New NSF-approved center to be headed jointly by Texas A&M, UT

A new Industry and University Cooperative Research Program (I/UCRC) Center to be headed jointly by for Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin has been approved by the National Science Foundation (NSF).The new center, PHEV/EBVs: Transportation and Electricity Convergence, will officially become active as of Aug. 1 and will be the second active I/UCRC in Texas A&M's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. (The other I/UCRC is Power Systems Engineering Research Center.)The center will be headquartered at UT the first two and a half years and after that the directorship will rotate to Texas A&M for the reminder of the first five-year term. The center's current director is Dr. Travis Waller, associate professor at UT. Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, The Eugene E. Webb Professor in the Texas A&M Department of Electrical and Cmputer Engineering, will serve as center's deputy director. Dr. Mehrdad (Mark) Ehsani, the Robert M. Kennedy '26 Professor II, will act as the site director for Texas A&M."I hope we will be able to promote the center to Texas A&M supporters in industry so that we create a National Center of Excellence that will bring national and international recognition," Kezunovic said. "I Look forward to continuing this exciting effort and working with faculty at both schools on expanding the center in the future."Currently there are approximately 50 I/UCRCs, all administered by the Engineering Education and Centers Division of NSF's Engineering Directorate. More than 750 faculty members, along with some 750 graduate students and 200 undergraduate students, carry out the research at these centers, which encompass almost the entire spectrum of current technological fields. A primary purpose of the I/UCRC Program is providing high-quality interdisciplinary education. The centers have produced several thousand M.S. and Ph.D. graduates, who can be found throughout American industry and academe.The NSF's I/UCRC Program is influencing positive change in the performance capacity of the U.S. industrial enterprise. Over the past two decades, the I/UCRCs have led the way to a new era of partnership between universities and industry. The program features high-quality, industrially relevant fundamental research; strong industrial support of and collaboration in research and education; and direct transfer of university developed ideas, research results and technology to U.S. industry to improve its competitive posture in world markets. Through innovative education of talented graduate and undergraduate students, the I/UCRCs are providing the next generation of scientists and engineers with a broad, industrially oriented perspective on engineering research and practice.