Newsletter Issue 26, July 2022
From the Founding Director
Some wonderful events have come to pass in recent months since our last newsletter. After having to cancel our 2021 gala due to the COVID pandemic, on May 20, 2022 we held our gala celebration of the Hagler Institute’s 10-year anniversary. The “icing on the cake”, however, was state-wide recognition of the unusual success of the Hagler Institute in bringing academy-level scholars to Texas.  

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST) presented me with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting in June at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. From the TAMEST News bulletin,

 “Dr. Junkins is recognized for attracting and nurturing top-tier research talent in Texas through the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University.”

The award is presented to Texas Leaders or organizations for exceptional service that advances the goals of TAMEST, and it is bestowed only when current and past presidents of TAMEST vote and deem it deserved.  I am humbled, as I was the first individual member of TAMEST to be awarded this honor. In my acceptance remarks, I noted that I was very pleased to receive this honor on behalf of our remarkable team effort.

TAMEST membership is comprised of those individuals in Texas who have been inducted into one or more of the congressionally mandated national academies of medicine, engineering, and science, thus representing the most accomplished and nationally recognized scholars and researchers in those fields in Texas. 

Dr. David E. Daniel, the TAMEST President, interviewed me in a special session titled “Attracting Top-Tier Talent to Texas.” He began by telling the audience how difficult it is to bring to Texas academy members located in another state, and that the Hagler Institute has managed to attract 88 such scholars.  I explained how faculty submit confidential nominations, which are evaluated by a team of nine A&M University Distinguished Professors. Only those nominees meeting the highest standards and receiving the highest honors in their profession are approved for recruiting as Fellows of the Institute. I displayed a collage of pictures of the 88 Fellows that the Institute has brought to Texas A&M to collaborate on research with its faculty and students by offering them the “mother of all sabbaticals”. I explained that more than 20% of the Fellows have so far joined Texas A&M’s faculty upon completion of their time in the Institute.  I also remarked that the Fellows, their faculty hosts, and the collaborating graduate students have all enjoyed the acceleration of their careers.

Even though I instigated this idea at Texas A&M, I solemnly thanked a wonderful team that made success possible. John Sharp, Chancellor of the A&M System, helped provide the start-up funds for the Institute, and Jon Hagler, provided the signature endowment that secured the permanency of the Institute. President M. Katherine Banks’ support for the Institute is broadly based and advances the impact of the Institute on the A&M campus. I warmly acknowledged Associate Director Dr. Clifford Fry and Assistant Director Amanda Scott for helping make the Institute a successful venture and, especially, for carrying the load of the Institute when I recently served as Interim President of Texas A&M University. I reserved a special thank you to my wife, Elouise, for her love, support, and inspiration.  
Dr. Junkins is pictured with Kay Bailey Hutchison and Dr. David E. Daniel, President of TAMEST at the conference.
Photo Credit: Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science, and Technology.
Dr. and Mrs. Junkins pictured with Kay Bailey Hutchison
at the TAMEST conference.
Dr. Junkins pictured with Dr. Richard Gibbs, 2015-2016 Hagler Fellow
and Director of the Baylor College of Medicine
Human Genome Sequencing Center.
The Kay Bailey Hutchison Award is the supreme state-wide tribute to the establishment and accomplishments of the Hagler Institute.  The award is a capstone to the Hagler Institute’s first decade of success.  

I am deeply grateful to the Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, President David Daniel, and the TAMEST selection committee that chose me and the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study for this high honor. Quoting George Peppard from an old television show, the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together!”  However, we are just getting warmed up. We look forward to many future impacts and the continued elevation of Texas A&M University and academy representation in Texas. 

Onward and upward,
Official Induction, Finally
Due to the COVID pandemic, the Hagler Institute was unable to host a 2021 induction gala.  After unexpected events necessitated rescheduling this spring, on May 20, 2022 the Hagler Institute finally held its black-tie induction gala for the Fellows from 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years, as well a Distinguished Lecturer from 2019-2020.

Institute advocates, Stephanie Sale and her husband, Jim Singleton have sponsored a brunch at their house on the morning of the gala for the past half-decade. These wonderful gatherings enable Fellows to meet in person for the first time, providing socialization opportunities before their induction into the Hagler Institute. This year, despite being in rehabilitation from surgery up to the day of the gala, Stephanie, with help from Jim, arranged an outstanding brunch to honor the incoming Fellows, held in a private room in the local Stella hotel. 
For the table shown in the picture, Stephanie is on the left, sitting with Fellows from the 2021-2022 class. On the right is Arthur Jaffe. Next to him is Jennifer Elisseeff, then Theodore Goodson III. At the end of the table is Shaul Mukamel. Jim Singleton can be seen at the table toward the back.  

