Cheng Yu, assistant professor and coordinator of construction engineering technology, received a 2010 National Science Foundation CAREER award, the most prestigious the NSF gives to young investigators.
In his five-year research project, Yu will study the design of cold-formed steel shear walls and develop high-performance cold-formed steel structures. He also is proposing an improved testing method to study shear walls under realistic loading conditions in mid- to low-rise buildings. The research could lead to buildings that are more structurally sound and less susceptible to damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
A team of undergraduate and graduate research assistants will help Yu with the project. He will develop a course curriculum, lab manual and textbook with the latest design theories for use by students, educators and professionals. Yu also is initiating a nationwide student competition on cold-formed steel structural design by collaborating with professional societies and other universities. Since joining UNT in 2005, he has received nearly $1.3 million in grants to study cold-formed steel structures, computational mechanics and structural stability.
Feifei Pan, assistant professor of geography, received one of 32 nationally competitive Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards from Oak Ridge Associated Universities in 2010. Pan was one of four faculty members from Texas colleges and universities selected as winners and is the seventh UNT faculty member to win a Powe award since 2005.
The award supports his research on determining soil particle size distribution from remotely sensed soil moisture. Determining soil particle size distribution, which classifies soil as clay, silt, sand and rock, usually involves labor-intensive soil surveys. Pan developed a method of estimating particle size distribution from observed soil moisture, which he used to determine the average measure of moisture in soil and its variance.
Angela Wilson, professor of chemistry and co-director of the Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling, has been named to the 2010 Class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society. The fellows program recognizes ACS members for outstanding achievement.
Wilson also was awarded the 2010 Quantum Systems in Chemistry and Physics Promising Scientist Award of CMOA (Centre de Mécanique Ondulatoire Appliquée) at the QSCP-XV international workshop in Cambridge, England. Her research focuses on the development and understanding of computational chemistry methodology and its application in areas including environmental chemistry, transition metal chemistry and materials science.
Wilson was the first UNT faculty member to be honored with an NSF CAREER award. She also is a national associate of the National Academies and a national councilor of the American Chemical Society. Wes Borden, also a professor of chemistry at UNT, was inducted into the inaugural group of ACS fellows in 2009.
Three UNT faculty members earned Fulbright honors in 2010-11. Elizabeth Oldmixon, associate professor of political science, received a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach in Ireland for the fall 2010 semester. Claudia Howard Queen, assistant professor of music for dance, was selected for a Fulbright Specialists grant at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. And Dale E. Yeatts, professor of sociology, was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research in China for spring 2011.
This is Queen’s second Fulbright award allowing her to teach in Taipei. She conducted a summer workshop to help students, professional composers and dance musicians create music to fit the needs of choreography.
Oldmixon taught U.S. politics at University College Cork and researched the Catholic Church’s influence on policymaking in Ireland.
Yeatts, located at Tsinghua University in Beijing, plans to work with faculty, identify “best practices” in rural Chinese communities for providing services to the elderly and study how villages are achieving sustainability.
The UNT College of Music and Kris Chesky, director of the Texas Center for Music and Medicine, earned the 2010 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award in the services sector from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association.
The award was given to UNT and Chesky for raising awareness of the importance of hearing loss prevention in musicians. Chesky and center researchers have been studying ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss from music exposure and ways people can save their hearing at an early age. The research will be featured in a special February issue of the International Journal of Audiology highlighting the award winners.
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