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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Committee Named for Presidential Search at Texas A&M

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A 17-member committee has been created to conduct a national search to find a successor to Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young, Chancellor John Sharp announced Thursday.

Young notified the campus community on Wednesday that he would retire as president, effective May 31, 2021, to return to teaching and lead the new Institute for Religious Liberties and International Affairs within the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

“Selecting a university president for this great institution, particularly in these challenging times, is of paramount importance,” said Chancellor Sharp. “I want to thank this committee for volunteering their time to this critical task. We want a president with superb academic credentials who recognizes and will maintain the special culture and traditions that make Aggies unique in the world.”

The search advisory committee is charged with delivering a minimum of three candidates to Chancellor Sharp who will refer one of them to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The committee includes two Texas A&M System regents: Chairman Elaine Mendoza and Vice Chairman Tim Leach.

The other voting members are:

Susan Ballabina
Deputy Vice Chancellor
Chief Operating Officer for the Vice Chancellor of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Kristina Ballard
Staff Council Chairperson
Communications Specialist III, TAMU Engineering

Kathleen Gibson
Chair of Trustees
Texas A&M Foundation

Greg Hartman
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Texas A&M Health

Yava Jones-Hall
Associate Professor, Veterinary Pathobiology
Director of the Core Histology Laboratory

John Junkins
Distinguished Professor and Royce E. Wisenbaker Chair of Aerospace Engineering
Regents Professor; Director, Hagler Institute for Advanced Study

Jack Lafield
Board of Trustees
12th Man Foundation

Arvind Mahajan
Associate Dean, Mays Business School; Regents Professor; Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence;
Piper Professor; Lamar Savings Professor of Finance

Cathy Mann
Chair, Board of Directors
The Association of Former Students

Eric Mendoza
TAMU Student Body President
Mays Business School

Roderic Pettigrew
Chief Executive Officer of Engineering Health
Executive Dean for Engineering Medicine

Joe Ramirez
Brigadier General, (Ret.)
Commandant, Corps of Cadets

John Stallone
Professor, Vascular Physiology and Pharmacology
Faculty Senate Speaker

Jorge Vanegas
Dean, College of Architecture
Professor of Architecture

Karen Wooley
Distinguished Professor, Chemistry; W.T. Doherty-Welch Foundation Chair; Professor of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering; Director, Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions

James Hallmark, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will be the committee staff person and an ex-officio member.

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 Galveston Professors offer Port Protection Plan for Gulf Coast

The Texas A&M University System News Release
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A group of scientists at Texas A&M University at Galveston have developed a unique blueprint for protecting Houston and Galveston against hurricane devastation.
Sometimes called the Ike Dike or Coastal Spine, the concept includes a series of barriers and giant sea gates across the Houston Channel.
Share more about the plan with your readers and viewers as Hurricane Laura looms. Get started with the help of these links:

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
Office of Marketing & Communications
1122 TAMU | College Station, TX 77840-7896
Tel. 979.458.6018 | www.tamus.edu
teaton@tamus.edu

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Statement from Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp on arrest of professor:

The Texas A&M University System News Release

“We worked closely with the FBI on this case, and we gladly will work with them again as needed,” said Chancellor John Sharp of the Texas A&M System. “No one in higher education takes security as seriously as we do at The Texas A&M University System. In fact, we have received several awards from the Department of Defense’s Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, including one just last month.

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
Office of Marketing & Communications
1122 TAMU | College Station, TX 77840-7896
Tel. 979.458.6018 | www.tamus.edu
teaton@tamus.edu

 

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A Letter to the Aggie Community

The Texas A&M Board of Regents

The members of the Board of Regents at The Texas A&M University System cannot remain silent or inactive after recent social media posts and actions by faculty members who should be held to the highest standard of our core values.

First and foremost, the board respects and celebrates the constitutional right to free speech. We also believe that free speech can – and should – incorporate decency, respect and a good amount of listening.

We have not seen enough civil discourse around campus lately. To that end, the board strongly condemns the recent vulgar, disrespectful and divisive language of a few members of the faculty at the flagship university in Bryan-College Station. We expect – and know – our faculty to be among the best in the nation and to exercise the academic freedom that comes with being a member of this great university. That freedom, however, does not include speech that is full of hate and serves to destroy our campus community. Aggies should not tolerate such divisive behavior, and we should hold each other accountable to preserve the spirit that generations of Aggies have forged for us.

Our issue is not with debate. In fact, we welcome it. Our issue also is not with academic freedom. It is of paramount importance to the board. Further, we also do not oppose peaceful protests. We want everyone to be heard.

As Aggies, we lead by example. The board believes that we can show other universities how to engage civilly, appropriately and with mutual respect.

All we ask – actually insist upon – is a dialogue that is productive, thoughtful and consistent with our core values of Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect and Selfless Service.

 

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents

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Texas A&M System Regents OK $60.3 Million for Army Innovation

The Texas A&M University System News Release

Hypersonic Test Facility, Combat Vehicle Test Track Attracting Global Interest

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System soon will operate the biggest enclosed hypersonic testing facility in the nation and a new place to try out high-tech combat vehicles.

In two votes Thursday, members of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents appropriated $60.3 million for projects at the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC) on the RELLIS Campus in Bryan.

The BCDC is being built as part of an agreement between the Texas A&M System and Austin-based U.S. Army Futures Command.

Its facilities will be used to conduct research and test prototypes as the Army tries to accelerate high-tech development for next-generation battlefield readiness.

Leaders of other military branches, tech entrepreneurs, defense industry executives and U.S. allies already have shown interest in using Bush Complex facilities once they are completed, said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System.

“There will be no other place like it in the world,” Sharp said.

Regents appropriated $22.5 million for the hypersonic and directed energy testing range called BAM, which stands for Ballistic, Aero-Optics, and Materials. Construction is scheduled to begin in February, with substantial completion by October 2022.

BAM will be the largest enclosed testing range of its kind in the United States, bridging a critical gap in U.S. research between lab-scale experiments and open-range testing.

When complete, BAM will be one kilometer long and two meters in diameter, with instrumentation to fully support testing and evaluation of high-energy lasers, hypersonic flight, and hypersonic impact of materials.

Regents also approved $37.8 million for a next-generation vehicle test track called the Innovation Proving Ground (IPG). Building is scheduled to start in May, and completion is expected a year later.

The IPG will host experiments on autonomous aerial, ground and subterranean vehicles and the various systems, equipment and instruments needed to operate them in battlefield conditions.

Time, space and position tracking will capture precisely what’s going on with vehicles and their payloads. Data will be stored on the vehicles and sent for analysis to the BCDC’s Research Integration Center (RIC), which is already under construction at RELLIS.

State funding to establish and equip the IPG was appropriated in 2019 by the Texas Legislature, which specifically instructed the Office of the Governor to transfer $50 million to the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), for supporting critical emerging technologies for national defense.

More details about BAM, IPG and other aspects of the BCDC can be found 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 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

System News Archives

October 2020
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