The gala was held later that evening at the Zone Club located in the Kyle Field football stadium complex. While Director Junkins reviewed their credentials, each inductee walked under a saber arch from eight of A&M’s Ross Volunteers, the official honor guard of the Governor of Texas. 

Inductees were (field expertise, home institution):

2019-2020 Distinguished Lecturer:

2020-2021 Fellows:

2021-2022 Fellows
Nikolay I. Zheludev and his wife, Tanya Nousinova,
are shown entering the event.

Dr. Junkins briefly reviewed the accomplishments of those Fellows who were not able to attend. Absent Fellows will be inducted formally during future galas.

A special moment was when Director Junkins presented the inaugural Frank J. Malina ’34 Renaissance Medallion named after this remarkable pioneer who developed the foundations for today’s rocket and missile development, co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech and subsequently made indelible contributions as an artist.  
The award was presented to Paul "Haskell" Motheral ’52 , a successful engineer and businessman who is in the Austin Jazz Society Hall of Fame.  Paul and Elizabeth Motheral also have a legacy of generous music-related philanthropy, including substantial endowments to help fund the Texas A&M Music Activities Center.
The expression by Paula Hammond from MIT, one of the most accomplished scientists in America, pretty much says it all. Attendees enjoyed a good time. 
Dancing to the Greg Tivis’ Dance Orchestra ended the event. Ray Rothrock, a member of the Hagler Institute’s External Advisory Board, and his wife Meredith enjoy the music.
Hagler Fellow Updates
The Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE) has brought two Nobel Laureates in Physics to Texas A&M through the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. The most recent is 2021-22 Fellow and 2018 Nobel Prize winner Donna Strickland, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The first was the late Roy Glauber of Harvard University, who was in the 2016-17 class of Hagler Fellows.

On her initial visit to Texas A&M as a Hagler Fellow, Dr. Strickland presented a Distinguished Lecture co-sponsored by IQSE and the Hagler Institute. In that lecture titled “From Nonlinear Optics to High-Intensity Laser Physics,” Dr. Strickland discussed matters related to her prize-winning research, the development of chirped pulse amplification (CPA). She explained how these short, intense laser pulses increase the intensity of light by multiples above what had previously been achieved with lasers. She discussed how CPA can cut transparent material and the implications for enhanced laser intensity for future applications.  
University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Deputy Director of the Hagler Institute, Dr. Ed Fry, greets Dr. Donna Strickland as she prepares to sign the official induction book of the Hagler Institute.
Peter Shor Swims in the
Quantum Ocean

Some people say, “You can’t win ‘em all”, but don’t tell that to Peter Shor, 2019-2020 Fellow of the Hagler Institute and Morss Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Peter Shor is an “off-the-charts” mathematical physicist who goes down untraveled roads and brings back some startling breakthroughs, for which he has received numerous honors and awards. His most recent achievement is the 2022-2023 James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award. This award is the highest honor a member of the MIT faculty can receive. Professor Shor is well-deserving of this honor, for he has extraordinary accomplishments in mathematics, computer science, and quantum physics.

Professor Shor is best known for having derived Shor’s algorithm, which forms the basis for quantum computing, which promises to solve problems faster than the fastest supercomputer. The National Academy of Sciences inducted Dr. Shor as a Fellow in 2002. Dr. Shor has also received the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize from the International Congress of Mathematicians, the Gödel Prize awarded jointly by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science and the Association for Computing Machinery, the Dirac Medal from the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, and the Micius Quantum Prize in 2018 for his work in quantum computation.
The COVID pandemic delayed Dr. Shor’s visits to Texas A&M as a Fellow of the Hagler Institute. His visits will resume, however, and he will be working primarily with faculty and students in the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, but also with others on campus who are interested in quantum computing. 
Michael Duff:
Researcher Extraordinaire 

Michael Duff remains an active Fellow from the class of 2018-2019. A senior research investigator at Imperial College in London, he is continuing collaboration with researchers in the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE) at Texas A&M University. He works in the fields of quantum gravity, quantum informatics, string theory, M-theory, and unified theories of elementary particles. He lately edited a book titled “Steven Weinberg: Selected Papers.” The Royal Society Publishing honored Michael Duff by publishing a collection of 16 research papers, titled “Quantum gravity, branes, and M-theory.” This special edition was in honor of Michael Duff’s 70th birthday.

