A&M-Commerce Hosts Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Research Conference

A&M-Commerce hosted the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Research Conference on May 21 and 22. Event coordinator Dr. Brent Donham, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, explained that the conference “brings together engineering and computer science researchers from the A&M System schools and other TEES members across the state.”

Representatives from 13 Texas colleges and universities participated in the conference, including universities from The Texas A&M University System, Del Mar College, Texas Woman's University and the University of North Texas. Other attendees included representatives from Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Texas A&M Energy Institute and Hanover Research.

The annual conference moves between Texas A&M University and another host school every other year. According to Donham, this is the first year A&M-Commerce has hosted a major system-wide event.

“This conference provided an opportunity for researchers across the A&M System and state to learn about A&M-Commerce and the vital role we serve in Northeast Texas,” Donham explained. “It also provided an opportunity for faculty to expand their network among researchers, which will lead to collaborative partnerships in the fields of engineering and computer science.”

The conference began with a Tuesday evening networking reception in the Rayburn Student Center where the A&M-Commerce Panimation Steel Drums performed an exciting show for guests.

President Mark Rudin welcomed attendees on Wednesday and highlighted A&M-Commerce's new focus on research. He outlined several initiatives that will move A&M-Commerce forward as a research university, including reassigned time for faculty to work on funded research, and plans for a new College of Innovation and Technology. Rudin stated, “It's a new day. We are going to elevate research. We want to be seen as a viable partner to all our sister organizations within TEES and the A&M System.”

Dr. Donham partnered with Tech Titans, an association that promotes technical programs, innovation and education across North Texas, to provide the keynote speaker and panelists for the conference. Hubert Zajicek of Health Wildcatters delivered the keynote speech, followed by several volunteer panelists who shared their expertise. A&M-Commerce alum Todd Wynne, vice president of Bluebeam, Inc., spoke about emerging technology in the construction industry. Wynne co-created a successful digital mapping tool that is used in complex construction projects. John Randall of Zyvex Labs and James Walton of ENTOUCH Smart Building Solutions also presented.

During afternoon work sessions, researchers developed collaborative ideas and presented them to judges at the end of the day. Winning teams received funding for the development of their innovative projects.

Several A&M-Commerce faculty members were on the winning teams:

$20,000 (1st Place award)

A&M-Commerce Member: Dr. Dan Creider (Computer Science)

Thematic Area: Cybersecurity

Project Name: Powering Up: Cybersecurity Education for a Dispersed Workforce

$2,500 (3rd Place award)

A&M-Commerce Member: Dr. Perry Moler (Technology Management)

Thematic Area: Infrastructure

Project Name: REALI: Model Public Perception and Use of Green Technology to Reduce Water Erosion in San Angelo, TX

$2,500 (3rd Place award)

A&M-Commerce Member: Dr. Marty Yaqub (Industrial Engineering)

Thematic Area: Energy Systems

Project Name: Autonomous Vehicles Infrastructure Development (AVID)

$2,500 (3rd Place award)

A&M-Commerce Members: Dr. Sojung Kim (Industrial Engineering) and Mr. Pat Carter (Electrical Engineering)

Thematic Area: Energy Systems

Project Name: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Energy

The conference is produced by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, a state agency that is operated by the A&M System. The agency operates 26 research centers across Texas. According to their website, “TEES researchers conduct relevant research and provide practical answers to critical state and national needs.”