The time has once come again to say goodbye to our graduates as they prepare to take flight and begin changing the world. We chatted with a few of them on their way out the door. Learn more about their experiences on the Forty Acres and what they plan to do next. Congratulations, Class of 2019!

Revanth Bodepudi, M.S. Aerospace Engineering

Raventh Bodepudi webOriginally from India, Revanth Bodepudi came to The University of Texas after being recruited by Kenneth M. Liechti, a professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics. Once on the Forty Acres, Bodepudi worked as a graduate research assistant in the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program under the advisement of Liechti.

For his master’s thesis, Bodepudi has been working on an interdisciplinary project studying the ‘mechanical’ properties and potential applications of ‘Germanium Nanowire Membrane and Aerogel’.

“I developed a bulge test experiment which can be used to determine the elastic mechanical properties of any porous nanonetwork structures, membranes & nanocrystal films,” he said. “Measuring the mechanical properties of porous nanomaterials is extremely difficult using the current techniques and the experiment setup that I developed can solve this problem!”

“These materials can be used for water purification and electronics as well to enhance the life of batteries,” he continued. “The ‘Germanium nanowire membrane and aerogels’ are very thin – in the nanometer range – and it’s difficult to measure its properties, so we’ve developed our own setup to test these ‘materials’.”

With this technology, Bodepudi hopes to aid in the implementation of low-cost water purifiers and batteries that can power a device for days with just a one-hour charge.           

Now that he has completed his UT graduate degree, Bodepudi is confident in his ability to work in any engineering industry revolving around structures or mechanics. He will be joining Schlumberger in Houston this summer.

Katherine Bourland, B.S. Aerospace Engineering

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Katherine Bourland comes from a family with a long line of engineers. In fact, not only are both of her parents engineers – her siblings are also studying engineering in the Cockrell School at UT Austin.

“UT seemed like the right fit for me,” said Bourland. “It’s close to home but not uncomfortably close either.”

Bourland discovered her passion for aerospace engineering in high school, and once on the Forty Acres, she quickly joined student organizations such as Women in Aerospace for Leadership and Development (WIALD) and the student chapter for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She says the diversity that she’s found at UT is certainly one of the better aspects that she’s enjoyed as a student.

“It’s been an adventure – there have been highs and lows, but at UT there are also so many options that it’s sometimes been hard to choose,” she said. “I’ve really liked having all these options available.”

This sentiment is especially meaningful to students who want to branch out from their field, like Bourland, who has developed an interdisciplinary interest in the field of intelligence.

“I have a conditional job offer with an aerospace company, and an offer from the federal government as well,” she said, “It’s nice to have companies and institutions recruiting me, and it reduces stress for sure.”

Regardless of which route she pursues, Bourland says that she has her family to thank for the support she’s had as a student.

“It’s a little Cliché,” she said. “But my parents and siblings have always supported me, especially because my siblings have been here at UT with me.”

Michael Langford, B.S. Computational Engineering, B.A., Music

michael langford

Michael Langford grew up in Plano, Texas, where at an early age, he became enthralled with the concept of exploring the exterior of Earth’s atmosphere and unexplored worlds.

“As my curiosity grew, I spent time reading every book about space in our school's library several times over,” Langford said. “By this point, it was obvious that something related to aerospace engineering would be in my future.”

Excitement to begin a new phase of his life is what inspired Langford to come to UT.

“Many of my friends from high school decided to attend UT as well and Austin wasn't too far from home,” he said. “I thought that attending UT would be a good transition into the next phase of my life.”

Langford originally started as a mechanical engineering major, then after two years he switched gears and declared computational engineering – a first-of-its kind undergraduate major within the ASE/EM department – as his new major. He also applied to the Butler School of Music that semester. He also studied abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in fall 2016, his first semester as a music and computational engineering major.

Langford also retained an interest in student involvement, which is why he became heavily involved in student organizations like the Engineering Chamber Orchestra, the Hong Kong UST Philharmonic Orchestra and the Association of Computational Engineers, which have all helped him in his undergraduate research thesis on teaching a neural network how to compose Bach-like fugues.

“I’m researching the effectiveness of several types of artificial neural networks in generating performances of keyboard music in the style of J.S. Bach,” Langford said. “This research spans the fields of artificial intelligence, music and computational engineering.”

As for where he’ll go next, Langford has accepted a full-time position in data engineering at Capital One, which he believes he’ll be at for the foreseeable future. He has also has kept his deep passion for one thing in particular – music.

“I also majored in music, so for my side hustle, I hope to join a local symphony orchestra or teach some students viola.”