Michael Duff continues to publish advances in his field, such as “The conformal brane-scan: an update” in the June 2022 issue of the Journal of High Energy Physics. As a Hagler Fellow, he has consistently given credit in his writings to A&M’s IQSE and the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. Such acknowledgments help spread the word about the research being conducted by Fellows of the Hagler Institute and, more broadly, at Texas A&M University.
Peter Hotez: Educator and Scientist

Peter Hotez, an internationally recognized physician, scientist, and author from the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, is a 2019-2020 Fellow of the Hagler Institute. He is also still active as a Fellow due to pandemic delays in visiting Texas A&M.  Dr. Hotez has often appeared on national television programs to educate about vaccines and mitigate the spread of misinformation pertaining to COVID-19. Dr. Hotez was recently selected by the American Medical Writers Association as the 2022 John P. McGovern Award Recipient for his dedicated contributions to different outlets of medical communication.

As often as he has participated in educational endeavors, it is amazing that he still finds time to conduct meaningful research. However, Dr. Hotez has been at the forefront, leading the development of a cost-effective vaccine for COVID-19 that is safe, effective, and affordable for lower-income countries and delivering the vaccines to millions of underserved populations around the world.

Dr. Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi played a critical role in the development and distribution of CORBEVAX, a protein sub-unit COVID-19 vaccine to India and other underprivileged nations. For this work, they were nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, Immunobiologist
Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, 2018-2019 Fellow of the Hagler Institute and Director of the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Berlin, Germany, is one of the most-cited scientists in the world. As with other Fellows of the Hagler Institute, he has earned many major awards and been elected to prestigious organizations in his field.

Dr. Kaufmann’s main current interest is in immunology, particularly intracellular bacteria, and vaccines as they pertain to tuberculosis. His work is not confined to a laboratory, for one of his quests is to stop the spread of tuberculosis in India.
In one recent research report published in the June 2022 edition of, he and his team report results from vaccine trials they have conducted on children in South Africa. In a recent paper in the European Respiratory Review, titled “Pathogenesis of tuberculosis: the 1930 Lübeck disaster revisited,” Kaufmann delves into the historical tragedy in which the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis was accidentally mixed with tubercle bacillus, resulting in numerous deaths. He explains that deaths were due to contamination, not to the vaccine itself but this unfortunate incident caused public skepticism of vaccines for decades. He has published several other papers that have helped reduce the stigmas around these vaccines and proven their safety and efficacy.

Dr. Kaufmann works primarily in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences when at Texas A&M, but also teams with researchers in the School of Public Health, and the College of Medicine. One of his team’s recent articles, titled “Video Endoscopy-Guided Intrabronchial Spray Inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis in Goats and Comparative Assessment of Lung Lesions With Various Imaging Methods” appeared in the May 2022 issue of Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

Stefan and his wife, Elke, will be returning to Texas A&M for four months beginning in mid-November to work with A&M’s faculty and students. 
Henry Rousso and the Memorial of Terrorism

Henry Rousso is a 2019-2020 Hagler Institute Fellow and the Director of France’s National Museum on the History of Terror being built in Paris. On April 25, 2022, he presented “Memorializing Violence: the French Museum and Memorial of Terrorism” at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in the Presidential Orientation Theater. In his presentation, he described how the museum came about, its objectives, and gave a report on its current status.  The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study was the proud co-sponsor of this and a related recent symposium in Washington, D.C.
Pictured (left to right) at Dr. Rousso's lecture:
  • Clifford Fry, Associate Director, Hagler Institute
  • Andrew S. Natsios, Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs and Executive Professor
  • Henry Rousso, 2019-2020 Fellow of the Hagler Institute and Director, French National Museum on the History of Terror
  • Richard Golsan, University Distinguished Professor of French, Department of International Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Sarah Misemer, Associate Director of Faculty Affairs, School of Performance, Visualization, and Fine Arts. 
Huda Zoghbi Wins
the Kavli Prize

Huda Zoghbi, 2019-2020 Distinguished Lecturer of the Hagler Institute, recently won the prestigious 2022 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.  Dr. Zoghbi is a Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, is the Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. She has previously received numerous other honors and awards, including the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience in 2011, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Science in 2017, and the Brain Prize in 2020. Her work has earned her elected membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

As part of her recognition with the 2022 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, her life story was featured in “Relentless Desire to Help Rett Syndrome Patients As Told By Huda Zoghbi.” In the release, Dr. Zoghbi relates,

“My career path was further defined by one of my patients. Ashley was referred by her pediatrician, Dr. Merlene McAlevy, who suspected Rett Syndrome based on a paper describing the syndrome for the first time in English, just published by Bengt Hagberg (October 1983). (Rett Syndrome is a rare neurological and developmental disorder that affects the way the brain functions after birth, causing a progressive loss of motor skills and speech).”

