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The Engineering Genesis Award for Multidisciplinary Research was presented to three Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) researchers and their research teams during the TEES External Advisory Board meeting May 29.

The award, which is presented to TEES researchers who have secured significant research grants of $1 million or more, was given to Dr. John Killough, Dr. Duncan Maitland and Dr. Arul Jayaraman.

Killough, the Michael and Heidi Gatens Development Professor in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, was awarded a grant for $3.2 million from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology for his proposal, “Advanced Computational and Numerical Modeling Techniques for Hydrocarbon Recovery.”

His research team included co-PIs Dr. Eduardo Gildin, Dr. Zoya Heidari, Dr. Berna Hascakir and Dr. Yucel Akkutlu, all from petroleum engineering, and Dr. Vivek Sarin from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The research activities of Killough’s group involve enhanced reservoir simulation from the nanoscale to the scale of large fields with thousands of producing wells and with the goal of creating realistic simulations to improve hydrocarbon recovery from the complex reservoirs currently being produced.

From left: Banks with award recipients Killough, Maitland and Alaniz | Image: Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

Maitland is the Stewart & Stevenson Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and assistant agency director for commercialization and entrepreneurship for TEES. His collaborators included Dr. Fredd Clubb from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences and Dr. Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez from biomedical engineering.

The team received the award for their proposal, “Shape Memory Polymer Embolic Foams for Treating Cerebrovascular Aneurysms,” to develop a shape memory polymer (SMP) foam embolic device for treating cerebrovascular aneurysms that will acutely clot faster and more completely throughout the aneurysm.

Jayaraman is a professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering and holder of the Ray Nesbitt Professorship. Jayaraman was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Safety/National Institute of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His co-PI is Dr. Robert Alaniz from the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

His research project, “Modeling and Analysis of the Role of Microbiota Metabolites in T-Cell Differentiation,” seeks to understand the role that the microbiota metabolites play in mediating an anti-inflammatory environment in the gut, which will potentially improve treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.