U.S. Army Secretary visits Texas A&M System Bush Combat Development Complex

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2020

McCarthy praises Texas A&M project for collaboration among
researchers, industry and soldiers in pursuit of high-tech military innovation

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy visited the RELLIS Campus today to see progress on The Texas A&M University System’s new and unique contribution to military modernization.

McCarthy toured construction of the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC), where leading U.S. researchers will work with warriors on high-tech solutions to real-world national security challenges.

The BCDC’s first strategic partner is the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC), which has contracted with the Texas A&M System to research, experiment with and test prototypes for next-generation soldiering.

McCarthy started at the Research Integration Center, a three-story facility where engineers, scientists, soldiers and other stakeholders will collaborate on emerging technologies.

Find video of his tour here: https://vimeo.com/463612070

The secretary also saw the locations for two soon-to-be-built test ranges — one for hypersonic delivery systems, the other for battlefield communications and autonomous vehicles.

“This complex for collaboration in applied research is beyond any expectation I could have had,” McCarthy said. “There is a tremendous opportunity here with Texas A&M for the U.S. Army, obviously, but also for the defense industry.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for industry to come, establish a footprint and vertically integrate research with manufacturing. The opportunity ceiling is very high.”

Designed in consultation with the military and the defense industry, the BCDC will fill critical gaps in the current modernization infrastructure. It will host experiments by researchers from Texas A&M University, other leading universities, the U.S. Army, other military branches, federal agencies, defense contractors and tech entrepreneurs.

“It’s no wonder that Secretary McCarthy marveled at the breadth of what we’re building,” said Col. Ross Guieb, BCDC executive director. “This will be a mini-research Pentagon — a high-tech hub for Army, industry and university-based experts to collaborate in one state-of-the-art location. Together we’ll develop next-generation defense capabilities to deter adversaries and convincingly win on any battlefield.”

Thanks to help from the Army and the State of Texas, the Texas A&M System is able to invest $200 million in the BCDC.

“We are proud to have Secretary McCarthy visit RELLIS as we prepare the campus to become America’s warfare innovation nexus,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. “We’re ready to meet the mission with an unmatched combination of facilities, researchers, expertise and devotion to service.”

Once completed, the BCDC will feature the largest enclosed hypersonic and directed energy testing range in the United States. It’s called BAM, which stands for Ballistic, Aero-optics and Materials. BAM will be one kilometer long and two meters in diameter, with instrumentation to test and evaluate high-energy lasers, hypersonic flight and the hypervelocity impact on various protective materials.

The Innovation Proving Ground (IPG) will host highly instrumented outdoor experiments on autonomous aerial, ground and subterranean vehicles as well as the smart communication systems, equipment and instruments needed in next-gen battlefield conditions.

“We are honored by Secretary McCarthy’s visit and pleased to show him how we are leveraging the state and federal investments with world-class researchers,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor for engineering and national laboratories of the Texas A&M System. “The BCDC reflects our enduring commitment to excellence in pursuit of national security.”

McCarthy also toured two other Texas A&M research laboratories for hypersonics and directed energy, and he met with students from the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M.

Texas A&M was McCarthy’s first stop in Texas to check on Army innovation initiatives. Tomorrow he visits AFC’s headquarters in Austin.

About the Bush Combat Development Complex
The George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC), located on the 2,000-acre RELLIS Campus, is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) and The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the State of Texas. The $200 million complex will bring together researchers from U.S. universities, the military and the private sector for collaboration, demonstrations and high-tech testing of initiatives to help accelerate military innovation. The BCDC is funded with $50 million from the State Legislature, $65 million from AFC and $85 million from the Texas A&M System. More on the BCDC here: https://engineeringmagazine.tamu.edu/

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The Texas A&M System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425 office
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

Or:

Mike Reilly
Marketing and Communications
(402) 679-0456
mreilly@tamus.edu

 

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Army Secretary to visit RELLIS Wednesday

The Texas A&M University System News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2020

MEDIA ADVISORY: Army Secretary to visit RELLIS Wednesday

Who? What?

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy will visit the RELLIS campus Wednesday to see construction underway at the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC) and hear from Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) experts about the one-of-a-kind military modernization center.

Secretary McCarthy will meet with members of the media. Media members also will have an opportunity to tour the construction zone just prior to the secretary’s tour and talk with TAMUS experts.

When?

2 p.m. Media Tour
3:30 p.m. Brief press conference with Secretary McCarthy

Complete Timeline

1:45 to 2:30 p.m.
Members of the Media can tour the first major building under construction, the Research Integration Center (RIC), at 2 p.m.  Arrive at the parking lot by 1:45 p.m. for media tour.