Her patient, Ashley, was the first child Dr. Zoghbi saw with Rett Syndrome. Ashley is the daughter of Clifford Fry, Associate Director of the Hagler Institute. Ashley was a key inspiration to Dr. Zoghbi and was her special guest at the press conference at which Dr. Zoghbi announced the finding of the gene that causes Rett Syndrome. The Fry family and Dr. Zoghbi have enjoyed a special relationship. Dr. Zoghbi visited Ashley at the Fry’s home when in College Station to attend the gala, a moment of which was captured in the picture below.
Not all Work
Those who come to the Hagler Institute work hard, but they also take time for multidisciplinary chats and just plain ol’ fun.  During the school year, each Wednesday the Fellows of the Hagler Institute meet for lunch with former Fellows who have joined A&M’s faculty. Fellows get to enjoy various dinner opportunities, as well.  

A picture is worth a 1000 words, so “they” say, so I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Meeting at the University Club is (left to right): Edwin L. “Ned” Thomas, 2019-2020 Fellow of the Hagler Institute and formerly on the faculty of MIT and Rice University, now at Texas A&M in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Leif Andersson, 2013-2014 Fellow of the Hagler Institute, now 50% time on the faculty of A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and 50% time at the Uppsala University in Sweden, where he directs the animal genetics component of the Nordic Center of Excellence in Disease Genetics; and Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, 2018-2019 Fellow of the Hagler Institute and Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. Stefan collaborates on research in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and A&M’s School of Public Health. He will be back on campus for four months in late 2022 and early 2023. Each one of these scholars is at the forefront of research in their fields.  
What comes around goes around, and it is fitting that during the Institute’s 10th anniversary we would receive a visit from Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan (far right), who was in the first class of Fellows, in 2012-2013. He is a former Dean of Engineering at New York University, where he also holds professorships in the Department of Physics and in Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Professor Sreenivasan is one of those rare scholars who has been inducted into both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, as well as being a member of several international academies.  Dr. Sreenivasan also recently presented the Trotter Lecture here at Texas A&M in which he explored topics on the interface of humanism, theology, and science. Dr. Sreenivasan, now a Distinguished Lecturer of the Hagler Institute, is shown here with Dr. Marlan Scully, Director, Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, Dr. Clifford Fry, Associate Director, Hagler Institute, and Dr. John Junkins, Director of the Hagler Institute. 
This group is enjoying dinner at the Casa do Brasil in College Station. On the left is Clifford Fry with his wife, Judy joined by Alan Needleman, 2012-2013 Fellow of the Hagler Institute, now on the faculty of Texas A&M in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Next to him is Marlan Scully, Director of A&M’s Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE). On the right side of the table, first is Vladislav Yakovlev, a professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics and Astronomy. Next to him is Donna Strickland, 2021-2022 Hagler Fellow and winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, visiting from the University of Waterloo and collaborating with faculty in IQSE.  Douglas Dykaar is Visiting Research Scientist and Distinguished Lecturer with IQSE, and Michael Duff, 2018-2019 Hagler Fellow is an Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College, London, also engaged in research collaboration with the IQSE. National Rankings
One purpose of the Hagler Institute is to foster collaborations on research between Texas A&M University’s (A&M’s) faculty and students and outstanding scholars based elsewhere. While we do not have data from that would help assess the impact of the Institute, research rankings are informative as to how the world is viewing Texas A&M University. The Hagler Institute is devoted to making Texas A&M a recognized research leader.

The firm ranks national and international universities in various areas of academic research expertise using the h-index, which measures individuals’ research productivity and impact using citations, and other bibliometric indicators. based its compilations on a detailed examination of 166,880 researchers’ profiles from Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph.  

Focusing here on the national data, the two Texas flagship research universities in Texas fared well in national ranking. Their national rankings are compiled using data gathered by December 6, 2021 and the descriptions of disciplines are those used and reported by The rankings that are displayed in this newsletter are gathered through an iterative process at the web page using the “Top Universities” tab and searching under each discipline while confining the search to the United States. 
Of the 21 different fields mentioned in rankings, The University of Texas at Austin (UT) ranked higher than A&M in 13 of them, with A&M in the lead in 7 fields. In several disciplines, A&M and UT ranked very close to each other. However, focusing only on top 10 rankings, A&M has 7 fields of research listed in the top ten in the nation, and UT has 5. 
The metrics for disciplines defined by show that A&M and UT continue to maintain their national, and indeed international reputations as research leaders among those in higher education.

While does not provide historical data, there is a strong sense of momentum at Texas A&M. As evident from the growth in our national academy membership from 13 members in 2011 to 52 today, Texas A&M is undergoing a revolutionary increase in the number of top scholars.
Members of the Hagler Institute
Reflect On 10 Years Of
Unprecedented Collaboration
Since 2012, the institute has inducted 88 of the greatest minds in academia, forging lifelong multidisciplinary collaborations with A&M students and faculty.

The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, a program conceived by Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering John L. Junkins, this month inducted its 10th class of fellows. Some of its members, including its namesake, are reflecting on its profound impact on research and scholarship on campus and beyond.

