Whitacre College of Engineering


Edward E. Whitacre Jr.
College of Engineering
Whitacre College of Engineering logo.svg
Established1925 (1925)
Endowment$100 million
DeanAlbert Sacco
Academic staff
Location, ,

33°35′14″N 101°52′34″W / 33.587172°N 101.876017°W / 33.587172; -101.876017Coordinates: 33°35′14″N 101°52′34″W / 33.587172°N 101.876017°W / 33.587172; -101.876017
Engineering Key

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering is the college of engineering at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The engineering program has existed at Texas Tech University since 1925. Additionally, the Whitacre College of Engineering administers graduate engineering degree programs at the university's campus in Amarillo, Texas. Many of the college's degree programs are accredited by ABET. The Whitacre College of Engineering is the first and, presently, only school in the world to offer a doctor of philosophy degree in wind science and engineering.[2]

In August 2008, the Whitacre College of Engineering announced that it would rename its petroleum engineering department the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering. Herd, a Texas Tech petroleum engineering alumnus and Tyler, Texas oil man, donated $15 million to the college.[3] The department was ranked tenth in the nation in the April 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report.[4]


The Texas Technological College, present day Texas Tech University, School of Engineering was created in the fall of 1925. At that time the school consisted of 313 students and two faculty members, and was housed in the textile engineering building, now the industrial engineering building.[5] In 1928, the School of Engineering expanded and opened the west engineering building, now the electrical and computer engineering building.[5] The school's civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, and textile engineering programs were accredited by the Engineering Council for Professional Development in 1933. The chemical engineering and petroleum engineering programs were accredited in 1959 and 1960 respectively.[5] The chemical engineering building opened for classes in 1960. In the early 1970s the Pulsed Power Research Center was created for the purpose of plasma research.[5]

On November 12, 2008, Texas Tech announced that they received a $25 million gift from AT&T and friends of Ed Whitacre in honor of former CEO and Texas Tech alumnus Edward E. Whitacre Jr. Additionally, the college announced that it will be renamed the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering.[6]


In 2011, Texas Tech’s Whitacre College of Engineering was ranked 78th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.[7] In the magazine's 2010 graduate engineering rankings, the overall graduate engineering program moved up to 99th among 198 programs nationwide. The Department of Industrial Engineering ranked 29th in the industrial/manufacturing category.

Texas Tech University recently made the top ten in Forbes.com survey of the "Best Colleges for Women and Minorities in STEM." Texas Tech ranked the No. 7 "Best Colleges for Minorities in STEM."[8]

Hispanic Business magazine's September 2007 issue ranked the Whitacre College of Engineering as the 14th best in the United States for Hispanic students. The college focused on enrolling students from minority backgrounds and from 2006 to 2007, freshman Hispanic enrollment increased by 23 percent.[9]

Academic departments

Civil engineering building

Research centers

Center for Advanced Intelligent Systems

The Center for Advanced Intelligent Systems is an interdisciplinary laboratory in the computer science department.[10] Currently the center conducts research in the fields of data understanding, human-centered computing, computational mechanics and materials, declarative languages and software engineering.[10] The center's research on data understanding is focused on data and knowledge representation, finding causal links, and mining of large databases containing macro and micro data.[10] The center also researches seamless interaction of dry and wet intelligent agents in the field of human-centered computing.[10] Its declarative languages research aims to develop intuitive abstractions for the construction of symbolic and numerical computations.[10] In the field of software engineering, the center is also conducting research on the impact of software architecture, classifications of software, and technology transfer considerations on the process of software development.[10]

Center for Engineering Outreach

The principal goal of the Center of Engineering Outreach is to promote integration of engineering education in K-14 education at the regional and state level.[11] The center aims to accomplish this by developing curricula, teacher training, and other academic resources designed to help K-14 educators and institutions engage students in the fields of engineering.[11] To work towards this goal, the center provides experiences that reinforce interest and learning about engineering at the K-14 level through competitions, mentoring, campus visits and early admission.[11]

Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation

The Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation (TechMRT) was established in 1997 to serve as a focal point between Texas Tech and the various transportation research funding organizations and programs.[12] In the area of pavement engineering and construction, the center has conducted research on constructability and material selection for surface treatments, asphalt binder quality assurance and best practices for pavement edge maintenance and repair.[13] TechMRT's research in environmental and right-of-way issues has included projects on developing an integrated roadside management system for TxDOT and addressing fire ant dispersal along Texas highways.[13] In the field of geotechnical engineering, the center also conducts research in the area of expansive solids, pavements and foundations, as well as in the areas of design, construction, and performance of geotechnical systems including earth retention systems, bridge foundations and bridge approaches.[13] TechMRT also conducts research in the area of transportation structures including projects in innovative design and construction methods for off-system bridges, controlling vibration in cable-stayed bridges, rapid bridge replacement and live load testing of a sandwich plate system.[13] The traffic engineering branch of TechMRT was created in 2004 and has conducted research in ways to make highways and intersections safer from aggressive drivers, as well as methods to make roadways safer during weather events.[13]

Center for Nanophotonics

The Center for Nanophotonics at Texas Tech is a focal point in Texas for conducting innovative research and development on active nano-scale photonic materials and devices (devices that convert light to electricity or vice versa). The center’s research areas cover a broad spectrum, ranging from basic to applied, and dealing with state-of-the-art[citation needed] nano-scale material synthesis, device processing and fundamental physics. In particular, the center’s research works have significantly advanced the fundamental understanding of III-nitride wide bandgap semiconductors (GaN, AlN, AlGaN, InGaN, and InAlGaN) and their applications (these materials promise to be effective in producing renewable energy and light more efficiently).

