In the summer of 1986, the University of Houston announced a
major partnership joining the University with businesses and local,
Administration awarded the University $5.5 million to fund a
Center for the Commercialization of Space to develop space vacuum epitaxy technology. Drs. Paul Chu and Alex Ignatiev, professors of physics, head the research effort that uses the vacuum of
space to produce the next generation of microelectronics. This
center is supported by NASA, the state, the University and a
consortium of industries and will have total funding of over $15
Technology transfer ventures between University basic research
programs and industries interested in developing the commercial
aspects of new discoveries, dramatically illustrate the contributions
of University research to the city and state's economic development efforts.
UH has accomplished one of the most dramatic research expansions in the nation with research expenditures doubling from $11.5
million in fiscal year 83 to over $23 million in fiscal year 86.
The University's mission is to support the creative process and
the development of new knowledge and to transfer that knowledge
to students and the community.
Richard L. Van Horn*
University of Houston
Nearly a year ago, the Coordinating Board of the Texas
College and University System
released the list of projects to
receive funds from the state's
new $35 million Texas Advanced Technology Research
Program (TATR). Eighteen
projects at the University of
Houston were funded for more
than $7.1 million.
"I think this is a tribute to the
quality of our faculty and will
be an excellent benefit to the
University and the city," Dr.
Richard Van Horn, UH President said.
The additional TATR funding will push UH research
funding to an all-time high,
somewhere between $23 and
$25 million for fiscal year 1986,
more than double the total research funding in 1983. Last fiscal year, the campus received
$16.4 million in new funding,
with more than $11 million dollars coming from federal
sources. This recent funding
success anchors UH among the
top three non-medical research
universities in the state for external research funding, according to Julie Norris, Director of
the Office of Sponsored Programs.
The trend supports a statement made by Lt. Gov. William
P. Hobby, citing the University
as one of three Texas universities that should be expanded
into nationally recognized research institutions. He said that
research expansion of UH as
well as Texas Tech University in
Lubbock and a university in the
Dallas-Fort Worth area, would
ensure the economic vitality of
Why did the campus com
pete so well for this money?
Most administrators point to
faculty quality. By hiring young
faculty and nurturing their research careers, UH has developed professors with growing
reputations. Additionally, researchers made certain proposals that were Texas-oriented,
explaining how the research will
help Texas compete for high-
The physics department attracted the most funding with
four projects receiving $1.63
million. Overall, nine projects in
the College of Natural Sciences
and Mathematics received nearly $3.15 million, seven projects
in the Cullen College of Engineering received $3 million, one
project in the College of Optometry received $650,000 and
one project with the Allied
Geophysical Laboratories re
ceived $270,000. The bulk of the
University research is in one of
three fields; biotechnology, materials science and microelectronics but other research areas
include agriculture, aerospace,
energy and physics. Specific
Dr. Edgar Bering, physics,
$350,000 for the development of
a miniaturized, energy sensitive
x-ray video camera for aerospace and related research.
Dr. Russell Geanangle,
chemistry, $250,000 to research
new hybrid materials.
Dr. Charles Goochee, chemical engineering, $515,000 to research the response of microbial
structures and cells to environmental stress.
Dr. Thomas Hsu, civil engineering, $617,000 to study high
performance concrete and other