Articles tagged as: engineering

March 20, 2014

It’s Time To Embrace Growth In Engineering Education

The following story, written by  M. Katherine Banks, Ph.D., P.E., Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering, The Texas A&M University System, originally appeared in Spirit magazine.

Isabella Serrano

Isabella Serrato (Photo courtesy of the Texas A&M Foundation)

This is Isabella Serrato ’16. Besides being a former member of the National Honor Society, History Honor Society and active on the varsity volleyball and softball teams, Isabella is an exceptionally bright and accomplished student, graduating valedictorian of 611 at Cesar E. Chavez High School in Houston.

By all metrics, she meets the requirements for admission into the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. Furthermore, she possesses all of the attributes that Aggies value. Yet Isabella was not initially accepted into our program. By the time she applied, our college was full.

Based on her academic performance, it is likely that Isabella would excel in our program. Losing qualified students like her, and possibly denying them the opportunity to pursue a degree that is in high demand, is unacceptable. It is one of the reasons I am passionate about 25 by 25, an enrollment growth initiative to ensure that students like Isabella are provided access to a high-quality Texas A&M engineering education.

Limited Access Stifles Potential

Last year, more than 11,000 high school seniors applied for the 2,000 undergraduate engineering slots available this fall at Texas A&M. Of those applicants who were turned away, many had the same academic profile as those who were admitted, but they applied after our programs were full. The engineering college was filled to capacity by late October 2012. Students familiar with our process know to apply early; those who didn’t were rejected. Thousands of capable students were turned away, including some who are first generation college students.

Many of our most accomplished graduates were the first in their families to attend college. Imagine a world without Pat Zachry ’22, Leland Jordan ’29, George Mitchell ’40, Earl Rudder ’32 or many other visionary Aggies. Imagine a world without the remarkable contributions of these giants to engineering and society — all because they did not have a seat in the classroom.

Many of my peers might find this level of demand and limited supply to be desirable. I do not. This level of rejection is unacceptable, particularly for a land-grant institution founded on the principle of providing citizens access to education. It is especially disheartening considering Texas A&M’s tradition and core value of service for the greater good.

Critical Need for STEM Experts

Magnifying the problem of limited access to engineering education is the critical need in our nation for more graduates in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s report, “Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, calls for an increase in STEM graduates by 1 million during the next 10 years. Without this investment in our future workforce, our country will not retain its historical preeminence in science and technology.

The Texas Workforce Commission has projected that the demand for engineers entering the workforce will increase significantly by 2018. At current graduation rates statewide, we are not producing the number of engineers needed to replace those who retire, nor can we meet the increased demand due to economic growth.

25 by 25

So rather than maintaining the status quo, my team and I explored the possibility of enrollment growth. We deter mined that increasing the number of students is not only possible, but feasible.

In January, I participated in a game-changing announcement at the Texas State Capitol in Austin with Texas A&M University and System leaders as we unveiled an ambitious initiative titled 25 by 25, which seeks to increase access to engineering education at Texas A&M in College Station to an enrollment of 25,000 engineering students by 2025. Our challenge: to increase enrollment using innovative engineering education methods while maintaining our status as a top-ranked research pro gram and to do so in a cost-effective manner.

The idea of doubling engineering enrollment during a 12-year period is considered radical in an era when most universities are limiting or resisting growth. Pursuing growth of this magnitude while enhancing quality and keeping a watchful eye on costs is challenging. Frankly, we may be the first to doggedly embark upon such an aspiration, but it is achievable.

Rethinking Educational Delivery

However, the 25 by 25 initiative is not just about increasing enrollment. It also focuses on providing better instruction and learning opportunities. Enrollment growth in the past decade often has been limited because the way we teach engineering students today is not easily scalable for large institutions. We cannot meet the need for enrollment growth by simply increasing the size of our individual classrooms or adding more teaching assistants. We must face this challenge by lever-aging technology in new ways to transform the educational experience.

