Texas A&M System Engineering Agency to Partner with Pantex

The Texas A&M University System News Release

Texas A&M System Personnel Will Support Nation’s Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

AMARILLO, Texas — Officials with The Texas A&M University System announced Thursday that Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) will help address critical needs in the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile by providing technical expertise, workforce development and training at the Pantex Plant, the nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement and maintenance of nuclear weapons.

The Pantex Plant, northeast of Amarillo, is one of the Panhandle region’s largest employers with nearly 4,000 employees, including nuclear, electrical, mechanical and computer engineers as well as pipefitters and maintenance workers.

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS), which manages and operates the plant, signed a memorandum of understanding with TEES, a state agency within The Texas A&M University System, in February. Then in April, The Texas A&M System Board of Regents authorized the engineering state agency to sublease up to 16,000 square feet of space at the newly opened John C. Drummond Center, located adjacent to the Pantex Plant. 

“CNS approached TEES about the many opportunities for collaboration in research and training, education, professional development and joint program development at Pantex,” said John Sharp, Texas A&M System Chancellor. “The partnership accelerates access for TEES to partner with U.S. Department of Energy employees and researchers housed inside the secured-areas of Pantex Plant.”

Chancellor Sharp and Texas A&M System officials see the partnership with CNS at the Pantex Plant as a natural extension of the System’s commitment to the nuclear weapons industry. In November, Triad National Security, LLC of which The Texas A&M System is a partner, began the management and operation of the nation’s premiere nuclear weapons laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

CNS manages the Pantex facility under a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. As an additional way to elevate and grow this collaboration, CNS has expressed interest in TEES leading a consortium of universities in specific research areas. This would include Texas A&M University in College Station and West Texas A&M University in Canyon, as well as other universities from Texas and other states.

“CNS is pleased to partner with Texas A&M System researchers in this joint venture and is confident of a mutually beneficial relationship going forward in research and development for national defense,” said Mike Beck, CNS Vice President of Mission Engineering. “The goal is to increase the level of interaction between the two organizations to address areas of mutual interest and mission-critical challenges and to serve as an incubator for new ideas in developing technical approaches to national defense challenges.”

The Texas A&M System’s statewide network of universities will provide a substantial amount of qualified future Pantex workers from around the state and is a natural partner due to a long standing commitment to national security as demonstrated by our 2017 DOD Defense Security Service Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence.

“Nuclear safety and security are paramount to our national defense, and The Texas A&M University System recognizes that our strengths and purpose align well with the mission and overall efforts at Pantex,” said M. Katherine Banks, Texas A&M System Vice Chancellor of Engineering and National Laboratories, Texas A&M University Engineering Dean and TEES Agency Director. “We are excited to establish research and development activities with Pantex and look forward to future collaborations as we work together in service to the National Nuclear Security Administration.”

“As an academic research institution serving the geographical region where this exciting partnership is unfolding, West Texas A&M University proudly partners with CNS and The Texas A&M University System at the Pantex Plant to focus attention, research and resolution on the challenges and opportunities that are unique in the advancement of nuclear security,” Dr. Walter Wendler, president of West Texas A&M University, said. “Our faculty and students will work in collaboration with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station to drive new knowledge generation, benefiting the region, the state and the nation.”

Partnership opportunities include designing sensors and instrumentation for blast measurements, investigating the use of augmented and virtual reality training for plant operations, additive manufacturing certification, training for first responders and facility safety and security.

Further, potential workforce development programs could include certificate and continuing education courses on cybersecurity, nuclear safety, fire safety, criticality engineering and data analytics, as well as local programmatic opportunities by TEES-Nuclear Power Institute programs available to school districts and community colleges in the Panhandle region.

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About Consolidate Nuclear Security, LLC
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under a single contract for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise. CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero effects and delivery as promised.

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 $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Systemwide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.

About the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES)
As an engineering research agency of Texas, TEES performs quality research driven by world problems; strengthens and expands the state’s workforce through educational partnerships and training; and develops and transfers technology to industry. TEES partners with academic institutions, governmental agencies, industries and communities to solve problems to help improve the quality of life, promote economic development and enhance educational systems. About West Texas A&M University West Texas A&M University is a member of The Texas A&M University System located at the heart of the Texas Panhandle serving the top 26 counties of the state. With a budget of more than $138 million, the University serves more than 10,000 students with 59 undergraduate programs, 38 graduate programs and two doctorate programs. Most programs have the option to be completely online and rank competitively in national publications such as U.S. News and World Report.

