UTA faculty and alumnus celebrated as ‘Tech Titans’ in 2016 awards


The University of Texas at Arlington continues to set new standards of excellence with ground-breaking research and new frontiers of knowledge that impact the developing megacity of the future that is the Dallas-Arlington-Ft. Worth region.

Three faculty and a graduate of UTA won Tech Titans Awards for excellence and leadership in technology fields in 2016, announced at a recent celebratory gala. UTA professors won the the Tech Titans Inventors Award and Tech Titans of the Future University Award and a UTA alumnus was named Tech Titans Corporate Company CEO of the year.

The prestigious Tech Titans awards, presented by the Technology Association of North Texas, recognizes the elite in North Texas technology and seeks to salute those individuals and companies transforming the high-tech industry, developing a competitive edge, and leading the way in innovation, adaptation and execution of technology.

This year's UTA awardees are:

  • Purnendu "Sandy" Dasgupta, Hamish Small Chair in Ion Analysis and James Garrett Professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, received the Tech Titans Technology Inventors Award for his numerous innovations in chemical and environmental analysis
  • Kevin Schug, professor and Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, along with Laura Mydlarz, associate professor and associate chair of biology, received the Tech Titans of the Future University Level Award for their leadership of the Achieving Success in Science through Undergraduate Research and Engagement or ASSURE program
  • UTA alumnus Chris MacFarland, Chairman and CEO of Masergy, received the 2016 Tech Titans Corporate Company CEO Award.

"I'm extremely proud of our exceptional faculty and accomplished alumnus who were recognized by these prestigious Tech Titans Awards," said UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari. "All three professors embody the unprecedented excellence in research, teaching and community engagement that is powering UTA's drive to pre-eminence through our Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact. We are also immensely proud of our Chris MacFarland's success at Masergy, and his award as Corporate Company CEO of the year."

Zhenhua Yao, senior vice president of ZTE, the company sponsoring the Tech Titans Inventors Award, underlined that "Dr. Dasgupta's inventions simplify the broad area of chemical and environmental analysis by representing radical new departures on existing practices to impact a range of fields from the environment to health care, semiconductor fabrication and law enforcement." Dasgupta was ranked among the Top 100 most influential people in the world of analytical science by the monthly journal The Analytical Scientist in 2015.

Jim McGee, senior director of Huawei Technologies, presented the Tech Titans of the Future University Award to Schug and Mydlarz for their leadership of the ASSURE program, a highly successful undergraduate research program "where students create their own experiments, work with peer mentors, then publish and present their research in manuscripts and verbal presentations at symposiums," he said. The undergraduate research experience is unique among large public universities and a growth area that UTA envisions for its baccalaureate candidate students.

Ashley Purgason, UTA assistant vice president for strategic initiatives and director of the ASSURE program, added, "Our ASSURE program, presented by these outstanding faculty, is enhancing experiential learning, exposing students to technologies and the process of research as undergraduates. Dr. Schug, Dr. Mydlarz and our entire team have given the students a safe space to stretch their limits and explore the excitement of scholarship."

Alan Hartmann, senior manager of Moss Adams, the company sponsoring the Corporate Company CEO Award, emphasized that UTA alumnus Chris MacFarland and Masergy chairman and CEO is "an individual whose leadership and business expertise have turned his software company around when it was facing considerable challenges at the beginning of the recession in 2008." Masergy owns and operates the largest independent Software Defined Platform in the world, delivering hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communication to enterprises around the globe.

"I am proud to receive the Tech Titans CEO of the Year award," said MacFarland, "and glad to see that UTA professors have also received recognition. UTA provided me with a great education and foundation on which I have built my business success."

The Tech Titans Awards were launched in 2001 by the Metroplex Technology Business Council, which is North Texas's largest technology trade association, representing a quarter of a million employees through more than 300 member companies. MTBC changed its name to Tech Titans in August 2015.


About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit http://www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at http://www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

For more on the Strategic Plan, see Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

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