Anyone using a cellphone, laptop or electric vehicle depends on lithium. The element is in tremendous demand. And although the supply of lithium around the world is plentiful, getting access to it and extracting it remains a challenging and inefficient process.

An interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists is developing a way to extract lithium from contaminated water. New research, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, could simplify the process of extracting lithium from aqueous brines, potentially create a much larger supply and reduce costs of the element for batteries to power electric vehicles, electronics and a wide range of other devices.

solar panels

SPF2050 is led by Brian Korgel, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering's McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and director of UT's Energy Institute. Formerly known as the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics, the center changed its name to reflect its broad mission to support industry and government partners in reaching their ambitious energy sustainability net-zero energy goals.

two new faculty headshots

The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering is proud to announce two new faculty members who will join the department’s faculty.

Brian Korgel, a professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, will be the next director of the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, effective Sept. 1.

group of four award winners

The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering awards the Teaching Assistant of the Year award to a teaching assistant (TA) who demonstrated an exceptional experience for the students and professor. In a year where all instruction was virtual and students had to adapt to a new educational norm, contributions as a TA were especially important.

Roger Bonnecaze, an internationally recognized expert in rheology and nanomanufacturing modeling and simulation and a former chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, has been named interim dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

David Allen headshot

Professor Dave Allen of the Cockrell School’s McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering will receive a prestigious Eni Award, a top honor in the fields of energy and environmental research.

The most complete picture yet is coming into focus of how antibodies produced in people who effectively fight off SARS-CoV-2 work to neutralize the part of the virus responsible for causing infection. In the journal Science, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin describe the finding, which represents good news for designing the next generation of vaccines to protect against variants of the virus or future emerging coronaviruses.

Celadyne Technologies, a University of Texas at Austin spinout that makes materials to improve hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers, has received an investment from Shell Ventures.

Carmen Wright interview banner

The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering had the opportunity to sit down with an inspirational alumna, Dr. Carmen Wright, the first black female Ph.D. ChE graduate from The University of Texas at Austin.