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Two National Academy Members Join Texas Tech Faculty

Hires include new engineering chair and world leader in turbulence research.

Written by Karin Slyker

The Texas Tech University Whitacre College of Engineering has added two National Academy members to its faculty.

Fazle Hussain is now the President’s Distinguished Engineering Chair, and Chau-Chyun Chen is the new holder of the Jack Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair in Sustainable Energy.

Election to the National Academy is considered one of the highest professional honors among engineers. Hussain was elected in 2001 for fundamental experiments and concepts concerning important structures in turbulence, vortex dynamics and acoustics, and for new turbulence measuring techniques. Chen was elected in 2005 for his contributions to molecular thermodynamics and process modeling technology for designing industrial processes with complex chemical systems.

“We are grateful Drs. Chen and Hussain have chosen to come to Texas Tech to work with our faculty to help us address many of the global scientific problems of our day,” said Al Sacco, dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. “Their individual research interests will help us address diverse challenges such as how to better utilize a scarce resource like water, and working with our health care community to look at ways to better understand the fundamental mechanisms behind strokes. These men will form center points, around which fruitful and significant research groups will grow.”

Chen received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the National Taiwan University in 1973, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977 and 1980, respectively. He has published more than 100 scientific articles, book chapters and patents.

Chen is co-founder of AspenTech, where he currently serves as vice president of technology, and is responsible for science and technology innovations in AspenTech’s process modeling business area. He is best known for his development of the electrolyte NRTL activity coefficient model widely used for modeling electrolyte solutions.

Awards for Chen include the 2001 Computing Practice Award, Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the 1984 Ted Peterson Student Paper Award also from CAST Division of AIChE.

 

Hussain received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1963, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University in 1966 and 1969, respectively. He was a post-doctorate fellow at Johns Hopkins University, before joining the University of Houston in 1971, where he became Cullen Distinguished Professor, and director of the Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Turbulence in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Awards for Hussain include the Freeman Scholar Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME-1984), Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society (1998), Fluids Engineering Award of ASME (2000), and the Fluid Dynamics Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2002).

Chen and Hussain are the second and third National Academy members on Texas Tech’s faculty. Kishor Mehta, the former director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center who led a team that developed the Enhanced Fujita Scale implemented by the National Weather Service, also is a member for his studies of structural damage caused by windstorms and leadership in developing structural design standards for wind loads.

“I am very pleased with their records as innovators and scientists, and for giving back to education and students,” said Provost Bob Smith. “These are great hires for Texas Tech and I expect our successors will look back years from now, delighted by the good judgment of all who helped make it happen.”

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CONTACT: Jeff Sammons, director of marketing, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3451, or jeff.sammons@ttu.edu.

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