Unique among peer universities, the Hagler Institute has over the past decade brought 88 world-class scholars for extensive visits to the Texas A&M campus. Known as Hagler Fellows, these scholars who hail from universities across the nation and abroad collaborate with Aggie students and faculty to enhance A&M programs, work on difficult research problems and heighten the university's reputation as a top-tier research institution. The fellows come for advanced study at Texas A&M for up to a year (which can be spread out between multiple visits over time), with the freedom to pursue their own research interests and collaborations. More than 20 percent of the fellows have stayed to become permanent A&M faculty members.

Among the fellows are three Nobel Laureates, one winner of the Wolf Prize, and dozens of international and national medal winners and academy members from a wide variety of disciplines, from engineering and architecture to education and the arts and sciences.

'Speed Dating for Nobel Laureates'

It was a one-page white paper drafted in 1999 that ultimately led to the 2011 creation of the institute which "emerged as a permanent and efficient mechanism to attract remarkably talented individuals whose strengths align with the university's ambitions," said Junkins, who in early 2021 served for five months as the university's interim president.

After a number of rewrites, his proposal was eventually adopted as part of the Academic Master Plan in 2008. After additional committee work, it was formally approved by the Board of Regents in December 2010 and named the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study. 

"However, there was not sufficient money to begin," Junkins said. "Several faculty, including me, voted with our own life savings by making estate gifts, but there was still insufficient funds to launch."

That was until September of 2011, when Junkins had lunch with newly appointed A&M System Chancellor John Sharp.

"I proposed that he help by contributing to the 5-year startup budget," Junkins said. "I could tell he liked the idea and that he was looking for a way to make a constructive impact on the university." Just two days later, the two met again and Sharp agreed to provide $5 million over five years.
"Chancellor Sharp joked that I had invented 'speed dating for Nobel Laureates,'" Junkins recalled, "and if some of them come here and it feels like a good fit, he will do his best to provide the funds making it impossible for them to leave."

Another pivotal day came in 2015 with a $20 million endowment from avid A&M supporter and Distinguished Alumnus Jon Hagler, a 1958 graduate of the university, who became the institute's namesake. "This endowment is obviously of vital importance to ensure the institute is stabilized, forever," Junkins said.

"John Junkins has been my partner since I joined the Institute's External Advisory Board, but his transformative entrepreneurship and vision were there well before I was," said Hagler. "Actually, I was slow to be convinced that the program could be as powerful as it has turned out to be. I feel fortunate that John was patient in his tutoring of me on the benefits of the institute."

Hagler said he chose to gift the institute because the idea so well-aligned with Vision 2020, the university's 1997 aspirational outline, in which he played a key role, serving as co-chair with then-President Ray Bowen.

"While it has much to be proud of in its history, Texas A&M’s land-grant culture, especially its all-male compulsory corps mandate, did not initially promote academic aspirations," Hagler said. "The change to a non-compulsory corps and the admission of women, under Earl Rudder’s leadership, was profound. It energized again a historic pattern of campus leaders initiating periodic efforts to make the university better."

He said the first four of the 12 "imperatives" Vision 2020 articulated in 1997 were about enhancing the academic reputation of A&M.

"Vision 2020 was blessed by the Regents but it was a vision, not a strategic plan, and did not include specific actions to achieve the vision," he said. "Those specific actions were to be undertaken by the current and future administrations."

Junkins' idea of bringing world-class faculty to A&M met the standards set forth by Vision 2020, Hagler said, and he's thrilled with the institute's progress.

"The quality of fellows is high, the involvement of the faculty is substantial, and I believe the program is positively enhancing the first three imperatives of Vision 2020," Junkins said. "I also believe it is justifiably enhancing our university’s national stature as a heavy-duty public research university."

Hagler said he sees two areas for more relative emphasis in the immediate future. "First, we need more institute chairs in the individual colleges," he said. "They will assure continued college support for high- quality nominations and fellows.”

"Additionally, we are looking at ways to increase the number of social scientist nominations and fellows, which would be of material assistance to achieving Imperative 4 of Vision 2020 [Build the Letters, Arts, and Sciences Core] as well as aid the university in tackling some of society’s most pressing current issues."

