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September 27, 2001
Vol. 28, No. 11



University responds to national tragedy

Fall enrollment total sets record high

University's innovative "artsreach" program builds new art, music audience

Address on the State of the University

New members of Academy of Distinguished Teachers, faculty honored

Diverse new committee to evaluate dean of students applicants

Remarks from the Memorial Ceremony

News Briefs

University student features Bandera youth in special fine arts initiative

Fine arts program invites students to attend shows, exhibits for free

Entrepreneur teams with university professors to found startup technology company

$390,000 Toyota USA grant doubles science training for K-12 teachers

Faculty Council

Dell vice president named chief financial officer at university

Ambassador credits education for success


$720,000 TIF grant awarded to university's General Libraries

Harley Clark remembers introduction of "Hook ''em Horns" spirit signal

Professors strive to shorten developmen times for engineering systems


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Professors strive to shorten development times for engineering systems

Four mechanical engineering professors have received a $25,000 grant from Schlumberger, a French-based oil services company, for their work to combine emerging technologies in rapid prototyping and desktop manufacturing.

Drs. Kristin Wood, Joseph Beaman, Richard Crawford and David Bourell, professors of mechanical engineering, will use the funds to merge their respective research in virtual and physical prototyping to produce tested quality products and realistic virtual models.

"The objective of the project is to fundamentally change the engineering design process," said Wood, "and dramatically shorten development times for engineering systems by breaking the design-test-tuning bottleneck."

Recent advances in physical prototyping allow the production of freeform solid objects directly from a computer model without part-specific tooling or human intervention. These technologies have been termed Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) or Rapid Prototyping (RP). Benefits of this technology include greatly reduced fabrication time and cost, and the capability to achieve, in one operation, shapes that would otherwise require multiple operations, or in some cases, are impossible to manufacture with standard techniques.

Significant advances also have been made in virtual prototyping methods, especially computational analysis of dynamic systems, solid modeling and fluid dynamics. These advances include high performance computing, virtual geometric/functional modeling and parametric/non-parametric design tools to support rapid analysis and synthesis of engineering components and systems.

"The Schlumberger grant represents the beginning of a continuing relationship with UT Austin," said Dr. Larry Schwartz, Schlumberger manager of university relations. "A senior executive has been assigned as Schlumberger’s 'ambassador' to UT. He will visit the university about twice each year, meet with faculty in research programs of interest to Schlumberger to stay current on the university's research activities and make UT researchers aware of Schlumberger's long-term strategies, technology needs and business directions."


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