The Texas A&M University System is uniquely positioned to make significant academic and research contributions to national security with a special emphasis on nuclear security. As one of the largest higher education systems in the nation, with an annual budget of $6.3 billion and more than 151,000 students and eight state agencies, the Texas A&M System has made significant investments in national security research, testing and evaluation facilities and support staff.
The Texas A&M System has a long history steeped in military tradition, and remains committed to public service and serving the greater good. Through research, education and service, the system is committed to supporting the security of our nation.
The breadth, depth and complexity of the Texas A&M System enables it to work effectively and efficiently with the Nuclear Security Enterprise. From operating a Testing, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics (TRIGA) research reactor, to high explosives research and hands-on high explosives operational training, the Texas A&M System has established extensive industry partnerships, from the large governmental initiatives to small businesses, and actively seeks collaborators and partners in its national security education, research and training activities.
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Research by the Numbers
NNSA active research in 2020
Active awards with NNSA, fall 2020
principal investigator/co-principal faculty and researchers actively engaged in NNSA, fall 2020
including over 23 different departments
The Texas A&M University System and Los Alamos National Laboratory
In 2018, the National Nuclear Security Administration awarded the management and operations contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to Triad National Security, LLC (Triad). Triad is a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute, The Texas A&M University System and the University of California.
Areas of study supported by A&M System researchers include time dependent neutronics, radiation hydrodynamics, materials in extreme environments, network security, high energy and particle physics, actinide chemistry, nuclear criticality safety, nuclear forensics, the Center for Nuclear Security Science & Policy Initiatives (NSSPI), medical isotopes and aerothermochemistry, and the National Aerothermochemistry and Hypersonics Laboratory.
The Texas A&M System performs extensive training and workforce development for LANL, including labor market analyses, training in incident management, high explosives handling, emergency management and continuity of operations.
In response to LANL requests and requirements, Texas A&M University has created several curricular courses, certificates and degree programs, via both remote and in-person delivery. LANL works with Texas A&M on numerous entrepreneurship, innovation and technology transition programs, including intensive design review programs and fellowships for graduate students.
Within the A&M System, Texas A&M University leads the nation’s largest nuclear engineering program, with a strong focus on industrial partnerships, tech transfer, nonproliferation and high hazard workforce training emphasizing criticality safety.
The Texas A&M University System and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Texas A&M University System is an affiliated partner with Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, the management contractor for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In its collaborative research program, the Texas A&M System focuses on elucidation of supersonic near surface boundary-layer heat flux and time dependent neutronics. The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and LLNL jointly developed the innovative Explosives Handler Training Program. TEEX has been offering explosives training courses for 20 years.
The Texas A&M University System and Sandia National Laboratories
At Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), The Texas A&M University System is part of the Campus Executive Program, which includes the Securing Top Academic Research & Talent with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (START HBCU) Program. This program fosters key academic partnerships with Sandia to increase research collaborations and expose diverse groups of talented students to the lasting impact they can have working at a national laboratory. Prairie View A&M University is one of only four universities in START HBCU. Texas A&M University hosted a kickoff seminar in 2019 for the seven-year Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space campaign, and has ongoing collaborative work in many areas, including: cybersecurity; infrastructure cybersecurity; the research programs SECURE and HARMONIE; hypersonics; additive manufacturing; materials in extreme environments; and guidance and navigation.
The Texas A&M University System at Pantex/Y-12
The Texas A&M University System also has built strong relationships with the Pantex Plant, opening an office on site in 2018. Located in the John C. Drummond Center at Pantex, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, a system agency, uses the space to provide technical expertise, workforce development and training at the Pantex Plant, the nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Texas A&M System staff conduct applied engineering work in workforce development pipelines and plant-directed research and development projects, data consolidation and visualization, explosives testing, corrosion safety and reliability, seismoacoustics, hypersonics and materials in extreme environments.
At a Glance:
- 40 miles away from the Pantex Plant
- Only four-year university in the Texas Panhandle
- 60 undergraduate degree programs; 38 master’s degree programs; two doctoral programs
- Nearly 20% of the workforce at the Pantex Plant are West Texas A&M University graduates.
The Program for International Nuclear Energy
The Program for International Nuclear Energy (PINE) is managed by the National Laboratories Office and plays an important role in U.S. nonproliferation strategy. It is the only academic host in the world for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) interregional visits, in coordination with the U.S. government, through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy and the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. This unique role demonstrates educational and training resources available to nations that are interested in peaceful applications of nuclear technology. PINE represented the Texas A&M System at the IAEA 65th General Conference in Vienna, Austria. IAEA’s Board of Governors has bestowed Observer Status on the Texas A&M System, a status no other university in the world has achieved.
Certificate in National Security Affairs
The National Security Affairs Program (NSAP) is an executive-level graduate education program tailored to mission-critical needs of the National Nuclear Security Administration. A professional development and leadership program, the NSAP provides fellows with tools — the concepts, approaches and frameworks — that will enhance their ability to think critically, analytically and systematically about national security policy and strategy and the role of science and technology in U.S. national security as they assume positions of increasing responsibilities at the laboratories.
Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute
The Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute is the first U.S. academic institution focused on technical graduate education, research, and service related to the safeguarding of nuclear materials and the reduction of nuclear threats and offers training, online courses, certificates, workshop and research opportunities in nuclear nonproliferation both domestically and internationally.
The Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute is working in collaboration with U.S. national laboratories and governmental agencies, the IAEA and other partners to address the problems associated with the malicious use of nuclear materials and to study policy issues related to nuclear security.
If you are interested in developing a partnership, program or connection, contact us!