Hagler Institute Permanent Members
Perhaps it's fitting here in Aggieland that as of this year, 12 of the fellows joined A&M's faculty:
·        The late Harold Adams, RKTL International
·        Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Sweden
·        Luiz Davidovich, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
·        The late Christodoulos Floudas, Princeton University
·        The late Karl Hedrick, University of California-Berkeley
·        Roger Howe, Yale University
·        James E. Hubbard, University of Maryland
·        Robert Kennicutt Jr. University of Cambridge, England
·        Alan Needleman, University of North Texas
·        Robert Skelton, University of California-San Diego
·        Edwin L. "Ned" Thomas, Rice University
·        William G. Unruh, University of British Columbia, Canada

The multidisciplinary collaborations forged through the institute have resulted in the publication of more than 100 papers and several books, while generating millions of dollars in research grants. Junkins noted a 400 percent growth in national academy members added to the faculty over the decade, calling it "an unprecedented revolution, nationally." He said by the institute's sixth year, a Provost-authorized study showed it had brought around $50 million to the university with a six-year total cost of less than $15 million. That the institute more than pays for itself is comforting but this is not the most important issue.

Junkins said the inspiration of students and faculty, and the enhanced quality of academic programs, which may be more difficult to document than financial impacts are by far the most important outcomes.

Like Junkins and Hagler, several of the institute's fellows recently reflected on their experiences at A&M and agreed the program has been revolutionary:

The A. N. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor of Radiology and on the Committee on Medical Physics at the University of Chicago, Maryellen Giger, mentored and collaborated with students and faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BMEN) at Texas A&M. Giger is an expert in computer-aided diagnosis, computer vision and machine learning (AI) of medical images. As a medical physicist, she works to develop computerized methods for the accurate diagnosis and treatment monitoring of diseases such as cancer, lupus and COVID-19, and in general, personalized healthcare with big data through interdisciplinary teams. She was named in 2013 by the International Congress on Medical Physics as one of 50 medical physicists with the most impact in the past 50 years.

Giger was on campus at A&M intermittently from 2016-2020 as a Hagler Fellow, and also collaborated remotely, especially with Kristen Maitland, a BMEN faculty member. Giger participated in a variety of endeavors including lecturing in a graduate course, co-advising Ph.D. students, and enhancing the BMEN department with her significant expertise in image analysis and machine learning. She also advised on grant writing, served on an advisory group, collaborated with an X grant team, and met with BMEN chairs and EnMed leadership.

Giger said she enjoyed her time working with Aggie students and faculty while maintaining her active research lab in Chicago. "I liked expanding beyond my university; it was nice to go somewhere else," she said. "You don't often receive the opportunity to wander without cutting the cord."

She said she especially enjoyed mentoring students and faculty at A&M since at UChicago, much of her teaching is also conducted through mentoring as opposed to the classroom. "I like to be more interactive," she said noting that six researchers in her lab have each been with her for 20 years. "We have all grown up in the lab, succeeding through various expertise areas, multiple medical physics graduate students, multiple collaborations around the world, and varying leadership roles. My biggest reward is when my student becomes my colleague."

Results of her collaborations through the Hagler program have been multiple published, submitted or in-preparation papers, and gaining life-long collaborators. In addition, a BMEN Ph.D. graduate now is a UChicago post doc in Giger’s lab.

Giger said the Hagler Institute program is beneficial both for its fellows as well as for A&M. "It's an outstanding and novel program that aims to fill the gaps within TAMU through extending external collaborations by bringing expert faculty to campus," she said. "I highly recommend it."

Professor of Physics and Astronomy Robert Kennicutt Jr. now calls Texas A&M home as a result of his Hagler Fellowship. As an observational astronomer, he works on some of the largest-scale astrophysics and astronomy challenges, including the formation of stars and galaxies, and the size and age of the universe. Prior to joining the A&M faculty, he was a professor at the University of Cambridge where he held the Plumian Chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy professorship, which was established by Sir Issac Newton.

Kennicutt spent his fellowship initially collaborating with the research groups of Professors Casey Papovich and Kim-VyTran, who "study very distant galaxies observed when the universe was much younger than today," he said. "I also worked with a couple of their students off my Hagler funds." Many papers resulted from these collaborations, including one with an Aggie student.

He said he wasn't surprised by the quality of A&M research since he was already familiar with most of the faculty as colleagues or students earlier in his career. "I was impressed also by the quality and motivation of the students, both graduate and undergraduate," he said. "The astronomy group at TAMU was less than a decade old at the time, and it usually takes much longer to attract strong students and build a cohesive environment and culture."

Kennicutt, who became a member of the A&M faculty in 2018, said the Hagler Fellowship gave him the opportunity to get to know the department and the university and the Hagler Institute is a "splendid program. It brings some of the leading scholars here every year. They energize our faculty and students and in turn we expose them to everything Texas A&M has to offer. I can't say enough good things about it or thank Jon Hagler and John Junkins enough."

In 2019-21, Kennicutt co-chaired a National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics, commissioned by the U.S. Congress, NASA, National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, to set out a decadal plan of science priorities and recommend new facilities and programs for the entirety of the field.

