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2014-15 Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study Faculty Fellow Ed Moses (left) shows a model of an ignition target to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. (Courtesy photo.)

COLLEGE STATION --

A two-time winner of Russia's State Prize and a longtime National Academy of Engineering member will be affiliated with the College of Science as two of the seven internationally renowned scholars who have accepted invitations to serve as 2014-15 Faculty Fellows of the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS).

Nuclear physicist Dr. Yuri Oganessian, professor and scientific director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research at the Dubna, Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Russia and co-discoverer of the heaviest elements in the periodic table, arrived on campus earlier this month and is working with faculty and students in the Texas A&M Cyclotron Institute. Dr. Edward I. Moses, former principal associate director of the National Ignition Facility Program & Photon Science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a National Academy of Engineering member with a strong track record of leadership in U.S. fusion energy research, will arrive later this fall and collaborate with both the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE) and the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy as the newly appointed president of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization.

Dubbed the "genius corps" last fall by a prominent current faculty member to underscore their preeminence and potential impact on the excellence of scholarship at Texas A&M, the Institute for Advanced Study and its transformational academic potential is considered comparable to the overall impact of the university's legendary Corps of Cadets with regard to undergraduate education and national service. That assessment is still apt, notes the Institute's Founding Director John Junkins, who revealed the names of the newest Faculty Fellows Wednesday (Sept. 24).

In carrying out its mission of bringing outstanding scholars to the Texas A&M campus for extended visits to interact with current faculty and students, the institute is living up to its lofty charge with the notables included in its third group of Faculty Fellows, Junkins emphasizes. They include an awardee of the highest honor bestowed by the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and winners of analogous prestigious international honors.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, who invested more than $5 million to help launch the institute, underscored one of its many advantages.

"The extensive in-residence visits by world-renowned scholars at Texas A&M through the Institute for Advanced Study inherently provide opportunities for all parties to evaluate the desirability of a permanent appointment," Sharp noted. "With support from the $100 million Chancellor's Research Initiative (CRI) fund, two of the scholars who first arrived on campus as Institute Faculty Fellows have since chosen Texas A&M as their permanent home, elevating the already outstanding chemical engineering department to world-class status and providing the impetus for a new department in materials science. I am delighted to welcome to campus the seven new honorees, the 2014-2015 Faculty Fellows of the Institute for Advanced Study."

Interim Texas A&M President Mark Hussey also welcomed the new visiting scholars.

"We are pleased to add this new cohort of TIAS Fellows to our community of scholars at Texas A&M and we look forward to them working with our students and faculty."

Junkins notes that the seven Faculty Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year are renowned for significant contributions to man's knowledge, and their contributions span many disciplines. They will serve in-residence terms generally ranging from three to 12 months, but in some instances, their time on campus will spread over multiple years, explicitly inducing greater long-term collaboration and affiliation with Texas A&M. Junkins adds that, based on the experience to date, he anticipates that some will join Texas A&M's permanent faculty.

"The positive impact on the university as a consequence of attracting these extraordinarily accomplished individuals cannot be over-emphasized," Junkins said. "These exceptional scholars, together with our current top-flight faculty, will help foster an even more vibrant environment for research and teaching and will pay tremendous future dividends through enhanced collaborations and faculty recruitment."

The 2014-2015 Faculty Fellows join the purely merit-based Institute to receive the honor along with the 15 Faculty Fellows from the two prior years, many of whom are continuing collaboration with numerous Texas A&M faculty and students. The Institute's Faculty Fellows are annually selected through a process led by an electorate of acclaimed current faculty at Texas A&M, consisting of Nobel Laureates, Wolf Prize recipients, National Academies members and distinguished professors, among others. The expectation is that by 2018, the university will be attracting 20 new world-class scholars each year for even greater opportunities for interaction.

Brief biographies for the two Texas A&M Science TIAS Faculty Fellows are included below. To learn more about the complete 2014-15 class or the overall institute, visit http://tias.tamu.edu/.

Dr. Edward I. Moses
Former Principal Associate Director, National Ignition Facility Program & Photon Science, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Moses has received the Award of Excellence by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Award of Excellence for the first experiments by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in conjunction with Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is the recipient of the D. S. Rothdestvensky Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Lasers and Optical Sciences awarded by the Russian Optical Society. Moses is best known for developing and managing complex laser systems and high technology projects. For years he has directed the nation's fusion energy research, and his expertise in high power laser physics applications is without peer. Last month, he was named the inaugural director of the Giant Magellan Telescope Project.

Dr. Yuri Oganessian
Professor, Scientific Director, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Russia Oganessian has twice been named winner of the State Prize, the highest national award by the President of Russia. He has won other prestigious international competitions and is regarded as the world leader in the search for and discovery of new elements. He has discovered the heaviest elements with atomic numbers as well as nuclear reactions leading to synthesis of elements.

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Contact: Lane Stephenson, (979) 845-4662 or l-stephenson@tamu.edu

Stephenson Lane

  • Class Acts

    Texas A&M Vice President for Research Dr. Glen A. Laine takes the podium at the Sept. 24 ceremony announcing the seven 2014-15 Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study Faculty Fellows.

  • Edward I. Moses

    (Credit: Damien Jemison.)

  • Yuri Oganessian

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