We already know that Texas Engineering faculty and students are changing the world, but behind the scenes, staff and administrators are the ones keeping things running smoothly. From alumni outreach to student life programming, staff members dedicate themselves to improving and advancing the Cockrell School. Read about two of our many “unsung heroes,” and find out what inspires them to build a better Texas Engineering experience for the next generation.

Yma Revuelta

Yma Revuelta

Title: Director of Advising

Years at UT Austin: 10


Academic advising is one of the most important things a Texas Engineering student can participate in to ensure success. Under the direction of Yma Revuelta, advising in the Engineering Student Services office goes beyond simply helping students select their course schedules.

Her average day might include meeting with students to discuss their academic and career goals, checking in on the advising team to offer guidance and direction, mentoring a first-year interest group or welcoming new students at orientation. And while the role is fast-paced and everchanging, Revuelta says it’s easy to keep motivated.

“Whenever a student asks for help, I’m immediately motivated to get things done,” she said. “Our approach as advisors is to meet with any student who walks through our doors. We consider it our duty to follow through and to make students feel respected and heard.”

After years of guiding students from their first class to their last final exam, one of the most rewarding things for Revuelta is to watch her students walk the stage at graduation, knowing everything they have encountered along the way.

“We produce tough engineers,” she said. “And I’m happy to say that I get to meet many of them, play a part in their college experience and then watch them become the innovators that will one day change the world.”

The Cockrell School is home to me. I feel like I make a difference here. Every day is different and can be hard, but I love what I do.”

—Yma Revuelta


James Hitzfelder

Title: Facilities Manager

Years at UT Austin: 30


Within the walls of the Microelectronics Research Center (MRC) at UT’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus, Cockrell School engineers are advancing the fields of electronics, optics, physics and more to develop next-generation materials and devices. And James Hitzfelder is the person who ensures the researchers have what they need to perform this work, that the building and its labs are running smoothly.

As the MRC facilities manager, Hitzfelder and his team of 10 are responsible for helping the community of faculty members and student researchers who work at MRC, doing everything from customizing equipment and optimizing research spaces to stocking supplies and making sure the lights stay on.

Hitzfelder credits his team for working diligently to keep the MRC afloat.

“This team — their daily enthusiasm — they really make this job a piece of cake,” he said. “Their diverse personalities work so well together to get things done.”

With a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UT and a passion for blacksmithing and machining, Hitzfelder has developed the philosophy that if there isn’t an obvious solution, just build one.

“We want the faculty and students who use this facility to feel spoiled,” Hitzfelder said. “Every day is different, and it’s our job to find creative solutions to the various problems that arise in the building.”

We face daily challenges head-on, because our goal is to help faculty and students however we can so that they can get the world-changing work done in the most efficient and accessible way.”

—James Hitzfelder