components with improved performance capabilities,” White said. “It also offers the possibility of rapid prototyping and repair. Under DOE sponsorship, UTEP’s work has explored the challenges of embedding sensors into combustor nozzles to enable real-time monitoring of component health.”