Carnegie Mellon University team creates most comprehensive research guide available to date on Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas extraction

September 18, 2012 PRESS RELEASE

PITTSBURGH—Today, a team of Carnegie Mellon researchers led by Robert Strauss, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, and  Afeworki Paulos, Social Science Librarian  and Adjunct Professor of Social and Decision Sciences,  launched the most comprehensive online compilation of literature on natural gas extraction in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The resource will allow policymakers and scholars to make sense of the existing body of research on this topic and identify new opportunities for investigation. Recent Heinz College public policy graduates,  Anna Kasunic and  Collin Siu,  provided the bibliographic and technical support for the project. The online compilation was developed with a grant from the Chrostwaite Institute which is the research arm of the non-profit, non-partisan,  Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

Over 1,200 works of scholarly research, industry and think tank reports, government documents, maps, and existing research guides were catalogued in this project. Users can search for documents by keyword, browse by category, or download the catalogue in Microsoft Excel format. Overall, the effort identified over 530 documents that discuss the economic issues such as employment and tax revenues, whereas just two works deal with population changes and none with welfare.

“Not surprisingly, there has been scant investigation of impacts of natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing in areas such as population change, transportation infrastructure,  housing patterns, income or poverty, and social services usage.  There is very little knowledge about how this important economic driver is affecting so many aspects of our communities. The majority of the literature on this activity deals with economic, environmental, or public health impacts. And even these impacts are still under investigation,” said Strauss, professor of Economics and Public Policy at Heinz College.

UT gets $1M to get more women in IT

University Of Texas At Austin Receives Grant To Increase Number Of Women In Engineering.

The Austin (TX) Business Journal (10/19, Garza, Subscription Publication) reports, “The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information has received $1 million to increase the involvement of women in information technology.” The grant “was awarded to UT professor Lecia Barker, a principal investigator of the grant and a senior research scientist for the National Center for Women & Information Technology.” She “was awarded an additional $187,000 in grant funding to help engineering and computing fields to attract and retain more women.”

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Selects UT Austin as Research and Education Partner

“The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has selected The University of Texas at Austin for its Strategic University Research Partnership program — a federally funded program focused on advancing space exploration.

The partnership will enable the university and JPL researchers to propose collaborative research and educational projects in strategic focus areas such as robotics, nanosatellites and high-precision mapping. The program also creates an employment pipeline for JPL’s future workforce.

The University of Texas at Austin is one of 12 universities that have been selected for this partnership.”

“Science Study Break: Addiction.”

Science Study Break: Addiction, 10/2

EVENT: “Science Study Break: Addiction.” The event is free and open to the public.

WHEN: 6-7 p.m., Tuesday, October 2, 2011.

WHERE: Robert A. Welch Hall (WEL 2.312) at The University of Texas at Austin.

BACKGROUND: The University of Texas Libraries fires up another season of Science Study Break with a peek into the world of drug abuse in the medical profession.

In conjunction with Natural Sciences Week, director of the Addiction Science Research and Education Center and Pfizer Centennial Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Dr. Carlton Erickson discusses the science of addiction, using scenes from House, M.D., Nurse Jackie, ER and other medical dramas.

“Science Study Break: Addiction” happens on Tuesday, October 2, at 6 p.m. in Robert A. Welch Hall (WEL 2.312) at The University of Texas at Austin.

This event is free and open to the public, and there will be free pizza from Austin’s Pizza (while it lasts).

Pop culture and the academy collide as Science Study Break features relevant faculty and experts from the University of Texas at Austin discussing the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies. Science Study Break is hosted by the University of Texas Libraries and supported by the University Federal Credit Union.

University of Texas at Austin is awarded $18.5 million for a new Nanotechnology Center

September 10, 2012

“The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today an award to the University of Texas at Austin and its partners to establish a new NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) focused on nanoscale manufacturing and systems to make the performance promised by nanomaterials and nanotechnologies more pervasive.

