Texas A&M University
Corrected sun path diagrams: Discovered that the Olgyay sun path diagrams used by architects throughout the United States in the design of energy efficient structures were incorrect. These diagrams had been published in the AIA Handbook for over a quarter of a century. The new AIA Handbook now has the updated diagrams and both the equations and algorithms used to produce these new diagrams have been published and made universally available to software developers.
LEPA – Low Energy Precision Application (irrigation)
IPM – Integrated Pest Management
StarRotor Engine – Dr. Mark Holtzapple, Department of Chemical Engineering: Holtzapple’s StarRotor engine captures the heat given off in car exhaust and uses it to power the car. Typical car engines are inefficient and lose energy when hot exhaust gases are released into the air, Holtzapple said. In contrast, the StarRotor engine is much more efficient, and its exhaust is much cooler. The StarRotor engine will also have a longer life than current engines. Holtzapple estimates its life to be approximately 1 million miles. The engine will be designed to run on a variety of fuels including gas, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, natural gas, alcohol and even olive oil. The engine will be able to switch from one fuel type to another while running. Regardless of the fuel, the engine will emit almost no pollution.
Digital Feeder Monitor – Dr. B. Don Russell, Department of Electrical: The digital feeder monitor (DFM) is a microprocessor-based monitoring device that detects broken wires in electric power distribution systems. The unique feature of the DFM is its sensitivity in detecting broken overhead power lines which pose a safety hazard to the public and to the natural environment. In uninhabited areas, being able to detect the point of a power line failure is critical. This invention won an R&D 100 Award in 1996 from R&D magazine. The R&D 100 awards have been dubbed the “Oscars of Invention” since the award’s creation more than 40 years ago.
Dr. F. Albert Cotton discovered the quadruple chemical bond.
Dr. Raymond J. Carroll’s development of methodology for measurement error modeling used, for example, by Nutritional Epidemiologists in their study of the relationship between diet and cancer development.
Dr. Marlan O. Scully (with George Welch, Edward Fry, et al) have made tremendous advances based on coherence effects in atoms, including first observation of slow light in hot atoms; first demonstration of gain and lasing without inversion in continuous absorption; first observation of parametric backward self-oscillations; new methods for generation and detection of infrared radiation; new methods for quantum searching with quantum computers; dramatic enhancement of nonlinear magneto-optic effects via atomic coherence.
Microbes: Cores recovered by the Ocean Drilling Program are yielding an incredible view of life in deeply buried marine sediments. They are finding life within the sediments is not surprising, but the great depths at which life occurs is changing the way we view the limits of life on Earth and possibly beyond.
Gas hydrates:An anomalous sub-seabed boundary known as the “Bottom Simulating Reflector” (BSR) was discovered about 30 years ago in deep water. It represents a barrier formed between sediments containing frozen gas hydrates located above sediments charged with free gases. Because the BSR was interpreted as a dangerous barrier to drill through, it was avoided in all drilling campaigns until the mid-1980s, when ODP intentionally pierced through it without incident. Breaking through the BSR has placed ODP at the forefront of gas hydrate research.
Bill Bryant and colleagues – The discovery of large furrows at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that are being actively eroded along hundreds of miles of the seafloor. These furrows are up to 30 feet deep and up to 150 feet wide. These features have been observed elsewhere in the world, but these are the first ones know to be actively eroding. An important point is that they exist in an area of active petroleum exploration.
The ET-2000 (Extruder Terminal – 2000) was designed, developed and tested by researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute. This device is saving lives across the United States by bringing vehicles which impact the end of a guardrail to a controlled stop. When struck, the impacting vehicle forces the extruder terminal along the guardrail, shearing the wooden posts and curving the end of the guardrail away from the traffic right-of-way as it brings the vehicle to a controlled stop. Kinetic energy generated by the impact is absorbed by the force required to flatten the guardrail in the extruding process. There are over 55,000 ET-2000s in use in almost every state, including Texas.