Texas A&M System Regents Approve 22 Regents Professors and Regents Fellows

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has designated 15 faculty members and seven agency service, extension or research professionals within the A&M System as Regents Professors and Regents Fellows for 2019-2020.

“These individuals exemplify the commitment to excellence in research and service that sets A&M System employees apart,” Elaine Mendoza, Chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. “I hope their example will inspire others in their own endeavors.”

The Board established the Regents Professor Awards program in 1996 and the Regents Fellow Service Awards program in 1998 to recognize employees who have made extraordinary contributions to their university, or agency, as well as to the people of Texas.

This year’s recipients of the Regents Professor Award are:

  • Dr. Julia Ballenger, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Dr. Frances Bernat, Texas A&M International University
  • Dr. Jane Bolin, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
  • Dr. Fred Bonner II, Prairie View A&M University
  • Dr. Yassin Hassan, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Alex Hunt, West Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Patrick Louchouarn, Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • Dr. Bhimanagouda “Bhimu” Patil, Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research 
  • Dr. Luz Mary Rincon, Texas A&M University-Texarkana
  • Dr. Susan Roberson, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
  • Dr. Christine Stanley, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Gregory Stunz, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • Dr. David Threadgill, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
  • Dr. Edward Westermann, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
  • Dr. Peter Yu, Texas A&M University

This year’s recipients of the Regents Fellow Service Awards are:

  • Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
  • Mr. D. Lance Bullard, Jr., Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • Dr. Susan Chrysler, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • Mr. John Crawford, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
  • Col. Alphonse Gregory Davis, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
  • Mr. Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service
  • Dr. Ruben Saldaña, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The selection process for the awards begins with a call for nominations from the chancellor. Final nominations are put forth to the chief executive officer of each respective entity. They are then subject to a System-level review consisting of academic vice chancellors and past recipients of the awards. Finally, nominations are forwarded to the chancellor and the board for final approval.

To date, 268 A&M system faculty members have been recognized with the Regents Professor Award and 157 agency professionals have received the Regents Fellow Service Award.

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 Regents OK World-Class Engineering Feat

The Texas A&M University System News Release

Hypersonic tunnel at Bush Combat Center to be built in two, half-kilometer phases

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Imagine you are engineering an enclosed, precisely instrumented, kilometer-long testing range to study objects as they travel faster than you could blink, at temperatures hotter than you could survive.

Imagine nobody has ever engineered or built anything before at such a large scale. Imagine that your success is widely seen as important to the future security of the United States.

You are imagining the real-world challenges faced by The Texas A&M University System as it prepares for construction of the Ballistic, Aero-optics and Materials (BAM) Test Range, part of the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC) on the RELLIS Campus.

The Texas A&M System Board of Regents Thursday approved a plan to build BAM in two phases. Phase one is planned to be 500 meters long. Construction is scheduled to start in April and be substantially completed by the end of 2022. It will cost $38.6 million.

Phase one will be able to operate continuously while phase two is being built. Phase two, which will complete the kilometer length, is expected to cost about $22 million. It will be operational in late 2023 or early 2024.

U.S. military leaders eagerly await BAM to help advance innovation of hypersonic vehicle systems and laser technology.

“BAM will be a world-class engineering feat,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. “It’s one of the big reasons the nation’s military and defense industry are turning to us for innovation.”

Completion of phase one alone will make BAM the largest enclosed hypersonics testing range in the U.S. It will give aerospace engineers and other experts in the field enormous new capacity for applied research and testing.

Phase-one experiments also will inform decision-making to ensure phase two is engineered in the best ways possible, ways that maximize the added capabilities that come with the full kilometer length.

“This two-phase approach is the responsible way ahead,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor for engineering and national laboratories of the Texas A&M System. “No one has ever constructed a kilometer-long facility like this before. It’s in the national interest that we proceed both quickly and carefully.”

BAM will bridge a critical gap in U.S. research capacity between lab-scale experiments and open-range tests, which can cost tens of millions of dollars per test.

Each phase of BAM will be two meters in diameter and contain a hypersonic rail-guided range; directed energy and laser diagnostics; and the capability to test how certain protective materials can withstand hypervelocity impacts.

BAM is one of the four interconnected facilities being built for the BCDC. They were designed in consultation with the military and the defense industry to create an ecosystem for innovation like no other in the U.S.

The BCDC will host experiments and demonstrations by researchers from Texas A&M University, other leading universities, the U.S. Army, other military branches, federal agencies, defense contractors and tech entrepreneurs.

The BCDC  is the result of a 2019 cooperative agreement between the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) and The Texas A&M University System, the State of Texas and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES.)

Last month the Department of Defense (DOD) selected TEES to lead a national consortium among more than 40 top U.S. universities to modernize hypersonic flight capabilities.

The University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics (UCAH) will work closely with key research institutions of government, national laboratories, federally funded research centers and industry. TEES will manage the DOD investment of up to $100 million over five years.

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, Los Alamos National Laboratory Form National Security Center

The Texas A&M University System News Release

The Joint Center for Resilient National Security Established to Counter Rapidly Evolving Threats

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents created a new center Thursday, through which the Texas A&M University System and Los Alamos National Laboratory collaboratively will address pressing national security issues.

The Joint Center for Resilient National Security will develop capabilities that can be applied to challenges such as maintaining national security in the face of rapidly evolving threats. It will leverage the latest academic research – including on topics such as high-performance computing and the behavior of systems under extreme conditions – to bolster capabilities of the national security laboratories.

Researchers from laboratories and universities also will address complex national security problems, including how to maintain nuclear deterrence without nuclear-explosive testing.

Chancellor John Sharp of the Texas A&M System said that universities bring the ability to produce graduates who will be well versed in areas vital to national labs.

“The A&M System is here to serve the nation through the new center,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. “Applying our expertise to solving national security challenges is part of our DNA, and this joint center is a natural extension of our work.”

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason noted that national security relies on timely responses to changes in the world. The resilience and responsiveness of the U.S. National Security Enterprise is dependent on scientists in the national security national laboratories working with key faculty from U.S. universities, like those at Texas A&M System campuses.

“Since the genesis of LANL, engagement with faculty across the nation has been a crucial component to our national security mission,” Mason said. “The lab is looking forward to working with the Texas A&M System through the new center to ensure the continuation of purposeful mission-driven engagement between the labs and universities.”

The center will have co-directors at the Texas A&M System and the New Mexico-based national lab. The role will be filled for the Texas A&M System by Jim Morel, professor of nuclear engineering. The acting co-director from Los Alamos National Laboratory will be John Scott.

Professor Morel joined the faculty of Texas A&M University in summer 2005. For the previous two decades he served at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a technical staff member and group leader. He is one of the world’s leading experts on computational methods, especially for particle transport problems.

John Scott is the National Security and International Studies office director at Los Alamos National Laboratory. During his 20-year tenure at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he has had various leadership roles in nuclear weapons programs including group leader for Integrated Design and Assessment and deputy division leader for Theoretical Design.

The Texas A&M System, the University of California and Battelle Memorial Institute began the management of Los Alamos National Laboratory in November 2018 as members of Triad National Security, LLC.

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: Tim Eaton
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6018
teaton@tamus.edu

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