Texas Engineering alumni lead industries, launch companies and help develop solutions that improve lives around the world. We’re proud to share just a few of their accomplishments from the past year.


Jack Randall (B.S. CE 1972, M.S. CE 1975) received a Presidential Citation from UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves for his notable contributions and exceptional service to the university. Randall initiated and completed hundreds of merger and acquisition transactions over the course of his career, including one of the largest in U.S. history, and he was honored with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from Oil and Gas Investor magazine for his pioneering contributions to the energy M&A industry.

Jim Truchard (Ph.D. ECE 1974), co-founder of National Instruments, was selected as a 2019 inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. With UT colleague Jeff Kodosky, Truchard invented the LabVIEW programming language that revolutionized the way engineers and scientists measure, test and control applications. Propelled by LabVIEW’s success, National Instruments became one of the world’s leading developers of virtual instruments for science and engineering.


Susan Howes (B.S. P E 1982), vice president of engineering at Subsurface Consultants & Associates LLC, received an honorary membership from the Society of Petroleum Engineers for her rare combination of skills as a degreed licensed professional petroleum engineer and a registered professional in HR.

Jill Meyers (B.S. ASE 1987) was elected fellow of London’s Royal Aeronautical Society, the world’s only professional body dedicated to the aerospace community. She is the owner of Meyers AeroConsulting LLC, which provides management consulting services to aviation and aerospace organizations worldwide, and she is an experienced public speaker on topics ranging from “Women in Aviation and Aerospace” to “Aerospace Engineering as a Career.”


Tim Crain (B.S. ASE 1995, M.S. ASE 1999, Ph.D. ASE 2000) is the vice president of research and development and co-founder of Intuitive Machines LLC, which was recently awarded a contract by NASA to develop, launch and land its Nova-C spacecraft on the lunar surface with a payload of NASA and private experiments. The award places Intuitive Machines on a path to become the first private U.S. company to land a spacecraft on the moon.

Matt Chasen (B.S. ME 1998), founder of uShip, unveiled a new experiential entertainment venture called LIFT Aircraft, which has developed its own electric, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft named Hexa. At LIFT locations around the country, consumers will be able to rent and pilot the aircraft with minimal training, thanks to modern drone technology and autonomy that will make Hexa significantly safer than today’s general aviation aircraft.


Steve Habachy (B.S. PE 2000, M.S. PE 2006) is the president and COO of Houston-based WildFire Energy I LLC, a new oil and gas exploitation and production company that recently secured a line of equity totaling more than $1 billion. Habachy was previously the COO and executive vice president of WildHorse Resource Development Corporation.

Justin Klug (B.S. ChE 2000) was appointed president of Capitolis, a pioneering technology provider for capital markets, after serving on its leadership team for the past two years, most recently as COO. He was previously managing director at Credit Suisse, where he led the U.S. rates structuring team and was responsible for developing, executing and monitoring strategic and tactical business lines across the macro franchise.

Lori Magruder (Ph.D. ASE 2001), a senior research scientist at UT Austin’s Applied Research Laboratories, is the science team lead for NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), which launched in September 2018. The satellite uses a green laser to track changes in the elevation of the planet’s polar ice sheets to within a fraction of an inch, helping scientists track the melting ice and gain an elevated view of climate change.

Jason Craig (B.S. PE 2002) and John Campbell (B.S. PE 2009) were named by Hart Energy’s Oil and Gas Investor magazine as 2018 Forty Under 40 honorees, a select group of influential individuals who have excelled in entrepreneurial leadership and furthered the goals of their organizations and the industry through initiative, intelligence and persistence. Craig is a managing director at Denham Capital, where he backs both upstream and midstream companies working in the Lower 48, and Campbell is the CEO and co-founder of Percussion Petroleum LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company headquartered in Houston.

Jillian Jopling (B.S. PE 2004) was honored as an Outstanding Leader in Energy at the Houston Business Journal’s 2019 Women Who Mean Business Awards. After developing into a proven “oil finder” at Hilcorp Energy Company, Jopling took on a leadership role as Hilcorp’s asset team leader in southeast Louisiana, where she has pushed her team to achieve stretch targets and become one of the company’s most profitable sets of assets.

Lauren Gardner (B.S. ArE 2006, M.S. CE 2008, Ph.D. CE 2011), associate professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins University, co-authored a study that identified the 25 counties across the country most at risk for a measles outbreak due to low-vaccination rates compounded by a high volume of international travel.

Kristen John (B.S. ASE 2008), a researcher with the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is the creator and principal investigator of NASA’s new Hermes Facility. This experiment station will connect to the International Space Station’s existing systems and enable asteroid researchers to remotely conduct experiments by communicating with the station from the ground.


Denis Felikson (M.S. ASE 2013, Ph.D. ASE 2018) received the Early-Career Award from the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences for research on glacier thinning that he conducted as a UT Austin graduate student. The results of his work will help researchers identify which glaciers are vulnerable to thinning by examining their shape.

Michael Legatt (M.S. ECE 2015, Ph.D. ECE 2016) is the founder and CEO of ResilientGrid Inc., which develops software solutions and services that put the operator at the center of electric grid operations. The company was recently selected to provide software for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Situational Awareness Initiative, which will cover the North American bulk power system.

David Miller (M.S. BME 2016, Ph.D. BME 2018), a postdoctoral research fellow working with UT professor Andrew Dunn, was the first prize recipient of the Baxter Young Investigator Award for his work related to the visualization of blood flow during surgery. The award seeks to stimulate the development of therapies and medical innovations that save and sustain patients’ lives.

Dakota Stormer (B.S. ChE 2017), carbon opportunities analyst at Shell, recently launched Footprint, an interactive app that tracks your carbon footprint. Currently a beta product that will soon be available on most smartphones, the app provides a base measurement of your carbon footprint based on a number of variables and enables you to both compare it with your friends and compete to lower it.

Siddarth Kaki (B.S. ASE 2018), who is now pursuing his master’s and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering at UT Austin, was selected by Aviation Week Network and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for its prestigious award program, “20 Twenties,” which recognizes 20 of the nation’s top students pursuing STEM Degrees.

Andrew Riali (B.S. ASE 2018) was recently named the lead mission assurance engineer for the NG-14 Cygnus Spacecraft at Northrop Grumman Innovations Systems. The Cygnus program is a contract awarded by NASA to build spacecraft that can deliver cargo to the International Space Station.