UH Offers Wide Array of Experts on Energy

Energy is a key strategic focus for research and teaching at the University of Houston (UH). The University is home to a number of top researchers and educators with expertise in a wide range of energy-related fields. For your energy-related questions, please consider the following UH experts.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti is UH’s chief energy officer. He is responsible for developing a strategic plan for UH Energy, analyzing workforce needs and developing external partnerships to enhance UH’s academic and research programs related to energy. Krishnamoorti also has been chair of the UH Cullen College of Engineering’s chemical and biomolecular engineering department. Contact him at ramanan@uh.edu or 713-743-4312.

Matthew Franchek, a professor of mechanical engineering, is director of UH’s subsea engineering master’s program, the first program of its kind in the nation. Franchek is an expert in petroleum production equipment and subsea engineering. Contact him at mfrancheck@uh.edu or 713-743-4502.

Joseph Pratt is a leading historian of the petroleum industry. He also coordinates the campus-wide Energy Management and Policy Group and is editor of Houston History, a magazine of popular history. Contact him at joepratt@uh.edu or 713-743-3088.

Craig Pirrong is a professor of finance and energy markets at UH, who keeps track of the developments that influence the world’s oil industry and shape energy policy. Pirrong also is director of the Global Energy Management Institute at UH’s Bauer College of Business. Reach him at 713-743-4466 or cpirrong@uh.edu.

Ed Hirs is an economics lecturer and managing director of Hillhouse Resources LLC, an independent E&P company. With his co-authors in the Yale Graduates Energy Study Group, Hirs has published several top downloaded and referenced papers in energy economics. Reach him at ehirs@Central.UH.EDU or 713-961-9661.

Don Van Nieuwenhuise is director of the professional geoscience programs in UH’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, as well as director of the applied sequence and biostratigraphy program. He has worked extensively in the energy industry, including as a geologist for MOBIL in New Orleans, where he successfully drilled more than 15 exploration, production and blowout kill wells. Nieuwenhuise can be reached at donvann@uh.edu or 713-743-3423.

Tracy Hester is an assistant professor at the UH Law Center and is director of its Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Center, which links energy issues with impacts on environment and natural resources. The center addresses such issues as climate change, air pollution, clean coal and renewable energy. Hester can be reached at tdheste2@central.uh.edu or 713-743-1152.

John Lee, a professor of petroleum engineering, is noted for his work on oil and gas reserve regulations and his recent publications and presentations involving those regulations, as well as estimation and production forecasting in unconventional gas reservoirs. Contact him at wjlee@Central.UH.EDU or 713-743-4877.

Mike Nikolaou, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is an expert in the area of shale oil and gas development and the process known as fracking. In particular, he is developing methods and models to predict the amount of resources in these rock formations and to retrieve these resources safely and efficiently. Contact him at Nikolaou@uh.edu or 713-743-4309.

Mike Harold is chair of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department, and he is principal investigator of the Texas Center for Clean Engines, Emission and Fuels located in the UH Energy Research Park. Harold is an expert in biofuels and engineer emissions reduction through catalysis. Contact him at mharold@uh.edu or 713-743-4322.

Chris Ross serves as an executive professor of finance in the C.T. Bauer College of Business, where he has distilled the insights from his long consulting career into classes on value creation strategies in oil and gas. He also leads research classes investigating how different energy industry segments are creating value for shareholders. He can be reached at ceross@uh.edu or 713-743-4755.

Radha Radhakrishnan is a clinical assistant professor for the Department of Decision and Information Sciences at the C. T. Bauer College of Business. Radhakrishnan served in the energy industry for 36 years at Shell Oil. In his courses at Bauer, he invites experts from the energy industry to the classroom to give his students an insight to the industry. Contact him at sradhakrishnan3@uh.edu or 713-743-4167.

Shay Curran is a physics professor and director of UH’s Institute for NanoEnergy. Curran’s solar power research projects include development of a transportable, off-grid, solar-powered generator for residential and commercial use. He can discuss this project and other solar power issues. Contact him at sacurran@uh.edu or 713-743-3565.

Jeff Rimer, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is an expert in engine emissions reduction through catalysis. Contact him at jrimer@uh.edu or 713-743-4131.

Micky Fleischer, an adjunct professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is an expert in refinery operations and safety. Contact him at mfleischer@uh.edu or 713-743-4388.

Tom Holley is director of UH’s petroleum engineering program and is an expert in petroleum exploration and recovery. Contact him at tkholley@uh.edu or 832-842-4847.

Shankar Chellam, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, is an expert in engine emissions and refinery emissions. Contact him at chellam@uh.edu or 713-743-4265.

Pradeep Sharma, chair of mechanical engineering, is an expert in piezoelectrics, or materials that produce electricity when bent and compressed. Contact him at psharma@uh.edu or 713-743-4502.

Venkat “Selva” Selvamanickam is director of the Applied Research Hub and a mechanical engineering professor. He is working on a number of superconductivity projects, including development of a technology with high-temperature superconducting wires that could revolutionize the way power is generated, transported and used. Contact him at selva@uh.edu or 713-743-4044.

Haleh Ardebili, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is an expert in advanced lithium-ion batteries used for everything from airliners to cell phones. She is currently developing flexible stretchable batteries that could be used in flexible electronic devices, integrated into clothing or even worn around the wrist like a bracelet and used as a backup power source when needed. Contact her at hardebili@uh.edu or 713-743-5562.

Yan Yao, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, develops materials for multiple energy applications. His work includes the creation of highly efficient batteries that can be used for military applications, electric vehicles and more. He’s also developing materials for polymer-based solar cells that promise to be cheaper and more durable than their standard silicon-based counterparts. Contact him at yyao4@uh.edu or 713-743-4432.

Zhu Han and Amin Khodaei, both with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are experts in smart grid data analytics and are developing new methods to accurately forecast electricity demand, plan electricity generation and restore power during outages to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. With electric utilities in the U.S. investing billions of dollars in smart grid components to collect and report information on electricity generation, usage and demand every few minutes, Han and Khodaei are working to make sense out of all this information. Contact Han at zhan2@mail.uh.edu or 713-743-4437 and Khodaei at akhodaei@central.uh.edu or 713-743-4406.

Jae-Hyun Ryou, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, specializes in developing entirely new semiconductor materials by combining different families of elements. These materials can be used in multiple devices, including highly efficient light-emitting diodes and solar power cells. Contact him at jryou@uh.edu or 713-743-0858.


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