Research Recognition

The University of Texas at Austin faculty is distinguished nationally and internationally and includes winners of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, National Medal of Science and the Wolf Prize. In addition, numerous faculty members have been selected to membership in prestigious scholarly organizations.

Recent Awards and Honors

Ghattas team wins Gordon Bell Prize, Biros students take top supercomputing awards

A team of University of Texas at Austin computational researchers, with collaborators from NYU, IBM, and Caltech, have won the $10,000 ACM Gordon Bell Prize in High Performance Computing, supercomputing’s most prestigious prize. Read more >

UT Austin Recruits Top Cancer Researcher

Thanks to a $6 million recruitment grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), The University of Texas at Austin has hired Thomas Yankeelov, a distinguished cancer researcher who will assume a dual appointment in the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Dell Medical School. Read more >

Center for Space Research Expands STEM program

NASA has selected the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin for a five-year, $1.3 million grant that will support the national expansion of a STEM program that gives high school students and teachers the opportunity to use NASA resources and work directly with engineers at UT Austin’s Center for Space Research. Read more >

$2M Grant for Research in Bendable Electronics

A research team led by Xiaoqin Elaine Li has been awarded a grant of $2 million to research and develop thin, flexible semiconductors that might eventually lead to bendable computer screens and wearable electronics. Read more >

Texas Advance to Award $20 Million in Scholarships

Nearly 1,000 Texas high school students will receive scholarships worth $20,000 over four years through Texas Advance, a year-old UT Austin initiative aimed at supporting economically disadvantaged students across the state who are at the top of their class. Read more >

Book on Medieval Syrian Shrines Takes Grand Prize at UT

Stephennie Mulder at UT Austin has been named the $10,000 grand prize winner of the 2015 University Co-op Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards for her work "The Shrines of the ‘Alids in Medieval Syria: Sunnis, Shi’is, and the Architecture of Coexistence. Read more >

UT Austin Startup Incubator is Among National Elite

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) at UT Austin has been named one of the top eight startup incubators in the nation by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a leading international entrepreneurship organization. Read more >

Belo Foundation Awards UT Austin $1.5 Million for Journalism

The Belo Foundation of Dallas has awarded UT Austin $1.5 million to create the Dallas Morning News Journalism Innovation Endowment, a fund to support digital innovation in the Moody College of Communication School of Journalism. Read more >

Grant Supports Creation of Makerspace in Fine Arts Library

The Hearst Foundations have awarded a $200,000 grant to the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies in the College of Fine Arts and the Fine Arts Library at UT Austin to help create a common makerspace. Read more >

NIH Grant to Prevent Fetal Exposure to Alcohol, Marijuana

A $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work test a health intervention to reduce fetal exposure to alcohol, marijuana and tobacco during early pregnancy. Read more >

Researchers Receive $15 Million for Biofuel Crop Study

Tom Juenger, a professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, will receive two grants totaling $15 million to study a native prairie grass, including how it can become a sustainable source of bioenergy amid global climate change. Read more >

Goodenough Receives Prestigious Global Innovation Prize

John B. Goodenough will receive the Samson Prize, totaling $1 million. It is the world’s largest monetary prize awarded in the field of alternative fuels and is granted to scientists who have made critical advancements. Read more >

UT Austin to Develop Techniques for Brain Imaging

Researchers at UT Austin will receive three grants totaling $4 million to develop techniques for imaging and manipulating the activity of neurons in the brain, research that will help scientists explore the mechanisms of addiction, obesity, fear and many other brain states and disorders. Read more >

Texas Engineering Team Wins Emmy for Video Quality Tool

The Television Academy announced today that Cockrell School of Engineering professor Alan Bovik and his team of former students and collaborators will be honored with a 2015 Engineering Emmy Award. Read more >

UT Austin Named a Leading Healthy Campus in the U.S.