Center For Pulsed Power and Power Electronics (P3E)

The Center For Pulsed Power and Power Electronics (P3E) conducts interdisciplinary research in plasma, pulsed power, and power electronics.[14] Plasma research at Texas Tech started in 1966, and was focused on harmonic ion cyclotron resonances in small mirror machines, laser heating of magnetized plasmas, and pellet injection in hot dense plasmas.[14] In 1977 a small Tokamak was constructed for the purpose of wave propagation studies in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies.[14] In recent years, the emphasis of P3E has shifted to theoretical wave propagation and turbulence studies, as well as applications of plasma technology to pulsed power devices, plasma synthesis of thin films, high power microwave generation, and electric space propulsion engines.[14]

Pulsed power research at Texas Tech began in the early 1970s with studies in high beta controlled thermonuclear fusion.[14] Based on this initial research and other research in the field the need to understand the physical phenomena of pulsed power technology.[14] Today the Texas Tech pulsed power research program at P3E focuses on high power switching, materials studies, and high power microwaves.[14]

P3E's power electronics research is focused on the usage of very large power insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) for intermittent and steady state operation, the use of ultra high power silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCR) for pulsed power applications, research into advanced electrical and thermal packaging, robust controls to supply nonlinear loads such as plasma arcs, and high bandwidth monitoring and control of electric machines.[14] The program is also working collaboratively with the University of Minnesota to develop a power electronics curriculum at the national level.[14]

Nano Tech Center

In the Fall of 1999, the Texas Tech Nano Tech Center was formed to capitalize on the growing interest in microsensors and microanalysis systems.[15] Currently the center is focused on the fundamental science and growth of advanced semiconductor materials for optoelectronic and CMOS applications, and the design, fabrication, characterization and implementation of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).[16]

Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism (National Institute for Engineering Ethics)

The Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism/National Institute for Engineering Ethics provides engineering ethics and professionalism education, research, and communications to students, faculty, staff, and engineers in industry, government and private practice, other professionals, and citizens in the community, state, and nation. The goal of the center is to increase the awareness of the professional and ethical obligations and responsibilities entrusted to individuals who practice engineering, and encourage cooperation among individuals, universities, professional and technical societies and business organizations with regard to engineering ethics and professionalism issues.

Water Resources Center

The Water Resources Center (WRC) was established by the Texas Tech Board of Regents in 1965. Since its inception, the WRC has encouraged, conducted, and coordinated water resources research and related activities. To accomplish this purpose, WRC has adopted a multiphase approach, encompassing research, education, and public service. The WRC also provides public services, both locally and statewide, through its publications, seminars, workshops, and as a resources contact with access to water-related experts throughout the campus.

National Wind Institute

The National Wind Institute Research Center at Texas Tech is an interdisciplinary research center focused on education and information outreach. Its goals are to exploit the useful qualities of wind and to mitigate its detrimental effects. The Center offers an education in wind science and engineering to develop professionals who are experts in design for windstorms and wind-induced effects. Currently the NWI is composed of approximately 25 faculty associates from seven academic departments, four research associates, eight professional staff and 40 graduate students. It is also the home to the only wind science and engineering doctorate program.

Notable organizations

Notable people

Former students


Name Department Notability Joined TTU Left/retired Alumnus/na? Refs
M. M. Ayoub Ergonomics Pioneer in the field of Ergonomics (Active) no
Fazle Hussain Fluid Dynamics National Academy of Engineering member, 2013 (Active) no
Kishor C. Mehta Wind Engineering National Academy of Engineering member, director of Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, developed the Enhanced Fujita Scale. 1965 (Active) no


  1. ^ a b c "Total Enrollment by College - Fall 2013". www.irim.ttu.edu. Texas Tech Institutional Research. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  2. ^ "Coordinating Board Approves First Wind Science and Engineering Doctorate - News". Texas Tech University.
  3. ^ "Petroleum Engineering Receives $15 Million Gift". Texas Tech University. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
  4. ^ "U.S. News & World Report Ranks Texas Tech Graduate Programs Among Best". Texas Tech University.
  5. ^ a b c d "About the College :: History". Texas Tech University College of Engineering. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  6. ^ http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Texas+Tech+Names+College+of+Engineering+After+Former+Regent+and+AT%26amp%3BT+CEO+Edward+E.+Whitacre+Jr./4149495.html
  7. ^ "Whitacre College of Engineering Among America's Best". Texas Tech University. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  8. ^ Doss, Natalie (2010-12-15). "Best Colleges For Women And Minorities In STEM". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  9. ^ ""Tech College of Engineering ranks high for Hispanic students" - News". Texas Tech University.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "About the Center for Advanced Intelligent Systems". Texas Tech University Center for Advanced Intelligent Systems. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  11. ^ a b c "About the Center". Texas Tech University Center for Engineering Outreach. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  12. ^ "Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation". Texas Tech Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  13. ^ a b c d e Nash, Phillip T. "Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-20. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Center For Pulsed Power and Power Electronics". Texas Tech Center For Pulsed Power and Power Electronics. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  15. ^ "Nano Tech Center History". Texas Tech Nano Tech Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  16. ^ "Nano Tech Center". Texas Tech Nano Tech Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21.

External links

  • Official website