We have witnessed a dramatic shift in the learning style of our students. They are known as “digital natives”: those who have interacted with technology since birth. The creative use of technology will be crucial to transforming the traditional classroom, which will allow us to increase accessibility with out enlarging class sizes. Our classrooms are evolving into technology-enabled and shared-use facilities.

These facilities allow for hands-on, experiential learning at all levels and access to a wide range of multidisciplinary learning opportunities for our students. This new approach to education will produce technology leaders who are uniquely prepared to address tomorrow’s challenges.

Join Us

Dean M. Katherine Banks

Dean M. Katherine Banks (Photo courtesy of the Texas A&M Foundation)

In short, engineering education is at a critical point. We must meet the needs of our nation and address the challenge to develop a critical workforce in a responsible manner while contributing to economic development through innovation. It is time to thoughtfully embrace this type of enrollment growth and design the engineering education of the future.

Let me be clear: The engineering education we deliver at Texas A&M is excellent. However, we certainly can make our program accessible to more bright young people who have the intellect, drive and desire to impact society as engineers. To do so, we are rethinking every aspect of our educational delivery. Instead of viewing significant increases in enrollment as some thing to fear, we are finding ways to embrace growth and ensure that we also enhance quality.

And what about Isabella? In February, immediately following our 25 by 25 announcement, we accepted 400 more highly qualified students into engineering. Isabella is a member of this inaugural class of 25 by 25, and she is now enjoying her first year as an Aggie engineering student.

I invite all who love Texas A&M to join me in this effort to increase access and enhance education for the next generation of innovation leaders. Our future depends upon it.


To learn how you can support the 25 by 25 initiative, contact: Andy Acker, Senior Director for Development
Texas A&M Foundation, at (800) 392-3310 or (979) 845-5113

To contribute online, click here.

November 19, 2013

Texas A&M at Qatar Explores Challenges In Science And Engineering

Texas A&M University at Qatar hosted the inaugural Advanced Scientific Computing Workshop this week at the university’s Engineering Building at Education City. The event fostered discussion among participating faculty and researchers who are committed to developing innovative solutions and using state-of-the art computational tools to solve challenges in the broad science field.

Qatar building

Texas A&M University at Qatar

Mark H. Weichold, Texas A&M at Qatar dean and CEO, said, “Importantly, the work TASC will accomplish will help implement the initiatives set forth in the Qatar National Research Strategy and actively contribute to the Grand Challenges defined by the QF R&D Division, as well as contribute to recommendations of the Qatar Cancer Research Center. As a university, Texas A&M at Qatar believes it is necessary to engage multiple and diverse communities to develop new insights and understanding, and that this engagement is essential to creating new and pragmatic solutions to challenges. Texas A&M at Qatar is committed to working with its academic colleagues to extend the frontiers of science and engineering, and advance key areas of discovery that are beneficial to our partners and the communities and industries in which we work.”

Texas A&M at Qatar’s Advanced Scientific Computing (TASC) effort is a multi-disciplinary group which brings together faculty and researchers from different engineering and science disciplines to explore and leverage their expertise in an effort to tackle complex computational problems.

TASC was established to address the needs of engineering and science in areas that are of high relevance locally and globally.  Locally, the group is aiming to actively contribute to implementation of the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) in the field of computational science and its applications such as material science, computational chemistry, medical physics, system biology and high performance computing. On an international level, the group is focusing on tight links with global supercomputing and computational science centers.

The TASC group is contributing to the QNRS through active collaborative research programs, energetic contribution to the Grand Challenges defined by the Qatar Foundation Research & Development Division and providing active contribution to the Qatar Cancer Research Strategy Committee.  TASC plans to communicate with Qatar academic and industrial institutions, as well, to troubleshoot challenging and complex problems that are of crucial importance to the growth and development of industry.

TASC’s intent is to provide an essential forum where experts can discuss relevant and world-class technologies in varying computational aspects in the field of science and engineering and to contribute to the delivery of peta-scale science for researchers and scientists in Qatar. TASC hopes this will lead to the implementation of sustained and persistent High Performance Computing infrastructure. In addition, the program will be seen as a home for scientific activities where workshops, lectures and short courses are presented to foment discussion that leads to solutions.

