Report on Research 2012-2013


The University of Texas at Austin is one of the world's leading research universities. Its faculty and research staff generated more than $628 million in federal and corporate funding last year. This research funding and the graduate students it attracts help contribute about $2.8 billion and about 16,000 jobs annually to the Texas economy.


Our scientists and scholars work in many disciplines but they are united in the common purpose of advancing knowledge. In the past year, they moved toward the future with discoveries in biology, neuroscience, social sciences and the humanities. The university added resources such as a powerful new supercomputer and new buildings that strengthen our research enterprise.  The university continued to have an impact on local, state and national economic endeavors, granting 17 licenses for commercializing university-developed technology.

Dr. Juan M. Sanchez
Vice President for Research




Development began for the Dell Medical School, a significant new research and educational enterprise for the university. It is to open in 2016.



After Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, a team of university researchers arrived to assess the health of affected beach and barrier systems on Long Island. Results will help efforts to restore sand to the barrier system in the wake of Sandy’s damage.



The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) unleashed Stampede, one of the largest computing systems in the world for open science research. Scientists use it to execute applications for simulation and data analysis.



Bill Gates at Ceremony
A burnt-orange clad computer science lab robot joined President Bill Powers,
J. Strother Moore, department of computer science chair, and Bill Gates,
Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Bill and Melinda Gates Computer
Science Complex and Dell Hall.

New buildings opened, offering enhanced research and educational infrastructure in a variety of disciplines. They are the Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Hall, the Belo Center for New Media and the Liberal Arts building

A new laboratory in the College of Pharmacy, UT Advance, fills a critical gap in the process of developing new drugs and biotechnologies, enabling researchers to test potential drugs for effectiveness and safety.





Black Hole
The black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 1277 is eleven times
wider than Neptune's orbit around the sun.

Astronomers at McDonald Observatory measured what may be the most massive black hole yet: 17 billion times our sun’s mass.




Physicists built a compact particle accelerator that matches the output of much bigger and more expensive instruments, a potential boon for chemists and biologists.




Decoding the Longhorn Genome
A research group, including Ph.D. candidate Emily Jane McTavish, traced
the genetic history of the Longhorn, which could benefit the Texas cattle industry.

Biologists traced the iconic Texas Longhorn's genetic history, perhaps helping ranchers spread the hardy breed's traits to other cattle.


Engineers developed a very thin invisibility cloak that can hide three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment.






Physicists received a U.S. patent for a technology that could turn nuclear waste into fuel, thus removing the most dangerous forms of waste from the fuel cycle.

Engineers developed filters for hydraulic fracturing that improve mobile water recycling systems and could lead to significantly less water and energy use.



Psychology researchers found that teaching teenagers that behavior change is possible can reduce aggressive reactions in conflicts with each other.

Sociologists learned that people who work from home end up working more hours and blurring lines between work and home life.



C Grant Willson Japan PrizeDr. C. Grant Willson, a chemical engineering professor, received the Japan Prize, one of the highest scientific honors in the world, for his development of a process that is now used to manufacture nearly all of the microprocessors and memory chips in the world.





Allen J. Bard with President Obama     John B. Goodenough with President Obama

Dr. Allen J. Bard, left, a chemistry professor, and Dr. John B. Goodenough, right, an engineering professor, received the National Medal of Science in a White House ceremony, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government upon scientists, engineers and inventors. “I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” Obama said. “They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this nation great — and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”


William PowersWilliam Powers, president of the university and former law school professor and dean, received the Fleming Prize for his scholarship in torts law.





Joseph J. BeamanSharon L. WoodDr. Joseph J. Beaman Jr. and Dr. Sharon L. Wood, in the Cockrell School of Engineering, were elected to the National Academy of Engineering.







Tracie HarrisonEileen KintnerDr. Tracie Harrison, left, and Dr. Eileen Kintner, right, in the School of Nursing were elected to the National Academy of Nursing, one of nursing's highest honors.






Luis ZayasDiana DiNittoDr. Luis H. Zayas and Dr. Diana DiNitto in the School of Social Work were elected to the National Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.





Daniel HamermeshDr. Daniel Hamermesh in the College of Liberal Arts received the IZA Prize, the most prestigious international science award in labor economics in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the analysis of labor demand.




Seven faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): Dr. John Ekerdt, associate dean for research and professor of chemical engineering, Dr. Andrew Ellington, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Dr. Neal Evans II, professor of astronomy, Dr. Brian Korgel, professor of chemical engineering, Dr. Robert Krug, professor and chairman of molecular genetics and microbiology, Dr. Rodney Ruoff, professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Christine Schmidt, professor of biomedical engineering.



Research expenditures at The University of Texas at Austin have averaged $620 million over the past four years.  Most of the funding comes from federal research agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Bar Graph of Research Expenditures through 2012-2013

Pie Chart of 2012-2013 Research Funding by Source