"Thanks to COVID, it took longer than expected, but we delivered our report late last year and it has been very well received by Congress, the federal agencies and our own professional community," he said. He's still involved in meeting with government representatives in the agencies, the House and Senate and their staff to explain and advocate for the survey and recommendations. "It was a huge honor to be asked to serve in that way."

Astronomy excites and inspires people of all ages and backgrounds, especially young people, said Kennicutt. "We're trying to understand the origins of the stars, chemical elements and galaxies, and those life stories are all closely connected," he said. "With the recent launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the field will take a leap forward, and our projects were laying the groundwork for those observations and others."

One Hagler Fellow who chose to make his relationship with Texas A&M permanent is Alan Needleman, professor of materials science and engineering, and of mechanical engineering, a University Distinguished Professor and holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker '39 Chair II. Needleman completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1970 and then spent five years in Applied Mathematics at MIT before joining Brown University. In 2009 he and his wife Wanda moved to Texas to be near grandchildren and he became a faculty member at the University of North Texas before joining the Texas A&M faculty in 2015.

Needleman was in the Institute’s first class of Fellows, which at that time was the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS). While a Fellow, he collaborated with Professor of Aerospace Engineering Amine Benzerga and a graduate student of Benzerga’s, Babak Kondori. They carried out a theoretical study of the mechanical properties of materials at small scales in order to provide a basis for understanding limits on the mechanical performance and reliability of microscale as well as macroscale components.
Needleman noted that one rewarding aspect of this research project, as of many other research projects, is that it involved people from very different backgrounds and cultures. "Research brings people together to interact in a positive and constructive way," he said. "It changes perspectives of people in a way that goes beyond the specific research area."

When recalling his early days on campus, Needleman said, "I must have liked it because I moved here." The Needlemans found the Texas A&M and the Hagler Institute communities to be engaging and intellectually exciting. "There's an atmosphere here that Wanda and I love," he said.

He noted that the Institute has had a huge effect on Texas A&M, "both through the people who have come here and through Fellows returning to their home institutions and telling colleagues and students what an exciting place Texas A&M is.”  

He said students, post docs and young, rising-star faculty at Texas A&M have gotten to interact with highly accomplished people from all over the world and it has created a sense of community that has extended the influence of Texas A&M into universities around the U.S. and the world.

“The Institute has events where students, post docs and young faculty get to have dinner with famous people, perhaps even with a Nobel Prize winner, people whose names they've heard but never imagined meeting in person," Needleman said. "They get to see these 'names' as real people, not just names in a paper or book. The interactions that students, post docs and young faculty have with Hagler Fellows has had a large positive impact on their careers and on their lives."

Needleman said that John Junkins' vision in establishing the Institute was "amazing, the Hagler Institute has certainly had an impact on my life and on Texas A&M in a way that is hard to overestimate."  

The Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University H. Vincent Poor, is on the A&M campus this summer continuing collaborations founded via his Hagler Fellowship. His research group at Princeton focuses on three areas: wireless networks, electric grids and, most recently, the modeling of viral spread.

Poor worked with students and faculty in A&M's College of Engineering, including Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Xi Zhang and two graduate students, Jingqing Wang and Qixuan Zhu, to address a variety of challenges in next-generation wireless networks.

"Now 5G is being deployed, so we're looking at 6G; there's a new generation about every 10 years," Poor said. "These new networks will have many features even 5G networks don't have – extremely high data rates and very short delays in getting messages across the network, so we are working to develop new methods to enable these next generation networks."

Poor said the Hagler program is "terrific. It's been a great experience for me personally. There's interaction with faculty in electrical engineering and other departments, as well as interaction with other Hagler members. It's a stellar group every year."

Poor said he's grateful to the Hagler Institute, as well as Hagler himself and the other generous donors who have made the program possible.
He concluded, "John Junkins had an extraordinary vision and he and his team have implemented that vision spectacularly."

Professor of Materials Science & Engineering Edwin L. "Ned" Thomas, holder of the Erle Nye '59 Chair II and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is one of the 12 Hagler Fellows who decided to make Texas A&M his home. Thomas was the Ernest Dell Butcher Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Nanoengineering and former dean of engineering at Rice University prior to joining the A&M faculty.

Thomas' work centers around soft matter like polymers and concerns structure-property relationships – basically, how the structure of a material at the atomic, molecular and meso-scale controls its behavior and properties-performance. "Structures are never perfect and contain various types and amounts of defects," Thomas explained. "Defects can degrade performance, but sometimes they can be beneficial and enhance properties, for example, dislocation defects can improve mechanical strength."

He said understanding how materials behave when subjected to various stimuli is key to improving their properties. For example, he studies mechanical behavior at extreme deformation rates, which is relevant to such endeavors as developing ballistic protection against micrometeorites.

