The University of Texas at Austin
  • In the Know

    Published: June 14, 2010
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    Graphic created by Tillie Policastro

    Campus Kudos

    Goodenough elected fellow of England’s Royal Society
    John Goodenough, professor in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of science. The society elected Goodenough for his pioneering contributions to solid state science and technology. Goodenough identified and developed the oxide material, now used worldwide, for high energy-density rechargeable lithium batteries, ubiquitous in today’s portable electronic devices.

    Pharmacy’s assistant dean for student affairs starts leadership role for ASHP
    Diane B. Ginsburg, assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Pharmacy, has started her leadership role as president of the 33,000-member American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Ginsburg assumed the leadership role of the association when she presented her inaugural address on Tuesday, June 8 during the 62nd session of the Society’s House of Delegates in Tampa, Fla.

    Global economic development fellowship winners announced
    The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law has announced the winners of the William H. Crook Fellowships. In its third year, the program awards fellowships to students working with innovative nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged people around the world. Since 2008, 21 fellows have engaged in important and often difficult work to improve the economic, social and educational conditions of communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

    Four faculty receive Dads’ Association Fellowships
    Four faculty members have been selected to hold a 2010-11 Dads’ Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship, an honor that recognizes outstanding work with undergraduate students. Drs. Lori Holleran Steiker and Elizabeth Pomeroy of the School of Social Work, Dr. Michael Webber of the Cockrell School of Engineering and Marianne Gedigian of the College of Fine Arts each will receive a $3,500 honorarium.

    Press Mentions

    Forbes: Gulf oil leak may be bigger than BP says
    June 8

    While BP is capturing more oil from its blown-out well with every passing day, scientists on a team analyzing the flow said Tuesday that the amount of crude still escaping into the Gulf of Mexico is considerably greater than what the government and the company have claimed.

    Paul Bommer, a University of Texas at Austin petroleum and geosystems engineering professor and member of the flow rate team, said cap seems to have made a “dent” in reducing the flow, but there is still a lot of oil coming out. That seemed clear from the underwater “spillcam” video, which continued to show a big plume of gas and oil billowing into the water.

    CNN: Is your marriage making you sick?
    June 10

    You eat right. You exercise. You get an annual physical. You probably think you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy.

    But here’s one more thing you need to do: Learn how to argue well with your spouse. A new study from Ohio State University shows just how physically harmful it can be to argue the wrong way.

    Overall, couples with more marital stress have worse immune function and higher blood pressure and heart rates, according to Debra Umberson, a professor of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, who studies couples and stress.

    “Marital stress is so pernicious because it’s chronic, long-term, and you can’t get away from it,” she says. “You’re having these problems day in and day out year after year, decade after decade.”

    BusinessWeek: BP oil-leak estimate doubled by U.S. science panel
    June 11

    BP Plc’s damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico has been leaking twice as much oil as previously estimated, a team of government scientists said in its latest report on the size of the worst spill in U.S. history.

    The well is gushing 20,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil a day, according to an estimate released by the scientists, tasked by the government with calculating the flow. On May 27, the group pegged the rate at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.

    “A reasonable estimate is 22,000 barrels a day to 30,000 barrels a day,” said Tad Patzek, chair of petroleum and geosystems engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. “I don’t think 40,000 barrels a day. If BP starts recovering 28,000 barrels a day, then I will revise my estimate.”

    The New York Times: In case of storm, spill containment and relief drilling could be suspended
    June 13

    BP may finally be achieving success in capturing oil from its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico, and relief wells are on pace to permanently stem the flow this summer, but a formidable obstacle still looms: the weather.

    Government forecasters say this hurricane season — which began June 1 and extends through the end of November — could be a destructive one, with as many as seven major hurricanes and perhaps two dozen storms in all.

    “The concern is the recovery ships would have to move off the wellhead, and that means the leak is then going to totally discharge into the gulf,” said Greg McCormack, director of the petroleum extension service at The University of Texas at Austin. Current estimates are that the well is leaking at a rate of 25,000 to 30,000 barrels a day.

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