X-Grants: 8 Texas A&M faculty teams will provide research project updates

Principal investigators will represent 81 faculty members and other researchers from eight colleges, four schools, AgriLife Research and TEES during inaugural President’s Excellence Fund Symposium on April 4

Eight faculty members from Texas A&M University are scheduled to make presentations during the inaugural President’s Excellence Fund Symposium on Thursday, April 4, 1:30–4:50 p.m. in the Frymire Auditorium at the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

Each speaker is a leader or a member of an interdisciplinary research team that earned project funding from the first round of Texas A&M’s X-Grants program, an initiative of the 10-year, $100 million President’s Excellence Fund.

The eight projects shared $7 million in funding during the first round. They represent 81 faculty members and other researchers from eight colleges, four schools and two state agencies—Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Geosciences, Liberal Arts, Medicine and Science; Mays Business School, the School of Law, the School of Public Health and the Bush School of Government and Public Service; as well as the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

The event requires no registration and is open to the public at no charge.

The X-Grants presentations are scheduled as follows:

  • 1:30 p.m., Interdisciplinary Research Evaluation Team (IDRET).
  • 1:50 p.m., Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, “Point-of-Care Diagnosis and Monitoring of Respiratory Disease Through Exhaled Breath Analysis.”
  • 2:10 p.m., Michael Thomson, professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, “CRISPR Gene Editing for Healthier Foods and Improved Crop Resilience.”
  • 2:30 p.m., Satish Bukkapatnam, Rockwell International Professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, “Autonomous Material Discovery and Manufacturing via Artificial Intelligence.”
  • 2:50 p.m., James Batteas, professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, “Mastering Friction to Reduce Current and Future Energy Demands.”
  • 3:30 p.m., Julie Loisel, assistant professor, Department of Geography, College of Geosciences, “Monitoring Rapidly Changing Arctic Ecosystems Using High-Resolution Satellite-Based Datasets and Artificial Intelligence.”
  • 3:50 p.m., Zofia Rybkowski, associate professor, Department of Construction Science, College of Architecture, “Multi-functional and Sustainable Materials for 3D-printing Environmentally Adaptive Resilient Buildings.”
  • 4:10 p.m., Carl Gregory, associate professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, College of Medicine, “Novel Approaches to Stem Cell Manufacture.”
  • 4:30 p.m., John Tracy, director, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, “Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security: Desalination and Water Reuse in the 21st Century.” (The project’s principal investigator is Wendy E. Jepson, professor, Department of Geography, College of Geosciences.)

The symposium starts at 10:30 a.m. with a welcome from A&M President Michael K. Young and a keynote speech from Cecelia Conrad, managing director of the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. At noon, teams that received first-round funding from the T3: Texas A&M Triads for Transformation program will present their project updates during a poster session in Room 1011 B and C of the conference center.