During his initial stay as a Hagler Fellow, Thomas collaborated with a number of campus members including Professor George M. Pharr, who holds the Erle Nye '59 Chair I in the College of Engineering, as well as A&M Professors Svetlana Sukhishvili, director of the Soft Matter Facility, and Jodie Lutkenhaus, the Axalta Coating Systems Chair in Chemical Engineering.

"I have found A&M faculty very open concerning sharing and discussing research ideas and even willingness to share their lab equipment," Thomas said, noting the collaborations resulted in several published manuscripts.

Additionally, their work is influencing other researchers. "We have developed a high-resolution 3D imaging technique for structure determination in soft matter called 'slice and view scanning electron tomography' (SVSEMT)," he said. "It is gratifying to see other groups around the world adapting this tool for their own research."

Thomas said he decided to stay at A&M "in a large part due to the palpable feeling of growing momentum for TAMU going forward in research." Also, he said, being part of a new and growing Materials Science and Engineering department was intriguing.

He said the Hagler Institute is a gem. "I think the idea of bringing leading researchers and scholars to College Station and immersing them in the A&M 'can-do' culture has been a very successful means of both bringing leading faculty to join the ranks of A&M as well as enhancing the quality of scholarship being conducted," he said. "Texas A&M already has a lot of great traditions that impact the world and the Hagler Institute is creating a tradition of broad world-wide scholarship across all academic disciplines. That’s powerful."

By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications
Harold Adams Remembered
On April 12, 2022, Harold Adams passed away. In so doing, the family he treasured, the Hagler Institute, A&M’s College of Architecture, and the nation that he loved, lost a great man. Harold’s wife, Janice, asked John Junkins to speak at Harold’s memorial service. On behalf of the staff of the Hagler Institute, we pay tribute to Harold Adams by presenting to you Director Junkins’ testimony.

“The Texas A&M University and our Community has lost a remarkable person, my friend Harold Adams.

Harold’s family is enduring the wake of his death, Harold was the Patriarch of an awesome family, he was an irreplaceable Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Mentor.

Harold was a dear friend and colleague of many gathered here, we all feel his passing like a thunderbolt to the heart.

Harold was such an extraordinarily accomplished and charismatic man. 

I am humbled by Janice’s request for me to say a few words today.

When you look at his amazing career accomplishments, you cannot help but say WOW and say it OUT LOUD.

  • Harold graduated from Texas A&M University in 1962 and joined the architecture firm of Warnecke & Associates who were engaged in several historical Washington, DC projects.

  • To say Harold hit the ground running is an understatement; he was quickly assigned to work on restoring the Lafayette Square Executive Office Building.

  • Mrs. John Kennedy was taking personal interest in this project when young Harold was also assigned the job of escorting the President and First Lady on a tour.  The Kennedys were immediately taken by this very bright and sharply dressed 22 yr old architect
  • They hired Harold’s firm (and Harold) to undertake the architectural challenge of renovating several homes in the Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port, and Bobby Kennedy’s home near Washington DC, in addition to continuing the work on Lafayette Square.
  • After the tragic assassination of President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy insisted that Harold design and supervise the building of the JFK memorial => This Eternal Flame burns today.
  • 5 yrs into his career, at age 27, Harold left Warnecke and joined RTKL, another DC area architectural firm. 2 years later, at age 29, he was named President. In 3 more years, at age 33, he was named CEO.  Under Harold’s leadership, this small one location firm grew from about 25 Architects to 14 international locations and 1200 employees. The remarkable range of unique projects they undertook is simply staggering, Harold proved to be not only a gifted architect but also a highly effective leader and manager. Among hundreds of creative and substantial projects over 55 years, I mention only 3 Washington DC area projects:
  • The repair/rebuild of the Pentagon after the 911 attack
  • The Saudi Arabian Embassy
  • His Magnus Opus Project: The monumental effort to design/build the Visitors Center and associated renovations at the US Capitol

Harold the Architect won every top US honor in his profession and multiple international honors. He was inducted as a Hagler Fellow in the 3rd class of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study and subsequently joined our College of Architecture faculty where he has made numerous contributions.
He and Janice paralleled his professional life by a remarkable volume and high quality set of philanthropic and service contributions which I do not have time to list, but their impact locally and nationally has been enormous on this front.

The life and times of Harold Adams the person, the father, the friend and the humanist are impossible to summarize in five minutes. 

Let me just close by saying that I have never met a person this accomplished professionally who was:

 This Modest, This Thoughtful, This Generous, This Warm
and This Good to the Bone.
Harold Adams represents the best example I know of… His life is an inspirational example of How to Live.

Rest in Peace Harold Adams.”
If you have news to share, please send articles, suggestions, or other information to:
Dr. Clifford L. Fry, Associate Director
Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University