Collaborative Institute between Engineering and Natural Sciences Names New Director

March 2, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — Mechanical Engineering Professor Arumugam "Ram" Manthiram, of the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been named director of the Texas Materials Institute (TMI) at The University of Texas at Austin.

Arumugam "Ram" Manthiram

Arumugam “Ram” Manthiram

TMI is a campus-based consortium that brings together the most creative technical minds at the university to invent and enhance products ranging from large-scale machinery to cell phones, solar cells and nanomaterials that help heal the human body.

Manthiram, the Joe C. Walter Chair in Engineering, will take over as the institute's director March 1, replacing outgoing director Donald R. Paul. Paul, a chemical engineering professor and the Ernest Cockrell Sr. Chair in Engineering, has served as director since the institute was established in 1998 as a partnership between the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences.

The multi-disciplinary collaboration pairs together more than 160 faculty from the two colleges and includes a materials science and engineering graduate degree program, which Manthiram will also oversee.

"The University of Texas at Austin has world-class faculty in materials science research and TMI is the interdisciplinary center for collaborations that are at the heart of transformative technologies," said Cockrell School of Engineering Dean Gregory L. Fenves. "Don Paul founded and made major strides with TMI, and I look forward to Ram building on those successes."

Manthiram joined the Cockrell School of Engineering in 1986 and is widely regarded in his field for developing low-cost electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries. His current research is focused on lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells, solar cells and supercapacitors.

"[Manthiram] has a long history of doing materials science research at The University of Texas at Austin. He has guided many graduate students successfully through the Materials Science and Engineering program and he has been a strong and loyal supporter of TMI ever since its inception," said Chemical Engineering Professor Benny Freeman, who chaired the search committee to find Paul's replacement.

For more information on TMI, visit the institute's Web site.

For more information, contact: Melissa Mixon.