Othmane Bouhali, research associate professor and director of Research Computing at Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “The goal of Texas A&M at Qatar’s Advanced Scientific Computing group is to play an important role, together with other partners within QF and Qatar, to tackle complex and challenging problems for Qatar and the region through advanced and computational techniques. This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three computational chemists which was yet another recognition by the international community of the importance of computing and simulation for the real world.”

“TASC members are already working on challenging problems such as molecular dynamic simulation for energy applications, radiation detector simulation for medical purposes, multi-scale simulation of corrosion in pipelines, laser physics and photonics, as well as advanced computing hardware such as GPU and FPGA, all areas that directly affect the growth and advancement of Qatar and industry.”

About Texas A&M University at Qatar:

Texas A&M University, recognized as having one of the premier engineering programs in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus since 2003, and graduate courses in chemical engineering since fall 2011. Over 400 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are accredited by ABET. The curricula offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are materially identical to those offered at the main campus in College Station, Texas, and courses are taught in English in a co-educational setting. The reputation for excellence is the same, as is the commitment to equip engineers to lead the next generation of engineering advancement. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to provide this educational experience and to participate in research activities now valued at over $159 million, and that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit


September 4, 2013

Texas A&M At Qatar Celebrates 11th Academic Year At Convocation

Academic Convocation 2013

Texas A&M University at Qatar students attended 2013-2014 Academic Convocation last week at Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar

Texas A&M University at Qatar hosted its newest students, the Class of 2017, at the 2013-2014 Academic Convocation ceremony last week at the Qatar National Convention Centre. The event’s keynote speaker was Maria Haims, senior management scientist at RAND Corporation and an engineer.

Mark H. Weichold, Texas A&M-Qatar dean and CEO, noted the accomplishments of the university during the previous 10 years and said, “The last decade has been spent enriching Qatar’s greatest natural resource. That resource is you – the state of Qatar’s people. In the coming years, as you study, learn and grow at the university, you will see Texas A&M at Qatar’s continued leadership manifested in many different ways. You will see it in engagement as the university expands in more and ever-diversified partnerships with industry; collaborations as it fosters partnerships with world-renowned academics; enrichment as it continues and grows its commitment to academic excellence; creativity as it produces new knowledge through research and scholarly undertakings; and outreach as it partners with the community to enhance its development with a focus on STEM education.

“Although the university has evolved and grown its activities,” he continued, “its mission remains the same. Excellence in teaching. Leadership in research. Selfless service to the community. Through these fundamental ideals, Texas A&M at Qatar does not simply develop engineers. It develops leaders.”

Hamid Parsaei, Texas A&M at Qatar associate dean of Academic Affairs, said, “It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome the Class of 2017 Aggie engineers. This year marks the 11th class admitted to Texas A&M at Qatar. Over the past decade, we have proudly delivered some of the most demanding engineering education in Qatar, and have educated some of the finest engineers in the world. Texas A&M University engineering disciplines have been known for more than a century for their rigorous theoretical concepts and hands-on experiential content, and these curricula help our graduates enrich Qatar’s greatest natural resource as they pursue the country’s 2030 national vision.”

The program recognized both undergraduate and graduate classes and acknowledged Distinguished Student List awardees and Dean’s Honor Roll recipients from the previous fall and spring semesters.

Chemical and electrical engineering students respectively, Moiz Bohra and Morcos Metry, were two of the continuing students recognized for their academic achievements.

Bohra said the celebration had a profound impact on him, noting, “Academic Convocation is an occasion for students to reflect on our journey through university thus far, to recognize our peers for their outstanding scholastic achievements, and to inspire all Aggies, new and old, to pursue a successful academic career through integrity, hard work and dedication.  I am proud to welcome the new class of 2017 as part of the Aggie community. I am also excited to learn more about the challenges facing the engineering world in my final year of study at Texas A&M at Qatar, particularly through my research work.”

