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Connections Newsletter


The UH Energy Connections Newsletter features and recognizes faculty and students for notable achievements in research, education, innovation and outreach. To receive our newsletter and join our mailing list, fill out our form HERE

Features - India Special Edition 2018

Academic-Industry Partnership Offers Benefits for Both SidesAcademic-Industry Partnership Offers Benefits for Both Sides

An innovative partnership between the University of Houston and Oil India Ltd. led to dramatically increased expected oil reserves and also contributed to production enhancement from Oil India fields and paved the way for a project to boost oil recovery from established reservoirs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

International Centre for Entrepreneurship and TechnologyUH Signs on to Help Boost Innovation and Commercialization in India

By Janet Miranda

The University of Houston and iCreate, the India-based International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology, have agreed to work together to initiate “innovation to rapid commercialization” that could lead to explosive growth in the Indian market, solving a central problem in the Asian nation. Read More

UH Signs MoU with Indian Institute of Petroleum and EnergyUH Signs MoU with Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy

By Rashda Khan

The University of Houston recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE), declared by the Indian Parliament as an “institution of national importance.” Read More

UH and IIT Kharagpur to Promote Collaborative Programs in Petroleum EngineeringUH and IIT Kharagpur to Promote Collaborative Programs in Petroleum Engineering

By Janet Miranda

The University of Houston and the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint academic and research collaborations. The initial areas of work identified include petroleum engineering, covering niche aspects of chemical, advanced materials, deep-sea technology and analytics and industrial engineering. Read More

gian-banner.jpgUH Professor Creates Research Connections with GIAN Program

By Janet Miranda

Rakesh Verma, professor of computer science and director of ReDas Lab at the University of Houston, taught a short course called “Security from the Data Science Perspective” at the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, under a competitive Indian government program called the Global Initiative of Academic Networks, also known as GIAN. Read More

Gopal Pandurangan, professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of HoustonVAJRA Program Links UH Professor to Indian Institute of Technology at Madras

By Janet Miranda

Gopal Pandurangan, professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston, has also served as visiting professor at his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Madras, through a program designed to strengthen ties between universities in India and elsewhere. IIT Madras is the top ranked engineering school in India according to the National rankings of the Indian government. Read More

Features - November/December 2018

UH Energy and IPAA/PESA Partnership Promotes A New Generation of Energy Leaders

By Janet Miranda

The partnership between UH Energy and the high school academies supported by the Independent Petroleum Association of America/Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (IPAA/PESA) promotes STEM careers and engages the future technical workforce. Read More

Ardebili Named Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cullen College

By Janet Miranda

Haleh Ardebili, Bill D. Cook associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston, has been named director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Cullen College of Engineering. The Role Will Focus on Fostering a Culture of Innovation. Read More

Ozone Level Collection Gives Students Firsthand Field Research Experience

By Janet Miranda

Before the impact of ozone levels on air quality and human health were widely known, Houston was known for some of the worst air quality in the nation. The growing emissions from traffic, refineries, petrochemical facilities and other industrial sources contributed to the smoggy air. Read More

Four Students Selected As 2018 Forbes Under 30 Scholars Attend the Summit in Boston

By Janet Miranda

Four students at the University of Houston were recently selected as Forbes Under 30 Scholars. The partnership between Forbes and higher education institutions grants juniors and seniors the chance to attend the 2018 Forbes Under 30 Summit. Read More

Features - September/October 2018

Energy Symposium Focuses on the Rise of New Innovation and the Changes to the Grid

By Janet Miranda

The opening discussion of the 2018-19 Energy Symposium Series, “Future of the Electric Grid: Renewed or Gridlocked?” focused on the changing landscape of the energy market, with the growth of renewable energy as well as the impact of technological innovations. Read More

UH Law Center Student Wins Second Place in Energy Law Competition

By Janet Miranda

Maddison Malone Riddick, a third-year UH Law Center student, won second place in an energy law writing competition sponsored by the American Bar Association. Her article focused on access to solar energy within homeowner associations. Read More

Professor Spotlight: Weglein’s Journey in Fundamental High Impact Seismic Research

By Janet Miranda

As a young man growing up in the South Bronx, Arthur Weglein never imagined he would end up with a long and illustrious career in theoretical physics, honored with a distinguished chair or that he would join the faculty at the University of Houston. Read More

Chair Christian Beduya’s Initiatives for the Largest Student Organization on Campus

