UT speakers attending SXSW 2023

Sage Dunlap, Associate Life&Arts Editor

As acts from across the world pour into Austin for SXSW, Longhorns can enjoy festival festivities right in their own backyard. From scientists to student athletes, The Daily Texan compiled a list of UT-affiliated speakers presenting at SXSW.

The Future of Tech? It looks a Lot Like Austin

 March 11, 1-2 p.m. at Banger’s

This panel discussion invites tech professionals to discuss the future of Austin’s bustling tech scene. Speakers will include representatives from the Texas Institute for Electronics, Tesla, therapeutic company Curza and the Department of Defense to talk about what the presence of both industry giants and new cutting-edge tech startups in Austin means for the city’s evolution. The panel will be hosted by Christine Dixon Thiesing, the associate vice president of UT’s Discovery to Impact program.

How NIL is Changing the Game for College Athletics 

March 11, 4-5 p.m. at Banger’s

Name, image and likeness (NIL) describes unique characteristics that athletes can profit from, including their autograph, catchphrase or nickname. The NCAA granted student athletes the right to sell their NIL in 2021, expanding merchandising and sponsorship opportunities. Moderated by KXAN sports anchor Roger Wallace, the panel will host Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence and two Longhorn alums: former football player Ricky Brown, UT executive senior associate athletics director, and Lisa Hannusch, board advisor at Texas One Fund. Additionally, UT football head coach Steve Sarkisian will join the panel, and the group will discuss the role of NIL in college athletics.

Featured Session: Bijan Mustardson & the Future of NIL Partnerships

March 12, 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Austin Convention Center, Ballroom A

Longhorn running back Bijan Robinson will discuss the business behind his multiple NIL partnerships as well as his Dijon mustard brand, Bijan Mustardson. He will be joined by Natalie Tindall, director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations, as well as three other speakers, to talk about NIL and how Robinson made a business from his athletic success.

Featured Speaker: How Dr. Biberdorf Became Kate the Chemist

March 14, 10-11 a.m. at Austin Convention Center, Ballroom EF

Kate Biberdorf, an associate professor of chemistry at UT, is known for her entertaining hands-on approach to teaching science. According to her website, Biberdorf has reached nationwide audiences as a guest on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Late Show with Stephen Colbert and more. Additionally, the Longhorn chemist also boasts a few books on her list of accomplishments, including “The Big Book of Experiments,” “It’s Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything” and five installments of her “Kate the Chemist” book series. Biberdorf will speak about her favorite experiments, her Fun with Chemistry outreach program and UT’s TikTok ban.

Can Plastic-Eating Enzymes Save Our Planet?

March 11, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Austin Marriott Downtown, Waller Ballroom C

Professor Hal Alper, the executive director of the Center for Biomedical Research Support at UT, will discuss a possible solution for an overabundance of plastic-based pollution — plastic-eating enzymes. Alper will talk about recent developments and implementation plans for the enzyme.