UT takes leading role on major potential energy source, methane hydrate

I want to share with you a very important development. UT Austin recently received a research grant of $58 million to head a team studying methane hydrate, a substance found in abundance beneath the ocean floor and under Arctic permafrost. The U.S. Department of Energy is providing more than $41 million, with the remainder coming from industry and research partners. The fact that this is one of the largest research grants in the University’s history is certainly noteworthy, but the real excitement comes from the potential developments from the study itself.

Methane hydrate is an ice-like solid compound that forms in low-temperature and high-pressure environments where molecules of methane, a chief constituent of natural gas, are trapped within a lattice structure of water molecules. The worldwide energy implications are huge: within the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, where the team will be sampling, there is estimated to be 7,000 trillion cubic feet of methane hydrate, more than 250 times the amount of natural gas used in the United States in 2013. You can read more here.

I’m proud of our scientists at the Institute for Geophysics in the Jackson School of Geosciences for their leadership.

What starts here changes the world.
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New class of Distinguished Alumni honored

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From left, Dealey Herndon, Scott Caven, Karen Nyberg, Matthew McConaughey, Jody Conradt, Earl Campbell, and John Massey. (Photo by Mark Rutkowski) This past weekend, the Texas Exes and University of Texas honored six alumni with our highest award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award, and one non-alumnus with the Distinguished Service Award. I’d like to share these […]

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Academy of Distinguished Teachers welcomes new members

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   (From left) Sam Gosling, President Powers, Beth Pomeroy, Doug Bruster, and Oguzhan Bayrak. Not pictured are Peter Stone and John Stanton. On Wednesday, UT’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers inducted six new members. I’d like to share a little bit about each of this year’s inductees: Oguzhan Bayrak is director of the Ferguson Structural Engineering […]

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National Academy of Engineering welcomes four UT faculty

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New inductees clockwise from top-left, Thomas Edgar, Greg Fenves, Yale Patt, and Bob Schutz. With them are, left, C.D.  Mote Jr., President, National Academy of Engineering, and right, Charles O. Holliday Jr., Chairman, National Academy of Engineering. Last week, four professors from UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering traveled to Washington, D.C., for their induction into the National […]

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Times Higher Education: UT Austin No. 28 in world

I’m proud to report that once again the London-based publication Times Higher Education has ranked The University of Texas at Austin among the best universities in the world. This year, UT came in at No. 28. This is the fourth consecutive year we have ranked in the top 29. Among public universities in the United […]

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State of the University strong thanks to focus on mission

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Yesterday afternoon, I had the privilege of delivering my ninth and final State of the University Address to the University of Texas community. In the address, I said: Thirty-seven years ago I fell in love with UT. A lot went into that, but nothing more than our people. Our amazing students. Our unbelievably talented faculty. […]

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