By Janet Miranda

As we start the new school year, the Energy Coalition (EC) board welcomes a new students into key board positions. Made up of 18 students, the board is in charge of planning events and connecting with key energy leaders. Christian Beduya, a finance and economics student, is the EC’s third chair since the student-run organization was founded. Read More

Features - August 2018

The Office of Sustainability’s Efforts for a Greener Campus

By Janet Miranda

The University of Houston has worked for a decade to foster environmentally-friendly initiatives on campus, beginning with the promotion of a campus-wide recycling program and leading to the creation of the Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability serves as a hub for UH’s sustainability efforts and works to cultivate a culture of sustainability on campus. Read More

Equinor Invests In Energy & Sustainability Students with Scholarship Program

By Janet Miranda

Six students enrolled in the University of Houston’s Energy & Sustainability minor were recently selected for the Equinor Scholars Program, sponsored by international energy company Equinor. The company, formerly known as Statoil, sponsored student scholarships of $1,000 per semester and will also provide mentoring by Equinor employees. Read More

Offshore Regulator's Conference 2018

By Sharinna Byrd

Tim Duncan, chief executive officer of Talos Energy LLC, served as keynote speaker for the Second Inter-American Hydrocarbons Regulators Dialogue Conference last spring, part of an initiative by the University of Houston to create a forum for dialogue between hydrocarbon industry regulators, service companies, law firms and universities. Read More 

Features - June 2018

UH’s Subsea Program Director Makes Waves in Subsea Education

By Valeria Dominguez

Phaneedra Kondapi, director of UH’s subsea engineering program, is at the forefront of expanding subsea education. Kondapi joined the program as an adjunct faculty member in 2011, when UH dove into uncharted waters and launched the nation’s first subsea master’s degree program. With growing demand for people to fill jobs in the offshore industry and no subsea engineering programs in the U.S., the program was born. Read More

  UH Chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Wildcatters Win Special Award

By Sharinna Byrd

Officers of University of Houston’s chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists were presented with the “Outstanding Domestic Student Chapter Award” at the AAPG 101st Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake City in May. AAPG has more than 245 student chapters world-wide. Read More

The University of Houston Hosts 3rd Annual Energy Banquet

By Sharinna Byrd

Energy professionals, students and alumni filled the UH Hilton Conrad Ballroom on the evening of April 19, 2018 to attend the 3rd Annual UH Energy Banquet. The celebration brings back alumni and connects them with students, industry professionals and members of the Energy Advisory Board. Read More

 UH Team Wins NASA Competition

By Sharinna Byrd

Solar-powered refrigeration has been a winner at business plan competitions across the country, driven by a team from the University of Houston and the business plan the team created to commercialize a technology developed by NASA. The PolarPanel team competed in nine competitions, winning five and taking home more than $45,000 in cash prizes, money that they will use to fund building the third-generation prototype and testing. Read More

Features - April 2018

Energy, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics: The Future of People in Energy Production

By Valeria Dominguez

UH Energy’s fourth and last energy symposium for 2017-18 featured robotics experts Rasheed Haq, global head of AI, robotics and data engineering for Sapient Consulting; Julia Badger, project manager for robonaut and autonomous spacecraft management projects at NASA-Johnson Space Center; Michael “Mickey” Frish, manager of industrial sensors at Physical Sciences; and David Reid, chief marketing officer at National Oilwell Varco. Read More

UH Energy Launches the Energy Plant Operations Innovation Challenge

By Valeria Dominguez

Along the Gulf Coast, hundreds of chemical, petrochemical, refinery and power plants are operating. These plants were designed decades ago and face vulnerability to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes and heavy rainfall. Today, there is a need for creative innovation due to the rapid advancement of today’s technology and analytical tools. What can we do to make energy plants more resistant to extreme weather? How can plant personnel improve operations with minimal loss? Read More

Student Spotlight - Nicolas Xiong

By Valeria Dominguez

While most 17-year-olds are consumed with angst and excitement as they navigate the complex college application process, Xiong is already five months removed from receiving his diploma—not from high school, but from the University of Houston.  Read More

High School Senior Writes on What a Melting of the Arctic Means for U.S.-Russian Relations

By Valeria Dominguez

Nikola Skerl, a senior at Houston’s Carnegie Vanguard High School, won first place in an essay competition sponsored by UH Energy and the UH Honors College about the future of U.S.-Russian relations. Read More

