Coordinating Board Approves First Wind Science and Engineering Doctorate

Wind energy, windstorm damage among focuses of new Ph.D. program.

Written by Cory Chandler

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved Texas Tech University’s proposed Doctor of Philosophy in Wind Science and Engineering, creating a unique multidisciplinary program spanning disciplines from engineering and architecture to atmospheric science and even economics.

"Wind is an environment that will always be with us," said Dr. Kishor Mehta, P.W. Horn Professor of Civil Engineering, National Academy of Engineering member and visionary behind the new program. "There are problems related to wind that have yet to be tackled. At the same time, wind is a resource with unrealized potential. This Ph.D. integrates the science of windstorm damages and developing wind energy systems so that our graduates come out with a stronger understanding of how those sciences interrelate."

The degree will incorporate research and teaching through Texas Tech’s colleges of Engineering, Architecture and Arts and Sciences and will be administered by the Graduate School.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison made the announcement about the Ph.D. program Thursday (Aug. 16) at a news conference on the Texas Tech University campus.

"Senator Hutchison has been a strong advocate of research in wind sciences at Texas Tech University and, more broadly, the promotion of wind power as a viable renewable energy source to combat the growing national energy crisis," said Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance. "We applaud Sen. Hutchison’s leadership in this area. The Ph.D. program solidifies Texas Tech University’s leadership in wind science research and will allow us to further advance the study of wind energy and windstorm damage."

The Wind Science and Engineering Research Center is already host to a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), utilizing facilities such as its wind tunnel, wind cannon, 200-meter tower, high-resolution storm instrumentation equipment and nearby wind farms to integrate research opportunities with its educational offerings.

Kishor C. Mehta, P.W. Horn professor of civil engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3479, ext. 323 or via e-mail at

Andy Swift, director, Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3476, ext. 342, or