UT Austin was named a winner of the inaugural 2015 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award, which recognizes the university as one of the healthiest campuses in the nation. Read more >

UT Austin Honored with Excellence in Diversity Award

UT Austin has received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award (HEED) from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine for the fourth consecutive year. Read more >

Study Examines Seniors' Social Life and Health

UT Austin will receive a $2.4 million grant over the next five years from the National Institute on Aging to study how social interactions improve the health of older adults. Read more >

NSF Grant to Boost UT Austin Hazards Engineering Research

NSF selects the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin to house one of seven state-of-the-art, experimental natural hazards research facilities. Read more >

Energy Management Program Receives Landmen Accreditation

The American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) has accredited the Energy Management Program at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, making the program one of 11 nationally accredited land management programs in North America. Read more >

UT Austin Ranks No. 37 in World for Academic Excellence

UT Austin is ranked No. 37 in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which evaluates more than 1,200 international higher education institutions. Read more >

Halliburton Partners With McCombs School to Teach Business

Halliburton has donated $1 million to renew support of the Texas Business Foundations Summer Institute at the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin. The grant will fund the Summer Institute through 2020. Read more >

NEH Grant Will Transform Study of Early Books

A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant will make many of the first books printed in the Americas available for the first time in digital full-text format, thanks to innovations in optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Read more >

Obama Will Name UT’s Sandra Black to Council of Economics

President Barack Obama intends to nominate UT Austin economics Professor Sandra E. Black to join the three-member White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Read more >

UT Austin to Launch New Doctorate for Nurses

UT Austin's School of Nursing has received final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to launch a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree program, a professional doctoral program designed to prepare graduates for today’s increasingly complex health care practice and clinical leadership roles. Read more >

Professor Aims to Expand Art Audiences With $3.5M Grant

Professor Francie Ostrower is the recipient of a $3.5 million grant from The Wallace Foundation to study how performing arts organizations can develop approaches to attracting new audiences with the aim of generating useful lessons for arts organizations across the nation. Read more >

NSF Funds Cyberinfrastructure Effort at UT Austin

The Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin is leading the effort to build a software platform, data repository and tools that will help the United States design more resilient buildings, levees and other public infrastructure that could protect lives, property and communities. Read more >

Seton and UT Austin to Improve Healthcare Services Delivery

Seton Healthcare Family and UT Austin's Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs have announced the funding of seven new health care research studies aimed at resolving critical health and health care services delivery problems in Central Texas. Read more >

Keck Foundation Awards $1.5 Million for UT Austin Research

The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded scientists at UT Austin two grants totaling $1.5 million to develop a powerful, alternative method for cooling atoms and involve more undergraduate students in using new advanced technologies for research. Read more >

University of Texas System Honors Faculty with Outstanding Teaching Awards

Eleven faculty members from UT Austin have been chosen to receive 2015 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. Read more >

NIH Grant to Advance Brain Imaging

Andrew Dunn, biomedical engineering professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering, has received a $1.8 million NIH grant to advance his light-based technique for imaging blood flow across the brain that could help patients undergoing neurosurgery. Read more >

UT Austin Ranks No. 19 in World for High-Impact Research

The university is ranked No. 19 in the world for high-impact science, according to the Nature Index, which tracks publication in the world’s top research journals — the latest in a series of global rankings that recognize UT Austin among the world’s elite research universities. Read more >

Military Children to Receive Math Learning Support

The Charles A. Dana Center at UT Austin has been awarded a $12.7 million contract by the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity to advance math education for children on U.S. military bases. Read more >

Federal Grant Helps UT Researcher Study Word-Problem Solving

Sarah Powell, an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, was awarded a four-year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help students better solve word-problems in math. Read more >

Freshman Researchers Receive Grant for Malaria Diagnostics

Undergraduate researchers will create diagnostics to test mosquitos for blood-borne pathogens such as malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya virus, thanks to a Grand Challenges Explorations prize from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more >

Faculty Members Named to Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Richard Corsi, Mechele Dickerson and John Markert have been inducted into the university's Academy of Distinguished Teachers for 2015. Read more >

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Björn Engquist and George Georgiou were elected to the AAAS for their work in mathematics and biochemistry. Read more >

National Science Foundation Award

Andrea Alù, associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering, received the prestigious 2015 Waterman Award. He’s the first recipient from a Texas university to receive the honor, which comes with $1 million of research funding. Read more >

UT Austin Students Receive National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

The NSF selected 36 students for Graduate Research Fellowships. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees. Read more >