E90 Video Competition

By Valeria Dominguez

UH Energy calls videographers, filmmakers, animators to participate in the 1 st Annual E-90 video competition. Current University of Houston students have a chance to put their storytelling abilities to the test. Read More

EAB Spotlight: Tanner Moran

By Valeria Dominguez

Tanner Moran has been appointed as a new member of the UH Energy Advisory Board. Moran, the managing director at Hastings Equity Partners, brings 10 years of experience leading business development efforts to the EAB. Read More

Student Spotlight - Clara Palencia

By Claire Andersen

Doctoral student Clara Palencia earned a second place award in the PhD category of the International Student Society of Petrophysicists and Well Lock Analysts (SPWLA) competition last summer for a paper on the properties of mudrocks, a class of sedimentary rock. Read More

UH Petroleum Engineering Student Uses her Background for Future Success

By Valeria Dominguez

Anisha Deka stands out as an engineering student at the University of Houston. While pursuing a master’s degree in petroleum engineering, Deka shows that by combining her background from the oil and gas industry in India with her graduate studies in Houston, she is making strides on the path to a successful career in the energy sector.  Read More

Renewable Energy: Should Government Subsidies Continue?

By Valeria Dominguez

The third installment of UH Energy’s popular symposium series featured industry experts presenting research and answering questions surrounding the future of government subsidies to promote renewable energy.  Read More

North American Energy Ministers Visit UH

By Valeria Dominguez

The North American Energy Ministerial took place at Hilton University of Houston on Nov.14. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell participated in a panel discussion. Read More

Welcome, Elsa Gonzalez

By Claire Andersen

The College of Education welcomed assistant professor Elsa Gonzalez, research specialist in higher education leadership, in August to continue her research at UH. Gonzalez has led an intensive research project for nearly seven years that focuses on access and retention of underrepresented students, particularly Latinas, in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Read More

Student Leader - Anand Selveindran

By Valeria Dominguez

Anand Selveindran, a petroleum engineering graduate student, claimed first place in the Poster category for his research, “Cowden South Grayburg Field Development.” Read More

Energy Night Preview

10/23/2017 | By Claire Andersen

The Energy Coalition, the largest energy-related student organization on campus, will host its third annual Energy Night next month. The event will feature several industry leaders who will share about their experience in the energy field and how they got to where they are today. Energy Night is meant for all UH students interested in or curious about the energy industry. Attendees will have opportunity to network with other energy-focused students, play games and win prizes.   Read more >>

Age of the Drones

10/23/2017 | By Claire Andersen

While the rest of the University of Houston’s students and faculty were trying to beat the August heat, professor Bob Talbot was in Fort Collins, Co. watching a drone bob and weave across a mock oil production site on a mission to locate methane leaks. The drone is the center of Talbot’s biggest active project, an initiative from the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research Program to create a device that can autonomously detect and quantify fugitive methane leaks.   Read more >>

Birol Dindoruk inducted to the National Academy of Engineers

10/23/2017 | By Claire Andersen

The University of Houston’s petroleum engineering program, the largest and fastest growing department in the Cullen College of Engineering, can now boast another National Academy of Engineers (NAE) member on its staff. Adjunct professor Birol Dindoruk was inducted into NAE, which is widely considered the highest honor for an engineer, in early October.   Read more >>

Global Energy Internships

10/23/2017 | By Claire Andersen

Two graduate students from the Cullen College of Engineering’s petroleum engineering department traveled to India this summer for a ten-week internship with Oil India Limited, the nation’s national oil companies.   Read more >>

Student Leader | How one UH student meets his goals as an energy leader, researcher and innovator

09/26/2017 | By Claire Andersen

Free time is hard to come by, and even more rare for university students. Most 20-something college students use their precious free time studying, spending time with friends or catching up on Netflix. But Julian Chenin is not your average college student. In addition to his regular class schedule, Chenin also participates in rare geological research, works several jobs and is a student leader of one of the largest student organizations on campus.  Read more >>

A Bright Future for Texas | UH researchers delve into the essentials of a qualified workforce for Texas

09/26/2017 | By Claire Andersen

While the University of Houston blazes forward in athletics, research and student body population growth, academic departments prove that they can keep up and even exceed that pace. The Hobby School of Public Policy, just over a year old, is already making its mark not only on state policy but also on the growth and success of the Texas workforce.   Read more >>