“As a fourth-year student, it was a great honor for me to attend this year’s Convocation,” said Metry, electrical engineering major. “I feel that this is the most special academic convocation yet, as it marks the start of my final year. I am very excited to begin working on my senior design project and to pursue my career in the field of engineering. I am elated for all my dear friends and colleagues who received awards during the ceremony. I hope that the new freshmen are inspired to work hard and to become the future leaders of Texas A&M at Qatar.”


About Texas A&M University at Qatar: Texas A&M University, recognized as having one of the premier engineering programs in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus since 2003, and graduate courses in chemical engineering since fall 2011. Almost 300 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are accredited by ABET. The curricula offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are materially identical to those offered at the main campus in College Station, Texas, and courses are taught in English in a co-educational setting. The reputation for excellence is the same, as is the commitment to equip engineers to lead the next generation of engineering advancement. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to provide this educational experience and to participate in research activities now valued at over $135 million, and that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit

July 9, 2013

Rescue Robotics

Robin Murphy is a pioneer, an international leader and one of the few women in a field that men tend to dominate.

It is an all too familiar sight after tragedies such as earthquakes, hurricanes or mudslides: people furiously digging through the rubble in the hopes of locating survivors.

A similar scene drove Robin Murphy into rescue robotics. Murphy is a professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the TEES Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR).

It was 1995, and having watched news reports on both the Oklahoma City bombing and the Kobe City earthquake, Murphy — who had conducted her Ph.D. research in robotics — decided it was time to focus her work on rescue robotics.

“Rescue robotics was strictly an emotional response,” says Murphy, the Raytheon Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “Artificial intelligence for robotics had been focusing on small robots with the thought of sending dozens of them up to Mars.”

It then became so clear to her that those same robots could be exploring under the rubble of a disaster and helping find victims.

“At some point I thought, I could be one of 200 people doing planetary robots, I could be one of 200 people doing health care, but somebody needs to step up and do this idea of rescue robotics.”

And that is exactly what Murphy did. Seeing an opportunity to make a difference, she seized it and immersed herself in rescue robotics, a field where she has become an international leader and one of the few women involved.

A Rarity In Her Field

Robin Murphy controls CRASAR aerial robot

Robin Murphy controls CRASAR aerial robot. Photo: Texas A&M University

Robotics, and even more so rescue robotics, is dominated by men. And when Murphy is on the site of a disaster, she is usually the only woman.

“At Crandall Canyon Utah, the 2007 mine collapse, I think there were 40 guys on this mountain and we were a two-hour drive from anything,” Murphy says. “We were way up in the mountains, and I was the only woman.”

But Murphy’s work is starting to open the eyes of young women, helping them to realize that they too can break into the male-dominated field. An April 2010 episode of the PBS show SciGirls titled “Robots to the Rescue” featured Murphy, a female graduate student and four junior high girls.

The show, which is aimed at getting young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math, had the girls work with Murphy and her team to develop a personality for a rescue robot.

“It is a real exciting thing for me to be considered a mentor,” Murphy says. “I think it is that big moment when you realize, ‘I’ve got something to offer these young women.’ Between robotics and search and rescue, there are just not a lot of women.”

From the Beginning

Robotics, much less rescue robotics, wasn’t always on the radar for Murphy. When she was a youngster, the big question was whether she would become a nuclear physicist or a mechanical engineer like her father. Although she didn’t know which field of engineering she would choose, she was sure engineering was the discipline she would study.

“My dad was a mechanical engineer,” she says. “I was an only child, so I was my dad’s only son. Of course I was going to be an engineer; I always wanted to be.”

Murphy made the choice to follow her father’s profession, earning her undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech in mechanical engineering. When it came time to pursue her graduate degree, Murphy went another route, electing to get her Ph.D. in computer science, also from Georgia Tech, after working in industry for several years.

During her work toward the graduate degree, she became interested in artificial intelligence (AI) – despite initially thinking the field was a joke.

