Faster, smaller, smarter and more energy-efficient chips for everything from consumer electronics to big data to brain-inspired computing could soon be on the way after engineers at The University of Texas at Austin created the smallest memory device yet. And in the process, they figured out the physics dynamic that unlocks dense memory storage capabilities for these tiny devices.

Catching deadly diseases like cancer early on is key to improving patient survival odds. However, diseases are much harder to diagnose in their preliminary stages because people often haven't developed symptoms yet and only trace amounts can be found in their bodies.

Cockrell School of Engineering alumna Columbia Mishra has been named the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation’s inaugural Lakshmi Singh Early Career Leadership Award winner. The award, named for a 31-year-old ASME leader who died unexpectedly in 2015, honors a young female engineer who distinguishes herself as a rising volunteer leader within ASME.

In Seattle, “the big one” — a massive earthquake that could devastate the region — represents an ominous threat. So widespread are the concerns that city leaders there created standards to fortify new skyscrapers using data from studies forecasting the impact of a big earthquake in the region.

Jeannie Leavitt in cockpit of jet

As a young Air Force ROTC cadet at The University of Texas, Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt was fascinated with the idea of flying, and at that point, it was purely an idea. Family travel during her childhood consisted only of cars, trains and busses. She was 18 years old the first time she flew in an airplane, and from there, she progressed to a private pilot's license. "I started slow and worked my way up," Leavitt said.

Modern communications technology, regardless of use, relies on a similar formula: devices send signals and information through data centers, towers and satellites en route to their final destination. The effectiveness of the communication relies on how well that information travels, and there are a variety of factors that can slow down that journey – geography, weather and more.

seedlings growing in covered container

A new type of soil created by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin can pull water from the air and distribute it to plants, potentially expanding the map of farmable land around the globe to previously inhospitable places and reducing water use in agriculture at a time of growing droughts.

The link between weather and COVID-19 is complicated. Weather influences the environment in which the coronavirus must survive before infecting a new host. But it also influences human behavior, which moves the virus from one host to another. Research led by The University of Texas at Austin is adding some clarity on weather’s role in COVID-19 infection, with a new study finding that temperature and humidity do not play a significant role in coronavirus spread.

Electrical and computer engineering assistant professor Edison Thomaz is working with researchers from Penn State University and Stanford University on a project called sipIT, a technology-based intervention to promote fluid intake, increase urine output and reduce risk of kidney stones. The team recently received a five-year, $2.97 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to further their technology.

Cockrell School alumna Melanie Weber (B.S. ASE 2004) was one of four UT Austin alumni selected to receive the 2020 Outstanding Young Texas Exes Award. The prestigious award, first initiated in 1979, recognizes Texas Exes age 39 and younger who have made significant achievements in their careers and service to the university.