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

Brendan Chou, an undergraduate biochemistry major, was awarded a Goldwater scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Chou began his path as a first-year student in the university's Freshman Research Initiative. Read more >

President Obama Honors Geosciences Mentoring Program

The GeoFORCE Texas program was honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, the highest such honor from the United States government. The outreach program of the Jackson School of Geosciences takes high school students from disadvantaged and rural areas on field trips each summer to visit geologically significant sites across the country. Read more >

UT Austin Earns 2015 Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification

The classification is based on a framework provided by the Carnegie Foundation to document an institution's activities around community engagement and public service. Only 12 Texas institutions hold the designation, including five in the University of Texas System. Read more >

New Fellows in American Association for the Advancement of Science

A neuroscientist, a chemical engineer, a mechanical engineer, a molecular biologist and a pharmaceutical researcher have been elected as fellows of the AAAS, chosen annually by their peers to recognize their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Read more >

Engineering Prize for Mobile Medical Tool

Yuebing Zheng, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received the Beckman Young Investigator Award. Read more >

UT Austin Professors Win PEN Literary Awards

Wayne Rebhorn and Bill Minutaglio have received PEN Awards from the PEN USA Center, a human rights and literary organization devoted to defending free expression. Past recipients include Ray Bradbury, Elmore Leonard and Gore Vidal. Read more >

UT Austin Engineering Professor Makes Top Innovators Under 35 List

MIT Technology Review has named Guihua Yu, Cockrell School of Engineering assistant professor, to its list of the world's top 35 Innovators Under the age of 35. Read more >


Notable Prize Winners


Steven WeinbergNobel Prize

Steven Weinberg, Jack S. Josey - Welch Foundation Chair in Science Regental Professor, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 for his work on what is called the weak force in particle physics.





David OshinskyPulitzer Prize

David Oshinsky, the George Littlefield Professor of American History, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for history for his book “Polio: An American Story.”






George Sudarshan

Dirac Medal

George Sudarshan, professor in the Department of Physics, received the  2010 Dirac Medal and Prize with Italian physicist Nicola Cabibbo for the two scientists’ work on the fundamental forces of nature.






National Medal of Science

Karen Uhlenbeck, Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics #3, is one of three faculty members who have received the National Medal of Science. She received it in 2000 for pioneering contributions to global analysis and gauge theory that resulted in advances in mathematical physics and the theory of partial differential equations.




Wolf Prize

Luis Caffarelli, Sid W. Richardason Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics #1, receive the Wolf Prize in mathematics in 2012. His research is in nonlinear analysis, partial differential equations and their applications, calculus of variations and optimization.




Draper Prize, Fermi Prize, and Japan Prize

Draper Prize - 2014 - The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) bestowed John B. Goodenough of The University of Texas at Austin with the highest honor in the engineering profession for the groundbreaking creation of the lithium-ion battery.  He was one of four recipients of this year’s Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering in recognition of their significant roles in developing the lithium-ion battery, which is used by millions of people around the world in devices such as cellphones, laptops, tablets, hearing aids, cameras, power tools and many other mobile electronics.

Fermi Prize - John Goodenough, Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, received the Enrico Fermi Award in 2009, one of the most distinguished science and technology honors given by the White House.

Japan Prize - John Goodenough was also a 2001 recipient of the Japan Prize for his discovery of environmentally benign electrode materials for high energy density rechargeable lithium batteries.


Japan PrizeC. Grant Willson

C. Grant Willson, Rashid Engineering Regents Chair and Professor, received the Japan Prize in 2013 for his development of chemically amplified resist polymer materials for innovative semiconductor manufacturing process.






Allen J. Bard HeadshotFermi Prize

Allen J. Bard, Norman Hackerman - Welch Regents Chair and Professor in Chemistry, received the Enrico Fermi Award in 2014 for his significant contributions to basic research, technological innovation, teaching and service. His exemplary career and dedication to the highest ideals of scientific research have served as a model for generations of scientists in the United States and abroad and earned him a reputation as the “father of modern electrochemistry.” Through his service to the profession, including numerous publications, training of scientists and applications of research to a broad array of challenges in the energy domain, he has raised the scientific standard in, and brought national and international recognition to, the field of electrochemistry.