“When I went to grad school in computer science, I had a fellowship that required me to work with somebody in computer science that was a member of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing program,” Murphy says. “There was a new guy who did artificial intelligence for robots, and I believed that was totally ludicrous. But I needed a mentor.

“I thought AI was a joke and the robots you see for manufacturing that I was exposed to from mechanical engineering were very stupid and you would never use them for anything interesting. Of course I was wrong.

“Within a month I fell in love with AI – making things smarter, duplicating some of the wonderful things we know about biological intelligence, combining that with the differences of silicon-based systems. I just totally fell in love with it and never looked back.”

Getting Her Start

After completing her Ph.D., Murphy joined the faculty at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. The major focus at the School of Mines was on planetary robots because of ties to Colorado’s space community.

Murphy fell in line and was working in the field of planetary robots, but the 1995 bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City shifted her focus. She says she realized the same small, rugged, agile and lightweight robots being proposed for Mars could be used to dive into the rubble where rescuers could not go.

Robin Murphy demonstrates her rescue robot Survivor Buddy.

Robin Murphy demonstrates her rescue robot Survivor Buddy. Photo: Texas A&M University

The switch in focus carried risks because administrators and AI researchers viewed rescue robotics the way most people view robots — futuristic and too hard to be practical. Undeterred, Murphy made the drastic switch, beginning what would turn into a pioneering career.

With a change in focus came a change in universities as well. Murphy moved to the University of South Florida, where she was encouraged to devote herself to the fledgling field of rescue robotics despite skepticism from traditional AI researchers. Murphy and her students were mentored by Florida Task Force 3 starting in 1999 and eventually became technical search specialists.

While at South Florida, Murphy participated in an event that is still special to her – the response to the collapse of the World Trade Center. Ten days earlier, a former graduate student and Defense Advanced Research Program Agency program manager had founded CRASAR. When the planes struck, he and Murphy began coordinating CRASAR’s first mission: how to get robots to assist in finding the black boxes from the planes.

Then the buildings collapsed and getting the robots to New York to assist in searching the rubble became even more urgent. By noon, Murphy had packed her husband’s new van with robots, batteries, tools and three graduate students. Following the New York State Emergency Office’s invitation, she drove to New York City and met with other members of the CRASAR team.

“In many ways it is so hard to describe 9/11 if you were not there,” Murphy says. “The interesting thing was we knew at the time that it was going to be the Pearl Harbor for our generation.

“What we really didn’t understand was how significant it was going to be for rescue robots. We knew it was going to be the first time rescue robots had ever been used for any disaster anywhere that’s been recorded.”

The utility of small robots to penetrate deep in the rubble in voids too small or too hot for search dogs or people was a major surprise to the Japanese robotics community, which had favored larger, more construction-like robots that could remove the rubble. The robots also gained added credibility for their use in Afghanistan by the U.S. Department of Defense.

A New Type of Robot

The World Trade Center disaster has had a lasting effect on rescue robotics, serving as a learning experience for those involved and helping them to fine-tune the robots being used, as well as making the robots more friendly and comforting to victims.

One such robot, “Survivor Buddy,” is Murphy’s pet project, and her efforts are paramount in the creation of what is considered the first robot built specifically for interacting with a trapped victim waiting to be extricated.

“The Survivor Buddy project has its roots in 9/11,” Murphy says. “For several years we had been discussing how we would use the robots to find survivors. As we were driving up there, we realized we hadn’t gotten beyond that point: What would we do if we found one? That persisted with us, and we started looking at things like a protocol.”

They also began to look at the physical attributes of the robots, everything from their color to the amount of noise they make.

“Most rescue robots, or robots that get sold for these things, are black and loud,” Murphy says.

Also, most victims would be in the dark, and having something with bright lights coming at them would more than likely add to their panic or fear. This concern was confirmed when Murphy and her colleagues took turns playing victims in test runs, and later by a Ph.D. thesis she directed.

“As we took turns being victims, we realized the robots were scary,” Murphy says.

So Murphy and her colleagues at Stanford University set out to design a robot that would not only be able to find victims but also help to comfort survivors as they waited for rescuers to reach them.