2:45 p.m.
Secretary McCarthy will arrive for his tour.  Secretary McCarthy will be accompanied by Chancellor John Sharp, BCDC Executive Director Ross Guieb and other key university leaders.

3 p.m. to 3:30
Secretary McCarthy will tour the Research Integration Center (RIC) from 3 p.m. to 3:30. He will see progress on the facility and look over the future home of two soon-to-be-built test ranges — one for hypersonic delivery systems, the other for battlefield communications and autonomous vehicles.

3:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.
Secretary McCarthy will make remarks to news media and take questions at about 3:30 p.m., immediately after his tour. A tent will be set up in a parking area just outside of the construction zone. (See attached map)

Additional details:
Secretary McCarthy’s tour of the RIC will by videotaped Texas A&M and be available to interested media outlets Wednesday afternoon following the tour. Still photos also will be made available upon request.Media members who tour the RIC will need to dress for entering a construction zone: Long pants, long-sleeved shirt and closed-toed shoes.  Construction helmets and vests will be provided.

Worth noting
Ross Guieb, the BCDC Executive Director, Guieb once served as executive officer to then Army Under-Secretary McCarthy. The two men worked together on the organization and startup of Army Futures Command, the new modernization command that has formed a strategic partnership with The Texas A&M System and led to construction of the BCDC.

Contact: Mike Reilly
Marketing and Communications
(402) 679-0456
mreilly@tamu.edu

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Roderic Pettigrew, Innovator in Biomedicine and Technology, Is the 2020 Winner of the Vannevar Bush Award

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday congratulated the head of Texas A&M University’s Engineering Medicine, or EnMed, program,  who will receive a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the National Science Board.

The board announced Monday Roderic Pettigrew will be presented with the Vannevar Bush Award, which is considered one of the nation’s highest science awards. It honors lifelong science and technology leaders who have made exceptional contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science and technology and in shaping public policy.

“Roderic Pettigrew’s passion and creativity have spurred innovation in biomedicine,” said Victor McCrary, Vice Chair of the National Science Board and Chair of the 2020 NSB Honorary Awards Subcommittee. “His reimagining of healthcare solutions is helping converge science fields, narrowing gaps between disciplines in a way that really impacts society. Pettigrew is helping us to see what might be, what could be, and what is possible.”

Pettigrew’s contributions are wide-ranging. They include:

  • His service as the founding director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the National Institutes of Health.
  • His advanced treatment for spinal injuries that enabled some chronically paralyzed men to regain voluntary muscle movement and sensory function.
  • His use of radiation in cancer treatments.
  • His work to use MRI to image the beating heart and quantify blood flow.
  • His establishment of a partnership with the Indian government to develop cuff-less blood pressure measurement, along with other low cost diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.

Pettigrew’s work also involved bringing out the best in others. While at NIH created the Quantum Grants Program to encourage researchers to undertake “medical moon shots” to solve major challenges through technological innovation.

Pettigrew continues to help others archive greatness at Texas A&M, where he leads EnMed in Houston. The program blends engineering and medicine in a 4-year curriculum to develop problem-solving “physicianeers;” graduates who earn a medical degree and a master’s degree in engineering. Plus, they must invent a solution to a healthcare problem that is ready for a patent.
“It is an incredible honor to receive the Vannevar Bush Award, which is so steeped in science history,” Pettigrew said. “My only regret is that my parents are not alive to share this honor. They were my first role models.”

Pettigrew was raised in rural Georgia and attended segregated public schools before attending Morehouse College in Atlanta through a Merrill Scholarship. After graduating with a B.S. in physics in 1972, he earned a M.S. in nuclear science and engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Applied Radiation Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his work resulted in a new type of neutron activation radiation treatment of malignant brain tumors being pioneered at MIT-Harvard. In 1979 he received an M.D. from the University of Miami.

In recent years, he has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences India. He has received the Pierre Galletti Award from the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Distinguished Service Award of both the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and National Medical Association, the Pritzker Achievement Award of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and was the first winner of the Gold Medal of the Academy of Radiology Research. He also was awarded a Gold Medal from the Radiological Society of North America and received the Arthur M. Bueche Award from the National Academy of Engineering.

The NSB created the award in 1980 in memory of Vannevar Bush, who served as a science advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II, helped to establish federal funding for science and engineering as a national priority during peacetime and was behind the creation of the National Science Foundation. Past award recipients include: Leon Lederman (Fermilab), Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus (former NIH Director), Nobel Laureate Charles Townes (UC Berkeley -Laser Inventor), David Packard (Hewlett-Packard Company), Rita Colwell (former NSF Director), Charles Vest (former MIT President), and last year, Walter Massey (University of Chicago – oversaw Giant Magellan Telescope).


