Three faculty members in The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Engineering have been selected for recognition among the San Antonio Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Pranav Bhounsule, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Heather Shipley, Burzik Professor in Engineering Design and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Krystel Castillo, GreenStar Endowed Assistant Professor in Energy, will each be honored next month for their contributions to their field and their community.
“It’s wonderful to see the San Antonio community honor and support the hard work and dedication that these faculty show each day as part of the College of Engineering,” said JoAnn Browning, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. “Their work is a shining example of UTSA’s continued progress toward Tier One status.”
Bhounsule’s Robotics and Motion Laboratory focuses on the motion control of human-like robots, specifically their legs. His dissertation research led to a new world record in 2011, when the bipedal robot that he created walked more than 40 miles without stopping or recharging. He is also a dedicated teacher, emphasizing to his students that robots can have a tremendous impact on human lives.
As a researcher, Shipley has pioneered a process that removes toxic cancer-causing elements from drinking water sources. As the chair of her department, she acts as an effective leader in reaching goals for research, teaching and service to the UTSA community. She also created an international study abroad program for civil engineering undergraduate students as well as the UTSA Scholarship Program for Undergraduate Retention and Success (SPURS), which provides mentoring and assistance to financially disadvantaged students.
Castillo helped to create the BioEnergy and Water for Agriculture Research and Education (BeAWARE) Network to increase minority participation in advanced degrees in the STEM and arts fields, enhance interdisciplinary research and build a highly trained workforce with strong analytical, computational and scientific skills. She is also the leader of the Water Treatment, Agricultural-logistics and Renewable Energy (WeARE) project, which aims to accomplish comprehensive STEM reform through innovative education, research, outreach and partnership initiatives. Her research focus includes mathematical modeling of supply chains, logistics, optimization of large-scale scenarios and statistical control and reliability.
The UTSA College of Engineering provides outstanding education and research opportunities and service to San Antonio’s multicultural community, the nation and beyond. The college is a major public provider of undergraduate and graduate engineering education in South Texas, and continues to grow steadily as one of the top colleges for producing Hispanic engineers nationwide.
The recipients will be recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal at an event on February 16.
UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.