“Whenever you have an MRI, they give you your choice of music, anything to keep you comforted and from being bored,” Murphy says. “Not only can we do two-way audio, but we can do full Web streaming. You can watch your favorite TV show; you can talk to your friends. You can do whatever. Why not make it two-way video and streaming Web services?

“We pitched this to Microsoft as part of its initiative on how to use the Web and Web-enabled robots, and they loved it. We called the project the ‘Survivor Buddy’ because it was going to be your buddy. The National Science Foundation has since picked up the project, as it offers real insight into eldercare and other situations where you might be using the robot as your connection with the larger world.”

Popular Science also gave Survivor Buddy a “Best 100 of 2009″ award.

Another Move

In 2008, Murphy, along with CRASAR, moved to Texas A&M, in what could be considered a coup for the university. The move allowed Murphy to take full advantage of Disaster City, a 52-acre training facility created by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), an agency in The Texas A&M University System. TEEX delivers the full array of skills and techniques needed by emergency response professionals and a large staff that includes state and federal response teams and instructors.

The facility, which is a mock community, features full-scale, collapsible structures, offering Murphy the perfect setting to test her rescue robots. Murphy also pointed to the people of Texas A&M as another reason for her move to College Station.

“The facilities here are incredible,” Murphy says. “But better yet, we have real users with a true spirit of collaboration. This is a group of people on campus and at TEEX working on emergency informatics that really wants to work together. Already, we’re in the finals for an $18 million NSF Engineering Research Center on our first try.

“Texas A&M is a wonderful place, and I can do more here in the next 10 years than I can do in 20 years in any other place in the United States, actually the world.”

About 12 Impacts of the 12th Man: 12 Impacts of the 12th Man is an ongoing series throughout the year highlighting the significant contributions of Texas A&M University students, faculty, staff and former students on their community, state, nation and world. To learn more about the series and see additional impacts, visit

Media contact: Tim Schnettler, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, at (979) 458-2277

April 18, 2013

Russell Part Of Expert Task Force Commissioned To Review Vulnerability Of Electrical Power System In The United States

Don Russell

Don Russell

Dr. B. Don Russell, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, was a member of an expert task force commissioned to review the vulnerability of the electrical power system in the United States.

The task force, which was formed in 2005, along with the National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), recently released its report, “Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System.”

The report, which was presented to the Department of Homeland Security, stated that concern exists that an orchestrated terrorist plan could significantly disrupt the economy, safety and defense of the United States by attacking the electric grid.

“In a worst case scenario, it is not the power disruption alone, but coordinated attacks that hit the power system simultaneous to other large-scale attacks that are the concern because it hinders our ability to function and communicate,” Russell said. “If the power system is down at the same time as a coordinated attack, the magnitude of the problem is enormous.”

The committee was tasked with identifying any and all vulnerabilities and suggesting approaches that could be reasonably taken to mitigate the effects of a terrorist attack.

Russell is the past chair of the Electric Power and Energy Engineering section of the NAE and past president of the Power and Energy Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He is an expert on monitoring and protection of electric power systems and is the recipient of the IEEE Halperin Award, the highest recognition for electric power engineering given by IEEE.  Dr. Russell holds the rank of Distinguished Professor and is Regents Professor of the Texas A&M University System.  He is director of the Power System Automation Laboratory and has been a member of the faculty of Texas A&M for 37 years.

Dr. Russell is internationally recognized for his development of automated techniques for detecting arcing faults and failures on electric power systems.  His recent work has emphasized predictive diagnostic tools for detecting failing power system equipment before catastrophic failure.  This will allow utilities to repair systems before an outage occurs.  His work is currently being extended to detect power system failures that cause wildfires, an area of great importance given the increasing drought conditions in the U.S.

For more on the report visit:


About 12 Impacts of the 12th Man: 12 Impacts of the 12th Man is an ongoing series throughout the year highlighting the significant contributions of Texas A&M University students, faculty, staff and former students on their community, state, nation and world. To learn more about the series and see additional impacts, visit

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