About the National Science Board
The National Science Board and the National Science Foundation’s Director jointly head NSF. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF’s future and establishes the agency’s policies. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with Science and Engineering Indicators, a biennial report on the state of science and engineering in the United States. Members are appointed by the President for six-year terms and selected for their eminence in research, education and records of distinguished service.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

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Search firm hired to find Texas A&M University’s next president

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The search for Texas A&M University’s next president shifted into high gear today after Chancellor John Sharp signed a contract with one of the top executive search firms in the nation.

“Finding new leadership for Texas A&M University is my top priority,” Sharp said. “Texas A&M is an exceptional place. Texas A&M demands exceptional leadership.”

Texas A&M’s next president needs to have more than just superb academic credentials. “Texas A&M needs someone who understands the importance of maintaining the unique culture and traditions that make Aggies so successful after earning their degrees,” Sharp said.

To accomplish this, Sharp hired Isaacson, Miller, the largest higher education executive search firm in the nation. “Isaacson, Miller has an outstanding reputation for finding leadership at large and prestigious universities,” Sharp said. “They also excel at attracting candidates from outside the Ivory Tower, from industry, the military, the financial world and from government.”

Isaacson, Miller has appointed John Isaacson, chair of the Board, and David Bellshaw, partner, to lead this search. Bellshaw is the leader of the firm’s higher education practice.

Texas A&M’s 17-member presidential search committee will now meet with Isaacson, Miller and begin extensive conversations with key leaders of the university. The 17-member presidential search committee will also hold forums — open to faculty, staff and students — to allow Isaacson, Miller the opportunity to hear from the campus community as they begin their search. Once the position has been thoroughly defined, Isaacson, Miller will spend several weeks identifying and cultivating suitable candidates before bringing them before the committee for consideration.

Sharp said his plan is to have a new president hired before President Michael K. Young steps down. Young will retire as president on May 31, 2021 and return to teaching at Texas A&M University. He also plans to lead the new Institute for Religious Liberties and International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

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Texas A&M System and the University of Tennessee Join Forces in Bid for Contract at Pantex, Y-12

The Texas A&M University System News Release
The Texas A&M System, West Texas A&M University will be able to provide workforce training & expertise in nuclear engineering, cybersecurity.
 
 
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Top leaders of The Texas A&M University System and the University of Tennessee System announced a strategic alliance Thursday for purposes of joining a team to compete for the management-and-operations contract of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee and the Pantex Plant in Texas.
 
 
Both university systems bring extensive experience in understanding the missions of these plants and experience in working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversee Y-12 and Pantex. The Texas A&M System is part of Triad National Security, which has managed Los Alamos National Laboratory since 2018. The University of Tennessee System is a member of UT-Battelle — the management team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2000.
 
 
Additionally, West Texas A&M University and the University of Tennessee Knoxville, have been significant workforce development resources for Pantex and Y-12, respectively, and their roles would expand under this alliance.
 
 
“The drive to serve our nation and provide workforce training for the nation’s nuclear security enterprise are woven into our DNA at the Texas A&M System,” Chancellor John Sharp of the Texas A&M System said. “We are eager to work with the University of Tennessee System to serve these two important federal facilities.”
 
 
Y-12 and Pantex represent key nuclear production capabilities in the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
 
 
“Partnering with Texas A&M to explore ways in which our university systems can further serve the U.S. Department of Energy at Y-12 and Pantex is a no-brainer,” UT System President Randy Boyd said. “Both institutions bring experience in M&O contracting, broad workforce and talent development programs, and a commitment to serve our students, states and the nation.”
 
 
Pantex, near Amarillo, is responsible for maintaining the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Work performed at Pantex includes: support of the nuclear weapons life extension programs; nuclear weapons assembly and dismantlement; the development, testing and fabrication of high explosive components; and interim storage and surveillance of plutonium pits.
 
 
Y-12, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the nation’s only source of enriched uranium nuclear weapons components and provides enriched uranium for the U.S. Navy.  Y-12 also performs materials science and precision manufacturing, stores enriched uranium and supports efforts to reduce nuclear proliferation risk.
 
 
The Texas A&M System currently provides engineering support to Pantex and partners with Y-12 to provide critical training for the nuclear security enterprise. The Texas A&M System also provides workforce training across a broad range of functions from nuclear criticality safety to high explosives to the NNSA. The University of Tennessee also has extensive training and collaborative programs experience with Y-12 and more broadly with the Department of Energy.
 
 
These university systems will bring a strong workforce development and training portfolio to a bid team.
 
The NNSA released a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) two weeks ago for the management contract of Pantex and Y-12. It can be viewed at
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/08/f77/Y-12_PX%20Draft%20RFP%20Announcement%20%2008.24.20.pdf
 
 

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

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