Energy, Disease Focus of Research for Latest Moncrief Grand Challenge Awards

Four University of Texas at Austin researchers are taking on grand challenges in energy and disease with Moncrief Grand Challenge Faculty awards for 2010-11.

The awards enable scientists to take time from teaching to work at the university's Institute for Computational and Engineering Science (ICES) on challenges that affect the competitiveness and international standing of the United States.

The Moncrief researchers for 2010-11 and their projects are:

  • Graeme Henkelman, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; computational design of materials for energy conversion and storage.
  • Rui Huang, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; computational approaches to advancing material integrity and endurance for next-generation electrical energy storage.
  • Gregory Rodin, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; modeling and simulation of CO2 sequestration.
  • Inderjit Dhillon, professor in the Department of Computer Science; disease modeling via large-scale network analysis.

Grand challenges are problems that must be addressed in order to achieve a sustainable, economically robust and politically stable future. These involve using computational engineering and science to study such challenges as cardiovascular engineering, water sustainability and weather. Other vitally important areas include the next generation of energy sources, carbon sequestration, drug design and delivery, health care system modeling, nano-science and engineering, rising seas modeling, national security, and computational medicine and biomedicine.

The Moncrief Grand Challenge Faculty awards are part of the W. A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. Endowment in Simulation-Based Engineering Sciences, and provide up to $75,000 per semester to cover salary and other expenses of the recipients.

The endowments benefit ICES, one of the nation's leading interdisciplinary research centers in the computational sciences, engineering and information technology.