12 hours on The Forty Acres

The action never stops at the Cockrell School of Engineering, from dawn to dusk – and beyond. Here’s a slice of what an average day looks like on the engineering campus on the Forty Acres.

Experience a day in the life of Texas Engineering ↓

6:38 a.m.

Ruben Alemanares-Ayala, a member of the custodial staff, grabs a quick breakfast taco from O’s at the Engineering Education and Research Center to start his day with Texas Engineers.

7:22 a.m.

A cloudy, grey, overcast sky over the Biomedical Engineering building as the day on the Forty Acres begins.

Editor’s note: We were not expecting this weather. The weather app said it would be sunny, so this was a cozy surprise.

8:26 a.m.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics’ External Advisory Committee meets to discuss research updates, student projects, the future of the department and more.

Editor’s Note: The warm croissants at the meeting were exactly what we needed to jumpstart this adventure.

9:21 a.m.

Class of 2025 students Noah Sell, Bryce Terhune, Romain Roussel and Benjamin Dunstone work inside the aerodynamics lab as they attach a 3D winglet to their plane to test the drag – the aerodynamic force that pushes back on aircrafts’ motion through the air.

Teaching assistant Yoo-Jin Ahn, a Ph.D. candidate in aerospace engineering, helps guide their research.

10:02 a.m.

The Chemical and Petroleum Engineering building, with this display of colorful flowers and plants, always makes for a mandatory pause in the day.

Editor’s note: You may also recognize this location, due to the famous Clock Knot sculpture, which is right behind us as we snap this pic.

10:39 a.m.

Class of 2024 chemical engineering majors Rito Carrizales and Andres Avila are deeply engaged in their studies inside the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering’s student lounge ahead of the Thanksgiving Break.

Editor’s Note: It makes sense to study indoors on this dreary day.

11:04 a.m.

Welcome to the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop. Freshly minted alumna Kathleen Leyendecker works on her final project for her ME 350 course: Machine Tool Operation for Engineers before graduating in December 2023.

Editor’s Note: Congrats, Kathleen!

11:41 a.m.

Evan King, an electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. candidate in software engineering and systems, runs tests on his invention of a “smarter smart home” named Sasha. Unlike current smart home assistant functions, Evan and his team programmed Sasha to handle more ambiguous requests like “make it cozy in here” or “Sasha, I need an energy boost” to better anticipate user needs through informal communication.

12:15 p.m.

It’s lunch time! On the engineering campus, O’s is often the go-to spot where everyone convenes.

Editor’s note: Our team is a big fan of “Enchilada Thursdays,” as you can see all of us about to dive into these works of art.

1:20 p.m.

Texas Inventionworks, a multifaceted program with a focus on interdisciplinary initiatives, always has something cool going on. This 3D-printed UT Tower is actually a lamp that glows a burnt orange color when connected to the bottom piece.

2:23 p.m.

Dean, dean, dean — it’s our dean! Cockrell School of Engineering Dean Roger Bonnecaze deep in discussion with Eloisa Acha, executive director of industry and research relations.

3:34 p.m.

New name, who this? This fall we unveiled the newly renamed Fariborz Maseeh Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. This naming represents an innovative approach to training civil, architectural and environmental engineering students.

4:09 p.m.

Class is in session: Bob Gilbert, chair of the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, shares knowledge with students.

5:22 p.m.

The Graduate Undergraduate Research Union (GURU) hosts its “GURU LINK” event where graduate students connect with undergraduate students to provide an overview of different research projects in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

5:43 p.m.

Students get a chance to tour labs where world-changing research happens.

6:20 p.m.

Alexa, play “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves at full volume. When the sun sets on the Forty Acres, we like to visit the Gary L. Thomas Energy Engineering Building — The GLT marks the southernmost cap of the engineering corridor, completing the line of engineering facilities that begins with the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and Engineering Technology Center buildings at its northern end.

Thanks for joining us on this 12-hour day on the engineering campus — hook ‘em

by Ramces Luna