2016-2017 Distinguished Lecture Series
At the time of the lectures, a live webcast will be available on the TTVN Live Webcasts web page at http://ttvn.tamus.edu/streams on TTVN Stream 6.
Texas A&M at Qatar is leading human development in Qatar by providing new ways for students, faculty and the wider community to think about new and old ideas. This culture of knowledge built by the branch campus is enriched by sharing expertise and bringing in world-renowned scholars to share theirs. Lectures on topics of cutting-edge technology, cultural examinations and anthropological topics help to create the well-rounded, world-class Aggie engineers who will drive Qatar toward its goal of being a modern, knowledge-based society. The Distinguished Lecture Series is a visible example of Texas A&M at Qatar’s commitment to being a valued resource and major contributor of knowledge and expertise to Qatar. The annual lecture series attracts world-class experts to campus, encouraging discourse among faculty and researchers in Education City and the local community on important topics in science, engineering and technology. This sharing of scholarship fosters intellectual discourse and encourages the development of critical thinking, lifelong learning and a responsibility to global awareness.
As they are usually understood, the designations “nuclear wasteland” and “pure wilderness” are opposites; when they converge into nature reserves on the sites of decommissioned nuclear weapons lands we often describe this circumstance as “paradoxical” or “ironic.” Taking stock of plans to manage lands (and build monuments to warn the very distant future), I argue that the categories of wastelands and wilderness are far from opposites; that that their relation is more intriguing (and disturbing) than a binary of purity or corruption. Indeed, the most radioactive site in the weapons complex is also, astonishingly, one of the most bio-diverse in the United States. Removing parts of the earth in perpetuity — for reasons of sanctification or despoilment — alters a central feature of the human self, presenting us in a different relation to the physical world, and raising irreducible ethical questions about who we are when land can be classified, forever, as not for us humans.
Dr. Peter L. Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor and director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is interested in the intersection of philosophical and historical questions, and his main work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of 20th century physics — experimentation, instrumentation, and theory. The volume on experiments, How Experiments End, and that on instruments, Image and Logic, are to be followed by the final volume, Building, Crashing, Thinking, that is still under construction. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps begins the study of theory by focusing on the ways in which the theory of relativity stood at the crossroads of technology, philosophy, and physics. Image & Logic won the Pfizer Award from the History of Science Society in October 1998. In addition, Galison has launched several projects examining the powerful cross-currents between science and other fields. Further work on the boundary between science and other fields includes several co-edited volumes on the relations between science, art and architecture. Galison was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1997 and received the Max Planck Prize given by the Max Planck Gesellschaft and Humboldt Stiftung in 1999.
During his long career, Rodriguez has discovered that any person can be a good researcher/scientist and that the key to reach outstanding results is what he calls “good academic practices,” which can be taught and learned. He will explain what good results are and how the work of a researcher is measured today: number of papers, number of citations and Hirsch factor. He will also explain how to organize the work of the research team and how to write good papers. This talk is dedicated to professors, researchers, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students in any field who may have an interest in research.
Dr. Jose Rodriguez is an electrical engineer and is currently the president (rector) of Universidad Andres Bello in Chile. His field of expertise is power Electronics and the control and transformation of energy using power semiconductors. He has been author of more than 400 journal and conference papers, two books and a number of book chapters. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Chilean Academy of Engineering. He was ranked number one in the world out of more than 800,000 researchers in all areas of engineering according to Microsoft Academic, considering the citations of his publications. In 2014 he received the National Award of Applied Sciences of Chile. He is included in the list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” published in 2014 and 2015 by Thomson Reuters. In 2015 he received the IEEE Eugene Mittelmann Award.
Dr. Peter Stang is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the David P. Gardner Presidential Chair and former president of the University of Utah. Born in Germany, Stang lived in Hungary for most of his childhood until his family fled the Soviet invasion of Hungary and settled in Chicago, Ill. Stang, who did not speak English, had a challenging high school experience, but eventually earned his undergraduate degree in 1963 from DePaul University and his Ph.D. in 1966 from the University of California, Berkeley. Stang conducts pioneering research in supramolecular chemistry, in which small molecules are created that can recognize each other and combine to make much more complex molecules. The implications of these molecules are far reaching, from the targeted delivery of cancer drugs to quicker chemical reactions in oil refining. Among his awards and recognitions are the Priestley Medal, National Medal of Science, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Organic Chemistry Paul G. Gassman Distinguished Service Award, and the ACS EA. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research. He has been named a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of AAAS and JSPS.
Dr. Alan W. Weimer is the H.T. Sears Memorial Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and is a globally recognized expert in fluid-particle, processing. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and is named inventor on 24 issued and eight pending U.S. patents. He was previously a scientist at The Dow Chemical Company where he co-invented, developed, and commercialized materials synthesis technology, and received several awards from the company for his work. In 1993, Weimer received the mid-Michigan Professional Progress Award by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He received both the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the University of Colorado campus-wide Faculty Research awards in 2005. In 2005, he also received the U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Program R&D Award. Weimer is an AIChE fellow and received the 1997 AIChE Fluidization Processes Recognition Award and the 2009 AIChE Thomas Baron Award for Fluid-Particle Systems. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Colorado.
Dr. Larry Lake is the Shahid and Sharon Ullah Endowed Chair in Petroleum and Geo-systems Engineering Department at University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1997) and has been recognized by many professional organizations for his original contributions. Lake has been a Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) Honorary Member since 2006. He received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in chemical engineering from Arizona State University (1967) and Rice University (1973), respectively. He is globally recognized for his research and publications in fundamental processes; integrated reservoir characterization; geostatistics, reservoir engineering and enhanced oil recovery. Lake has received University of Texas Joe J. King Award for professional service (2004), SPE DeGoyer Award for distinguished service (2003), SPE Distinguished Lecturer (1994 and 2003), Texas Society of Professional Engineers Dream Team (2001), SPE Distinguished Member (1996 and 2000), SPE Distinguished Service Award (2000), and the Claude and Billie Hocott Award, College of Engineering (1999).