News from Our Colleges

Student Tests HoloLens for NASA, Gets Closer Look at Mars Surface

Rachel Kronyak holds a Lego version she built of the Mars rover Curiosity. To the left is a printed selfie taken by the rover.

Every day, Rachel Kronyak walks around the surface of the planet Mars, examining a rock or getting a closer look at a butte framing the horizon. A doctoral student in geology at UT, Kronyak is among a small set of research scientists worldwide testing the use of an augmented reality headset to see how it can help NASA determine whether Mars could support life.

Joint Prehistoric Rock Art Restoration Project Receives National Award

A partnership between UT, federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders to save a set of centuries-old Native American petroglyphs, pictographs, and historic signatures in Alabama has been honored with a prestigious national preservation award. The initiative brought together researchers and local volunteers to camouflage and remove graffiti that had impacted the images at the Painted Bluff site in Marshall County, Alabama.

Four UT Researchers Named 2016 AAAS Fellows

aaas1

Four professors with UT ties have been named to the American Association for the Advancement of Science class of fellows for 2016: Brian Wirth, Karen Hughes, George Ostrouchov and Baohua Gu. The fellows will be inducted in February 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

UT Geography Expert: Gatlinburg Tragic Fire Was ‘A Safe Prediction’

Henri Grissino-Mayer

When Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, a UT professor of geography, heard about the forest fires threatening Gatlinburg, he was not surprised. For years, Grissino-Mayer has been giving talks throughout Tennessee and the Southeast on the subject “Will Our Great Smoky Mountains One Day Go Up in Flames?”

Professor Develops Algorithm to Improve Online Mapping of Disaster Areas

When an 8-magnitude earthquake struck Yingjie Hu’s home province of Sichuan, China, in 2008, he was more than 1,000 miles away attending college in Shanghai. While Hu wanted to help, there wasn’t much he could do due to the long distance. Since then, web-based mapping platforms have been developed that enable volunteers to participate in remote disaster response. Hu, now an assistant professor of geography at UT, and his colleagues have found a way to make the process more effective by developing an algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first.

11-Year-Old Stroke Survivor Teaches Nursing Class at UT

Lily Bennett with UT nursing students.

Eleven-year-old Lily Bennett has minimal use of her right hand and walks with a leg brace, but that doesn’t stop her from dancing, singing, and playing piano. On November 22, she taught a class at the College of Nursing to tell students about her stroke, living with cerebral palsy, and how future health care providers can better understand the needs of pediatric patients with disabilities.

Heart for Haiti Brings Student and Alumnus Together

On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti, killing more than 1,000 Haitians and destroying much of the islanders’ way of life. That same day, a UT student and alumnus 1,400 miles away forged a connection because of their shared desire to help the people who had lost so much.

Grad Student to Help Organize International Symposium on Green Chemistry

Roberto Federico-Perez

A UT doctoral candidate will have a hand in organizing an international event on sustainable science. Roberto Federico-Perez was chosen to help coordinate the 2017 International Symposium on Green Chemistry, which aims to change deeply held practices in the field of chemistry.

College of Nursing Announces $15 Million Fundraising Goal

The College of Nursing is kicking off a $15 million fundraising campaign. Half of the funds raised during the Investing in the Journey to the Top 25 campaign are projected to support a new nursing building. The official announcement will be made tonight at the NightinGala, an annual event that honors a distinguished alum and an individual who has made significant contributions to the nursing profession.