The ERC, one in a cohort of three with a nanosystems focus, will pursue interdisciplinary research and education to address questions important to both nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing and to meet critical industry needs through innovation.  NSF will invest $18.5 million in the Center over the next five years.”

Two new organizations have been added to our IHS subscription!

The International Code Council (ICC) publishes building codes that promote safety and fire prevention. These codes are used throughout the U.S. to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools.

Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) publishes standards for the lighting industry. These standards are used by lighting designers, architects, interior designers, government & utility personnel, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, researchers and educators around the world.

For more information on Finding Engineering Standards and Specification check out our web page at

Google Patents now searches European Patents.

“At Google, we’re constantly trying to make important collections of information more useful to the world. Since 2006, we’ve let people discover, search, and read United States patents online. Starting this week, you can do the same for the millions of ideas that have been submitted to the European Patent Office, such as this one.

Typically, patents are granted only if an invention is new and not obvious. To explain why an invention is new, inventors will usually cite prior art such as earlier patent applications or journal articles. Determining the novelty of a patent can be difficult, requiring a laborious search through many sources, and so we’ve built a Prior Art Finder to make this process easier. With a single click, it searches multiple sources for related content that existed at the time the patent was filed. ”

Read more:

Service Alert: The McKinney Engineering Library will reopen in ECJ 1.300 on the first day of class.

UPDATE: 8/28/2012

Service Alert: The McKinney Engineering Library will reopen in ECJ 1.300 and provide limited service for the first few weeks of the fall academic semester.

The library will open on Wednesday, August 29, and will be open for the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Friday, August 31 and Tuesday September 4 – Friday September 7.

The library will be closed from Saturday, September 1 – Monday, September 3 for Labor Day.

The Engineering library will resume regular hours on Monday, September 10:

  • Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m
  • Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m
  • Saturday, closed
  • Sunday, 2pm – 10pm

In anticipation of a potential move due to construction considerations for the Engineering Education and Research Center, some materials from the McKinney Engineering Library have been moved to alternate locations. Any books no longer available locally at the library can be requested through the Library Catalog.

Please contact the Engineering Library with any questions:

UT researchers demonstrate vulnerability of civilian drones to hacking

The Austin (TX) American Statesman (7/5, Haurwitz) reported, “The technique, known as spoofing, created false Global Positioning System signals that tricked the drone’s GPS receiver into steering a new course. The Global Positioning System, which uses satellites and radio signals, is not encrypted for civilian uses, and that raises concern about the federal government’s plan to permit thousands of drones in US air space for commercial, law enforcement and university purposes,” Humphreys said.

Tips on Returning Library Materials

This week is a busy time for UT libraries, as students, faculty, staff, and courtesy borrowers start returning huge piles of checked-out materials. If you have a stack of books to bring back, here are a few useful points to keep in mind.

Don’t forget about the outside book drops! There are four book drops on campus, so take advantage of them if you need to drop off books after hours or if you’re in a rush.

BUTand this is very important—do not return reserves items (anything that can be checked out for a few hours or overnight, e.g., textbooks, calculators) in the outside book drops. These book drops are not always checked every day, so you might accrue late fines. Also important: do not return DVDs or CDs in the outside book drops. If they get damaged, you could be on the hook for replacement costs.

Your best bet is to return reserves items to the library they came from and to drop off DVDs or CDs at any library’s circulation desk. The Engineering Library also has an inside after-hours book drop by the library entrance (ECJ 1.300) that is checked every morning that the library is open.

If your book won’t fit into the outside book drops because it’s too big or the bin is too full, please don’t try to force it in. Try a different book drop or run inside and drop it off at the circulation desk.

One more tip: if you have any books or other materials checked out from the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Reading Room or the Law Library, you must return those items at those locations—we cannot check them in here.

If you have any questions about returning library materials, see the Returning Library Materials page or ask an Engineering librarian.