A room full of Texas Aggies greeted Chancellor John Sharp of the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) and Chairman of the Board of Regents Charles Schwartz with hearty shouts of “Howdy” Thursday evening at the Inn of The Anasazi in Santa Fe.
The Aggie dignitaries spent an evening with alumni before touring Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Friday and meeting with LANL personnel.
Texas A&M is one of the three partners that make up Triad, the national security science organization that recently took over management of LANL. The other two are Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle) and The Regents of the University of California (UC).
Schwartz said he was pleased to be here, “with the finest partners we could imagine.”
“We are appreciative of the opportunities we get to do fundamental research and the learning opportunities for our students provided by LANL,” he said.
Schwartz introduced Sharp by saying, “John is willing to take the University out of its comfort zone to do new things, like this collaboration.”
Texas A&M is the largest research university not on one of the two coasts. Texas A&M has 140,000 students in its system, 64,000 of whom are at the College Station campus, Sharp said. One in four of these students is an engineer.
“Everything outside your window was produced by God or by an engineer,” Sharp said to a round of cheers from the alumni, many of whom are engineers now or previously employed at LANL.
“The three Triad partners are codependent,” said LANL Deputy Director for Science, Technology, and Engineering John Sarrao. “We foster a sense of collaboration. Everyone sees themselves in that agenda.”
The partnership is working well so far, Sarrao said, “The first step is not to break anything. Step two is to keep our promises. I think we’re well positioned to do just that.”
Making the partnership go smoothly is the main job of Nan Sauer, who heads up the Partnership and Pipeline Office at LANL.
“The skills of the three partners are complimentary,” she said. “The transition has gone smoothly. The job of our office is to do outreach to the partners and see how we can tap their skills.”