The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

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Dallas 500 Most Influential List Includes UTD Leaders

Dallas 500 Most Influential List Includes UTD Leaders

Four University of Texas at Dallas leaders were featured in D CEO’s Dallas 500 special edition, which celebrates the most influential North Texans across a broad spectrum of industries. The Dallas 500 includes interviews and conversations with leaders who drive the North Texas economy.

The special edition of D CEO recognizes the following UT Dallas leaders:

President Richard C. Benson
Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership

President Benson is the fifth president of The University of Texas at Dallas, a young university of very high research activity (Carnegie R1) that is growing rapidly in size and stature. Between 2007 and 2017, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, UT Dallas was the nation’s second-fastest growing public university.

As dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, Benson oversaw record growth from 2005 to 2016. The number of engineering applicants nearly doubled during his tenure. Also, the College of Engineering climbed to a top-10 ranking in the National Science Foundation’s report on engineering schools’ research expenditures.

Benson has received three significant honors from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 1984 he received the ASME Henry Hess Award, which honors a research publication by a young author. In 1998 he was made a Fellow of the ASME. In 2009 he was elected to a three-year term on the ASME Board of Governors. He has also held editorial positions with the ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, ASME Press and Applied Mechanics Reviews.

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham
Founders Chair in Engineering and Computer Science
Executive Director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute

Dr. Thuraisingham is one of the leading experts in data security and data mining. She works behind the scenes of our ever-increasing digital world to protect billions of pieces of data. But even as she seeks to protect confidential information, she’s developing better ways to sift through mountains of data in search of potential terrorists.

Thuraisingham was named a fellow of National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the British Computer Society (BCS). She was the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s 1997 Technical Achievement Award for her work in secure data management and the 2010 ACM SIGSAC (Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control) Outstanding Contributions Award for “seminal research contributions and leadership in data and applications security for over 25 years.”

Dr. Walter Voit BS’05, MS’06
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Director of the Center for Engineering Innovation in the Jonsson School Founder and CEO of Adaptive 3D Technologies

Dr. Voit is founder and CEO of Adaptive 3D Technologies, a company launched through the UT Dallas Venture Development Center.

At UT Dallas, Voit is founder and principal investigator of the Advanced Polymer Research Laboratory where he explores the thermomechanics of shape memory polymers, flexible bioelectronics, next generation neural interfaces, 3-D printing, degradable polymers and the effects of ionizing radiation on polymers. His laboratory continues work on Polycraft World, a Minecraft modification used to teach materials science concepts which has recently received a DARPA grant to train AI systems. He is a DARPA Young Faculty Awardee and DARPA Director’s Fellow and works closely with industry.

Voit graduated high school valedictorian and was recruited to UT Dallas through the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program. As a McDermott Scholar, Voit worked at Los Alamos National Labs and at Dallas nanotechnology startup company Zyvex. Voit received a BS in Computer Science in May 2005 and a master's degree in Computer Science from UT Dallas in August 2006.


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