As a Tier One university with more than 42,000 students, the University of Houston plays host to major accomplishments every year. However, alongside every Peach Bowl win there are students, faculty and alumni winning awards and making advances, even in fields of study you might not have heard of.
This professor received a grant to save the Gulf
Last December, the Gulf of Mexico Research Foundation awarded Jacinta Conrad—assistant professor of chemical, bio-molecular, and petroleum engineering—$1.8 million to research how incidents like Deepwater Horizon and our cleanup efforts affect the Gulf. Conrad said the current method of using dispersants is tantamount to dumping detergent in the ocean, which is harmful. With the grant, she and her team hope to discover new ways to clean up oil spills.
This invention from a student-run startup
DotLens, a startup created and run by students at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, released a must-have cellphone camera accessory that turns any smartphone into a microscope. The accessory, invented by associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Wei-Chuan Shih and engineering post-doctorate Yu-Lung Sung, is manufactured through 3D printing and allows a phone to zoom up to 60 times. Since its launch, the product has been making waves, especially in schools where teachers have begun using them as an inexpensive alternative to microscopes.
These Bauer students who won first place and $10,000 in a global competition
Four students from the Bauer Business School took home first place this year at the San Diego State University’s LeanModel Start-Up Competition with a business plan centered around new smart cement technology. After months of juggling early morning and overnight meetings, lab tours, and practice presentations at the Valenti School of Communication, the group found themselves far ahead of their competition and held plans for a potential company. The group hopes that their company and smart cement technology will help the environment and people.
This UH Literature scholar’s unearthing of a lost Walt Whitman piece
It’s easy to think that all the advances in literature studies come from Ivy League schools. Earlier this year, however, Zachary Turpin, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in American literature, unearthed a lost piece from acclaimed author Walt Whitman. After searching through databases for American literature works written under pseudonyms, Turpin came across an article on “manly training” from “Mose Velsor,” a name used by Whitman. Not expecting much to come back, Turpin sent off a request and discovered a massive 13-piece article totaling about 50,000 words.
This alumnus who finally got his star on the Hollywood walk of Fame
Alongside having alumni making advances in science across the globe, UH also has one famous alumnus playing a scientist on TV (and making $1 million per episode), Jim Parsons. In March of last year, he finally got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Parsons’ star can be found at 6533 Hollywood Blvd. in front of the Hudson Apartments.