Contact: Marilyn M. Martell
Senior Assistant Vice Chancellor for Marketing & Communications
Texas A&M Engineering Program
The Texas A&M University System
 

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
The Texas A&M University System
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

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Gov. Abbott, Texas A&M To Dedicate McAllen Education Center

The Texas A&M University System News Release

McAllen, TX — Officials from Texas A&M University, the City of McAllen and Hidalgo County will join several local elected officials to participate in a dedication ceremony of the Multipurpose Academic Building and the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen.
Who:
Governor Greg Abbott, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M President Michael K. Young, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia and special guests.
What:
Dedication for the Multipurpose Academic Building and the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen.
When:
Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
Where:
6200 Tres Lagos Blvd, McAllen, Texas (Site of Higher Education Center), Tres Lagos Community
Entrance off of Ware Road, south of Monte Cristo Road

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Texas A&M Named New Host of the Texas Science and Engineering Fair

The Texas A&M University System News Release

Texas Science & Engineering FairAUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Texas Science and Engineering Advisory Board have named Texas A&M Engineering as the new host and of the 2019 Annual Texas Science and Engineering Fair (TXSEF), becoming the third host in the 18-year history of the prestigious science and engineering competition. TWC anticipates nearly 4,000 students, parents, school officials, and industry representatives will attend the fair at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, on March 29-30, 2019.

“We look forward to welcoming Texas’ brightest student innovators to Texas A&M University this year, and commend them on their dedication to encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations,” said TWC Chair Ruth Ruggero Hughs. “As we begin our new partnership with Texas A&M Engineering and continued partnership with ExxonMobil Corporation, we look forward to expanding the number of students participating in the Texas State Science and Engineering Fair and creating new ways to engage and inspire our future scientists and our next generation of influencers.”

“I am pleased to make this announcement and congratulate Texas A&M,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “With our partnership and commitment to support programs that encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations, Texas A&M, a world-class educational institution, is the perfect venue to inspire them,” he said. “Our Texas students participating in this year’s Texas Science and Engineering Fair are ushering in a new era for this statewide event that serves as an opportunity for students to showcase their classroom education to solve real-world problems.”

“The Texas A&M University System is committed to serving citizens statewide and this is an excellent opportunity to welcome the state’s best and brightest to the flagship campus at Texas A&M University,” said John Sharp, chancellor for The Texas A&M University System. “Both the Texas Workforce Commission and ExxonMobil recognize the strength of Texas A&M Engineering and how this partnership will foster innovation among our future engineers and scientists.”

For 18 years, TWC and ExxonMobil have spearheaded the Texas Science and Engineering Fair where middle and high school students from 13 regional divisions across Texas compete in over 20 categories judged by experts in the field. Top finishers from the high school division are awarded scholarships to attend the prestigious Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy summer camp and also have the opportunity to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.

“The Texas Science and Engineering Fair offers a great opportunity for the youth of Texas to learn more about science and engineering, which can lead to future career choices in these areas,” said Truman Bell, chairman of the TXSEF Advisory Board and manager of community relations for ExxonMobil Corporation. “ExxonMobil is pleased to support this effort which will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

For more information on the Texas Science and Engineering Fair visit www.tx.ag/txsef

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The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

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Gifts Establish New Center for Grand Strategy at Texas A&M’s Bush School

The Texas A&M University System News Release

The Bush SchoolCOLLEGE STATION, TX—Multimillion-dollar gifts from the Charles Koch Foundation and Texas A&M University System Regent Robert Albritton have established the new Center for Grand Strategy at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.

The Foundation and Albritton, a 1971 graduate of Texas A&M, are providing $3.5 million and $2.75 million, respectively, in multi-year support toward the center. Their contributions are being made through the Texas A&M Foundation.

The new center will serve as an intellectual hub for the critical examination of U.S. grand strategy. Specifically, it will support research that takes a fresh look at America’s grand strategic choices; foster dialogue between scholars and practitioners; and help engage a new generation of public servants who will be grand strategic innovators. Grand strategy can be broadly understood as the organizing principles that orient a country’s foreign policy.

“It’s time for a conversation about the strategic future of our country, and Texas A&M and the Bush School look forward to being an integral part of that conversation,” said Mark Welsh, dean of the Bush School, executive professor and holder of the Edward & Howard Kruse Chair. “We promise an honest and energetic discussion about the grand strategic options available to our nation. The new center will be a place for scholars and policy practitioners to come together, share their ideas and learn from each other. It will allow us to play a role in shaping America’s future role on the global stage, and I look forward to seeing the great work it will accomplish. We are grateful for the contributions that have made this possible.”

The support will enable the university to hire a professor of practice and new tenure-track faculty. The center will also host pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows; sponsor research by affiliated faculty; and host conferences, workshops and speakers to disseminate cutting-edge research that contributes to a robust debate about U.S. grand strategy.

