Skip to Main Content

Texas A&M University’s John L. Junkins to receive Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) announced today that John L. Junkins, founding director of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University, is the recipient of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award.

Junkins is recognized for attracting and nurturing top-tier research talent in Texas through the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M. In addition to his work in the Hagler Institute, Junkins is a distinguished professor of aerospace engineering, Regents Professor, and holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker Chair in the College of Engineering, and served as interim president at Texas A&M from January to June 2021.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineers and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Each year the Hagler Institute selects top national and international scholars to pursue advanced study at Texas A&M for up to a year. The program’s goal is to provide a stellar environment for research and scholarship, with the Hagler Fellows having the freedom to pursue their own research interests and collaborations. Each fellow is a member of the National Academies or has equivalent recognition in their field. Many of these researchers go on to join the faculty of A&M full-time and become a vital part of the Texas A&M research community.

“TAMEST is proud to present Dr. Junkins with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award for his unique vision and dedication to bringing more researchers and innovators to Texas,” said TAMEST Board President David E. Daniel. “Since 2010, 88 top-tier researchers have come to Texas A&M as Hagler Institute Fellows, and thanks to Dr. Junkins, many have stayed here and joined TAMEST after the fellowship has concluded.”

TAMEST will officially present the award to Junkins at the opening reception of the 2022 TAMEST Annual Conference: Forward Texas – Imperatives for Health. The conference will be held at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Junkins will give a special presentation on the vision and history of the Hagler Institute during the conference lunch session on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award was established in 2013 by TAMEST to recognize individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in furthering TAMEST’s mission to bring together the state’s brightest minds in medicine, engineering, science and technology to foster collaboration and to advance research, innovation and business in Texas.

The award was named after TAMEST Honorary Chair Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, who received the inaugural award for her vision and commitment to advancing scientific research, technology innovation and educational achievement. Hutchison served as a U.S. senator from Texas in 1993–2013.

“I am so pleased Dr. Junkins and the Hagler Institute are being recognized with this award,” said Ambassador Hutchison. “Dr. Junkins has been instrumental in the success of TAMEST from the very beginning, not to mention his vision and leadership in increasing engineering research and science investment for Texas A&M University. This is a wonderful and well-deserved recognition.”

Junkins is the seventh recipient of this award. Past recipients include: The Office of the President at The University of Texas at Austin (2020); Exxon Mobil Corporation (2017); Larry Faulkner and Kenneth Jastrow (2016); Peter O’Donnell Jr. (2014); the Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison (2013).