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COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. Robert E. Tribble, professor of physics and director of Texas A&M University's Cyclotron Institute, has been invited by the United States Secretary of Energy and the director of the National Science Foundation to serve a three-year term as chair of the Department of Energy/National Science Foundation Nuclear Science Advisory Committee.

Established in 1977, the committee provides advice and recommendations on scientific, technical and programmatic issues relating to the nation's nuclear physics program and reports to the DOE, NSF and Associate Director of the Office of Science for Nuclear Physics. Members are appointed as special Government employees without compensation and are expected to meet three to four times each year in the Washington, D.C., area.

In a congratulatory note to Tribble, Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates underscored the broader significance of the appointment, describing Tribble's selection as chair of the committee as an honor for the entire University.

"Such recognition not only honors you, but also honors Texas A&M," Gates wrote. "I want to thank you personally for the credit, recognition and honor you bring to this University."

Tribble, who joined the Texas A&M physics faculty in 1975 after earning his Ph.D. from Princeton, has served since 2003 as director of the Cyclotron Institute, which represents the core of the University's nuclear physics program. One of only four university-based, DOE-funded laboratories that is home to one of only two K500 super-conducting cyclotrons nationwide, the institute serves as a major technical and educational resource for both Texas and the U.S. In addition to educating students in accelerator-based science and technology, it brings in more than $1 million annually in external use and testing by companies such as Boeing and Lockheed-Martin that rent time on the cyclotron for their own research projects.

Under Tribble's leadership, the institute recently secured a $1.8 million DOE grant as well as a $1 million grant from the Robert Welch Foundation that will help finance facility upgrades -- including the reactivation of its original 88-inch cyclotron -- designed to significantly expand Texas A&M's capacity for future nuclear science research.

Prior to assuming the directorship of the institute, Tribble served as head of the Texas A&M Department of Physics from 1979 to 1987 and was honored in 2002 with a University-level Distinguished Achievement Research Award from The Association of Former Students, one of the University's most prestigious faculty awards. A former Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow (1976-1980) and guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Kernphysik (1997-1998), he was an Associated Western Universities Faculty Fellow from 1987 to 1988 while at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

To learn more about Texas A&M's Cyclotron Institute, visit http://cyclotron.tamu.edu.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@tamu.edu or Dr. Robert E. Tribble, (979) 845-1411 or tribble@comp.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

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