“If successful, the center will serve as the hub for a community of scholars and practitioners engaged in an active debate over the direction of American grand strategy, which is sorely needed at a time of flux in international politics,” said John Schuessler, associate professor of international affairs at the Bush School and the center’s academic director. Schuessler will share the academic director role with Jasen Castillo, also an associate professor of international affairs. “Our hope and expectation are that the intellectual community surrounding the center will reach well beyond the Bush School and include scholars from history and political science as well as any others grappling with questions of relevance to American grand strategy.”

The Charles Koch Foundation supports students and scholars exploring criminal justice reform, economic opportunity, free expression, foreign policy and other pressing issues at more than 300 universities and colleges.

“As leaders debate what role the U.S. should play in a changing world, the center stands to inform the conversation through scholarly research on relevant questions,” said Charles Koch Foundation Executive Vice President of Higher Education Ryan Stowers. “We’re excited to support Texas A&M scholars as they bring new perspectives and innovative research to pressing issues.”

“We are living in a very fragmented and changing world. A new crisis seems to appear daily requiring a well thought out response. How we respond to these events is more critical today than ever before,” said Regent Albritton. “I believe decision makers in government and beyond are in search of a fresh perspective concerning our nation’s grand strategy. There is no better place in the country than Texas A&M’s Bush School to host these discussions. For that reason, Mary Louise and I are so pleased to support this exciting endeavor and look forward to seeing the direct impact this center will have on the grand strategy discussion.”

The Center for Grand Strategy will also give Bush School graduate students with a special interest in grand strategy many opportunities to interact with notable speakers and the cross-section of university scholars affiliated with the center. “The Department of International Affairs is looking forward to welcoming new faculty as part of the center and to the intellectual energy that the center will bring to an already vibrant and active scholarly community,” said F. Gregory Gause, head of the Bush School’s international affairs department and holder of the John H. Lindsey ’44 Chair.

To bridge the academic and policy worlds, the center will host a range of events featuring notable scholars and practitioners. Details will be forthcoming shortly on the slate of speakers for the coming year.

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Please direct questions about the Center for Grand Strategy to John Schuessler, associate professor of international affairs for the Bush School of Government and Public Service, at jmschues@tamu.edu or (979) 458-1067. For photographs, contact Dunae Crenwelge, marketing communications manager for the Texas A&M Foundation, at dcrenwelge@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-7461.

Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that unites generosity and vision to raise and manage major endowed gifts that support the future of Texas A&M University.

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Texas A&M Acquires Stephen F. Austin’s 1830 Map of Texas

The Texas A&M University System News Release

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Texas A&M University Libraries acquired a rare map of Texas as a result of generous donations from Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp ’72, the university’s Board of Regents, and Bonnie and Otway Denny ’71.

Chancellor Sharp provided the lead gift for the $335,000 map, while each of the Regents also contributed to its acquisition: Chairman Charles Schwartz, Vice-Chairman Elaine Mendoza ’87 and members Phil Adams ’70, Robert Albritton ’71, Anthony Buzbee ’90, Morris Foster ’65, Tim Leach ’82, Bill Mahomes ’69 and Cliff Thomas ’72. The Dennys are longtime supporters of the University Libraries, who also made a significant contribution toward the acquisition.

This map, produced in 1830, is only one of eight known to still exist. Stephen F. Austin’s Map of Texas has been described as “the first meaningful map of Texas” and represents one of the most important maps of the American West. The map was published in eight editions through 1845 and is the first map of Texas printed in the United States.

It took Austin more than five years to compile and draw the map using surveys conducted around the state. This map was the first of Texas to accurately depict the state’s rivers, boundaries and waterways and illustrate many of the early Texas settlements including Brazoria, Gonzales, Harrisburg, Matagorda, Victoria and Waco Village.

“As the first public university in Texas, we are proud to bring this significant piece of our state’s history to campus,” said Board of Regents Chairman Charles W. Schwartz. “We’re honored to care for Stephen F. Austin’s 1830 Map of Texas for years to come. As a Texan who owns a parcel of land between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers, it is exciting for me to see the first depiction of my land as a part of a place called Texas.”

Austin’s map holds significant value to researchers of Texas history, cartography and printmaking. To celebrate its acquisition, the map was on display on the first floor of Cushing Library during the weeks surrounding Aggie Muster and San Jacinto Day. The map will be housed in a special exhibit case to permit its frequent display and use in instruction and long-term preservation.

