The Passing of Cyril Durrenberger
From McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering Web Site
Posted March 15, 2016

A memorial service will be held 3:30 PM on March 19, 2016 at St. Matthews Episcopal Church located at 8134 Mesa Drive in Austin, TX. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, charitable contributions be made to The Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota.


Cyril Durrenberger, senior lecturer in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, passed away Friday, March 4, 2016 in Austin, Texas after a three-month battle with Stage IV lung cancer. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Lynn; his two sons, Carl and James; his two grandsons, Jasper and Jackson; and three siblings, Sue Albertson, Beth Hudspeth, and E. Paul Durrenberger. Cyril Joseph


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Photo of Jovan Kamcev

Jovan Kamcev to Receive a University Graduate Continuing Fellowship

Posted on February 24, 2016

Jovan Kamcev was selected to receive a University Graduate Continuing Fellowship for Academic Year 2016/2017 from The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. This award speaks highly of his record of accomplishments as a graduate student at the University. The award begins in Fall 2016 and includes 12 months of financial support.


Freeman Graduate Student receiving award certificate


Amanda Paine Wins Society of Plastics Engineers Poster Competition

Posted on March 5, 2015


Graduate student Amanda Paine won first place in a Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) poster competition recently held in Houston, Texas.

The competition was part of SPE’s 2015 International Polyolefins Conference. Paine’s winning poster, entitled “Oxygen Scavenging Polymers for Barrier Applications,” showcases her work in improving oxygen barrier properties in polymer packaging. Her research focuses on improving the shelf lives of foods and beverages by incorporating oxygen scavenging polymers into packaging materials.

Paine was also awarded an SPE scholarship at the conference. She is supervised by Professor Benny Freeman, the Richard B. Curran Centennial Chair in Engineering, and Professor Donald Paul, the Ernest Cockrell Sr. Chair in Engineering.

Amanda is a member of the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center including UT Austin and led by Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio.


Read more news about Dr. Freeman's Polymer Group >



photo of a man working at a pad site on a pneumatic controller


New Study Measures Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Production and Offers Insights into Two Large Sources

Release Date: 12/9/2014

Researchers find a small percentage of wells accounts for the majority of emissions.

AUSTIN, Texas - A team of researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and environmental testing firm URS reports that a small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for the majority of methane emissions from two major sources - liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment - at natural gas production sites.

With natural gas production in the United States expected to continue to increase during the next few decades, there is a need for a better understanding of methane emissions during natural gas production. The study team believes this research, published Dec. 9 in Environmental Science & Technology, will help to provide a clearer picture of methane emissions from natural gas production sites.

The UT Austin-led field study closely examined two major sources of methane emissions - liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment - at well pad sites across the United States. Researchers found that 19 percent of the pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of the emissions from pneumatic devices, and 20 percent of the wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 83 percent of those emissions.


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photo of a methane molecule model


Unprecedented Measurements Provide Better Understanding of Methane Emissions during Natural Gas Production

Release Date: 9/16/2013

Completion emissions are lower than previously estimated; Data show emissions from pneumatic controllers and equipment leaks are higher than EPA national emission projections; Estimates of total emissions are similar to the most recent EPA national inventory of methane emissions from natural gas production.

AUSTIN, Texas - A new study from The University of Texas at Austin reports on extensive measurements of methane emissions - including the first measurements for methane emissions taken directly at the well pad - during completion operations for hydraulically fractured wells. A team of researchers from UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering and environmental testing firms URS and Aerodyne Research completed measurements at 190 natural gas production sites across the United States. The study was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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a photo of Dr. Allen and Cheryl Farmer accepting NSF reward in Washington DC


Left to right: Chemical engineering
professor David Allen, NSF Acting
Director Cora Marrett,
UTeachEngineering Program
Director Cheryl Farmer and John
Ekerdt. Allen, Farmer and Ekerdt
traveled to Washington, D.C., to
receive a $1.6 million grant to fund
a new UT Austin program to retain
students in engineering. Allen will
lead the program.


NSF Selects UT Austin for $1.6 Million Grant to Retain Engineering Students

from Cockrell School of Engineering Web Site 5/9/13


The National Science Foundation (NSF), Intel and GE have selected The University of Texas at Austin for a $1.6 million grant to support an education program aimed at retaining freshman in engineering majors by teaching calculus through hands-on activities. Freshman calculus courses are a major barrier for retaining engineering students at UT Austin.


UT Austin is one of nine institutions across the United States to receive a grant from Graduate 10K+, a public-private partnership created to fund projects whose aim is to improve retention of undergraduates in engineering and computer science. The grants are funded with $10 million in donations from Intel and the GE Foundation as well as a personal donation from Mark Gallogly.


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photo of Dr. Allen in work overalls and hard hat standing outside industrial site


EPA Appoints David Allen to Lead Science Advisory Board

from Cockrell School of Engineering web page, Oct. 26th 2012


David Allen, an engineer and internationally recognized expert in air quality at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named chair of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB) for a two-year term. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced Allen's appointment Oct. 15. Jackson said his expertise in environmental engineering is a great asset to the board.


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