Connecting Leaders in Energy | Renewable energy advisor shares his thoughts on UH and the future of energy education

09/26/2017 | By Claire Andersen

David Ramm, leader and contributor in the renewable energy industry, is one of the 21 industry executives who serve on President Khator’s Energy Advisory Board (EAB). Having been both an active member and chairman during his time on the board, Ramm is familiar with the president's energy goals and equipped to guide the university to new heights. Read more >>

Power and Energy in Focus  | New UH certificate program enlightens students on the ins and outs of electrical systems

08/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

This fall, the Cullen College of Engineering will offer new courses in Power and Energy Systems, a certificate program created by Kaushik Rajashekara. The program will feature courses that train students to understand both the technical and business aspects of electrical systems.   Read more >>

Student Leader  | How the new Energy Coalition chair plans to expand upon the largest student organization on campus

08/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

With the new school year comes a new board for the Energy Coalition (EC). Made up of 18 students, the board is in charge of creating and planning events as well as collaborating with industry players. Yilhak Abebe, a petroleum engineering student, is the new acting chair. Read more >>

Going Global  | UH students see O&G from a global perspective at the World Petroleum Conference

08/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

Two students from the University of Houston were selected to represent the United States at the 2017 World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Istanbul, Turkey in July. Recent graduate David Lankford-Bravo and senior Euler Reyes joined nearly 70 other young professionals from around the world as volunteers for the 22 nd WPC.   Read more >>

Connecting Leaders in Energy  | Energy Advisory Board spotlight on member John Gibson

08/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

One of the founding members of the UH’s Energy Advisory Board (EAB), John Gibson continues to promote the university’s energy initiative with his unique viewpoint and passionate curiosity. Gibson currently advises Tudor, Pickering Holt, & Co. on energy technology and serves on the board of directors of Orocobre, the world’s first commercial, brine-based lithium operation constructed in approximately 20 years. Gibson received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in geology and has diverse experience in the energy industry, from upstream oil and gas and the environment to digital and power storage.   Read more >>

Alumni Spotlight  | UH Alumna gains multidimensional experience at leading O&G company

08/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

UH alumna Sarah Murphy has created a career worth noticing in just the three short years since she graduated. Murphy is part of Shell’s Graduate   Program , a three-year rotational program created to enhance the careers of young professionals. During her time at Shell,   Murphy was given opportunities to work in and become familiar with various parts of the business.      Read more >>

Space Talk  | Recent UH Graduate Tells of His Leap from O&G to Aerospace Engineering

07/19/2017 | By Claire Andersen

The core of this boomtown has long been oil and gas, but UH’s focus extends far beyond what is conventionally categorized as energy. SpaceX employee and recent UH graduate Graham Mullings proves just how out-of-this-world energy students can go. Read more >>

Program Spotlight  | Energy & Sustainability Minor Prepares Students to be Industry Leaders

07/19/2017 | By Claire Andersen

The Energy and Sustainability minor at the University of Houston is preparing the upcoming workforce by expanding its knowledge and understanding of the diversity. The minor was founded as a multidisciplinary academic track to ensure that students understand the concepts and applications of energy and sustainability from both technical and nontechnical perspectives. Read more >>

Campus Energy Leader   | Energy Coalition Vice Chair Ready to Share her Passion for Energy on Campus

07/19/2017 | By Claire Andersen

As the upcoming school year fast approaches, the Energy Coalition’s new board is preparing for a new year of expansion and growth. As one of the largest student organizations on campus, the board is determined to educate and impassion UH students on all things energy. Executive board member Kamalpreet Kaur is a key part of this effort. Now a senior Management Information Systems (MIS) student, Kaur is determined to share her passion for energy with other students before she makes her own start in the industry. Read more >>

Energy Experts | New Director of the EENR Center Prepares to Boost UH as National Leader in Environment and Energy

06/21/2017 | By Claire Andersen

With climate and environmental issues taking center stage again, one of the nation’s leading environmental lawyers has returned to the UH Law Center with determination to merge the energy and law industries. Victor Flatt was recently hired as the Dwight Olda Chair in law and the Faculty Director of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center, which he helped to found in 2007. Read more >>

GEDS Global Reach | UH Graduate Certificate Prepares International Leaders in Sustainable and Responsible Oil and Gas Practices 

06/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

A unique graduate certificate at the University of Houston, the Global Energy, Development, and Sustainability (GEDS) certificate has drawn scholars from down the street and around the world for its unique curriculum and expertise. This May, a group of government officials from the Ministry of Energy in Albania came to UH to for the executive certificate program, where they focused on topics ranging from community development to energy histories and operating standards. Read more>>

Phillip Jefferson Passion for Energy | How a Recent UH Graduate Created the Largest Energy-Focused Community on Campus

06/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

It is clear to anyone who speaks to Phillip Jefferson that the University of Houston is a significant source of passion and pride for him. When asked to describe himself in three words, he answered without hesitation: passionate, intense and loving.    