This joint gift counts toward the university’s Lead by Example comprehensive campaign. Support raised through the $4 billion campaign will empower Texas A&M to continue to be recognized as a world-class, top-tier public research institution and provide students with access to an affordable education with the best faculty, facilities, technology and transformational opportunities.

Texas A&M University Libraries
Texas A&M University Libraries house a rich array of resources assembled to support the research, learning and teaching at Texas A&M. Made up of five unique libraries, the Texas A&M University Libraries serve the entire diverse student and faculty population at Texas A&M through physical and online resources. To learn more about the services and materials available, visit https://library.tamu.edu/.

Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that unites generosity and vision to raise and manage major endowed gifts that support the future of Texas A&M University. For additional information on how to support the Texas A&M University Libraries, please contact Adelle Hedleston ’88 at adelle-h@tamu.edu or (979) 862-4574. For additional photographs and information, please contact Molly Kulpa ’15 at mkulpa@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-7463.

Attached photo identifications:

Back row (standing) L to R: Dean of University Libraries David Carlson, Bill Mahomes ’69, Tim Leach ’82, Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp ’72, Chairman Charles W. Schwartz, Cliff Thomas ’72, Phil Adams ’70, Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young.

Front row (seated) L to R: Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel ’96, Otway Denny Jr. ’71, Bonnie Denny, Vice Chairman Elaine Mendoza ’87, Robert L. Albritton ’71, Student Regent Ervin Bryant.

Map with the Board of Regents and others

1830 Map

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Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) to provide training for National Urban Search & Rescue Response System

The Texas A&M University System News Release

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) has been selected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop and deliver curriculum for Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) training and exercises for all 5,800 members of the National US&R Response System.

TEEX Training“The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service has set the national standard for emergency response,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “TEEX’s premier facilities and training exercises have helped prepare individuals to face the toughest challenges, resulting in countless lives saved. I am confident that FEMA’s US&R Response System team will receive the best training possible, and I congratulate Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service on this significant opportunity.”

You can watch a video about the significance of the FEMA grant at https://chancellor.tamus.edu/videos/

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service is a state agency under The Texas A&M University System and competed for this award through an RFP process. FEMA has executed a five-year contract with TEEX, valued at up to $5.9 Million.

Under the new contract, the A&M Engineering Extension Service will design and facilitate exercises for the 28 FEMA-sanctioned teams and maintain the US&R Emergency Support Function 9 (ESF-9) Training Portal. Training and exercises will be held at various locations across the United States, including a premier property known as Disaster City® in College Station, TX. It is a 52-acre complex that features full-scale, collapsible structures designed to simulate various levels of disaster and wreckage that can be customized for specific training needs of any group.

“The goal is to ensure consistency and maintain the quality of the training for every FEMA US&R team throughout the nation,” said Paul Gunnels, Rescue Program Director with A&M Engineering Extension Service. “As a designated ‘center of excellence’ and leader in search and rescue training, TEEX has experience and expertise in curriculum development, as well as the associated training and exercises, that are combined with realistic, state-of-the-art facilities such as Disaster City®. We are pleased to provide training support for the FEMA US&R teams in the life-saving work they do.”

“The Texas A&M System is proud of all the training that takes place at Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City® and all of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service facilities,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “I believe there is no better place in the nation to train all of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue teams.”

Under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Response Framework, FEMA is the lead agency responsible for providing federal urban search and rescue assistance to state and local governments during federally declared emergencies or disasters – such as Hurricane Harvey. The FEMA National US&R Response System is comprised of 28 US&R teams from across the nation, all of which receive standardized training in the tactics of urban search and rescue. All US&R “Task Force” members must complete hundreds of hours of training in their assigned specialty, such as search, rescue, medical, logistics, technical or canine search and rescue.

“Standardized training is the pillar of the National US&R Response System interoperability, setting the bar for the entire country,” said Roseville Fire Chief Rick Bartee, a member of California Task Force 7 (CA-TF7).

Gunnels added, “Since the National US&R System was formed in 1989, the need for these teams has increased each year, especially for swift water and flooding response.” There are countless examples of flash floods in Texas that require sophisticated recovery operations in dangerous conditions, such as the recent rescue on the Nueces River in Uvalde County.

This is the second FEMA US&R training contract awarded to TEEX. During the past five years, TEEX developed and updated the curriculum for 18 FEMA US&R courses. These include online and blended learning courses, which are available from the web-based ESF-9 Training Portal and Learning Management System developed by TEEX, specifically for the National FEMA US&R System.

About TEEX
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is a state agency that is a member of The Texas A&M University System.  It is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, homeland security and workforce training, exercises, technical assistance, and economic development. In 2017, TEEX served more than 173,000 people from across the United States and 75 countries through hands-on training and technical services.

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 $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 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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