If there was room for another word, it would surely be dedicated. Dedicated to being the best, dedicated to making his mark and most of all ,   dedicated to UH . Read More>>

Mary Anne Brelinsky Connecting Leaders | How One Alumna Continues to Strengthen the UH Community Through the Energy Advisory Board

06/16/2017 | By Claire Andersen

President of EDF Oil Services, Mary Anne Brelinsky is one of the 21 industry leaders who make up the UH Energy Advisory Board. A member for the past two years, Brelinsky is part of the effort to lend strategic guidance to the energy initiatives at the University of Houston, helping to develop resources and strengthening the university’s reputation in Houston and beyond. Read more

Rawan Almallahi Keys to Success | Chemical Engineering Student Rises as Future Leader in Renewable Energy Research

05/04/2017  | By Claire Andersen

Rawan AlMallahi’s college career embraces all the elements of an American success story: hard work, persistence and victory against all odds. Just five years after coming to Houston from the United Arab Emirates, AlMallahi is one of the recipients of the 2017 National Science Foundation research fellowship award. Read more >>

Praveen Kumar Shaping Tomorrow's Leaders | UH Institute Paves the Way for UH to be the Leading Energy University

05/04/2017  | By Claire Andersen

The UH Gutierrez Energy Management Institute is preparing students to lead the future of the energy industry.

More than two dozen energy executives gathered at the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute (GEMI) on the University of Houston campus earlier this spring, participating in a daylong strategy session to talk about what the Trump administration might mean for the industry and how best to prepare for that change. Read more >>

Data Analytics Shining Light on Big Data | New Mathematical System Created by UH Professor Promises a More Efficient Future for Data Gathering

05/04/2017  | By Claire Andersen

A new graduate certificate program focusing on a revolutionary data analytics system will begin next fall in the subsea engineering program. Created by Matthew Franchek, the founding director of the UH subsea engineering program, this program will train students to use adaptive model-based edge analytics, which is designed to gather key information from large masses of dark data to better predict when a system is about to fail. Read more >>

Subsea Systems Institute Offshore Research with SSI | How an Industry-driven, Houston based Institute is Supporting Safe and Efficient Offshore Development

05/04/2017  | By Claire Andersen

The Subsea Systems Institute (SSI), established in late 2015 through the RESTORE Act, is moving forward to bridge academic research and the oil and gas industry. Funded as one of the six Centers of Excellence created after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, SSI concentrates on improving the safety and sustainability of offshore oil and gas exploration and development. Read more >>

Imperial Barrel Award The Ultimate Home Team Victory | A Team of UH Graduate Students Sweeps the Imperial Barrel Award Program Competition

05/04/2017  | By Claire Andersen

A team of five University of Houston graduate students brought home first prize from the international finals of the 2017 American Association of Petroleum Geologist’s (AAPG) Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) Competition.  

The team was made up of two Ph.D. students, Eric Lunn and Delaney Robinson, and three M.S. students, Walter Reed, Leiser Silva and Andrew Steier.  Read more >>          

Julian Cardenas O&G Law in Action | Regulators from Leading Oil Production Nations Gathered for Annual Conference in Houston

05/04/2017 | By Claire Andersen

In effort to promote collaboration with hydrocarbon regulators, the UH Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center has created various opportunities for industry players and universities to contribute to the expansion of regulatory practices. Read more >>

Ganesh Thakur Solving Real-Time O&G Challenges | Distinguished Professor is Leading a Team of Scientists to Optimize Oil Recovery

05/04/2017 | By Claire Andersen

As the oil industry recovers from its most recent fall, a team of six elite scientists and engineers at the University of Houston (UH) are putting their heads together to solve the real-time challenges faced by the industry. 

Ganesh Thakur, a world-renowned expert in reservoir management and oil fields rejuvenation, leads this team in a multiphase project focused on improving oilfield performance for Oil India Limited. Read more >>