Two engineering faculty receive University Distinguished Professor title

Five Texas A&M University faculty members, including two from the Dwight Look College of Engineering, have been appointed as University Distinguished Professors. The title, which is bestowed in perpetuity, is among the highest honors awarded to Texas A&M faculty members.

The recipients from the Look College are Dr. Jean-Louis Briaud, professor and holder of the Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, and Dr. Edgar Sánchez-Sinencio, professor and holder of the TI Jack Kilby Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,

The other recipients are: Dr. Martin B. Dickman, Christine Richardson Professor of Agriculture, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, and director of the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Dr. Catherine C. Eckel, Sara and John Lindsey Professor in Liberal Arts and professor in the Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts; and Dr. David W. Threadgill, professor of veterinary pathobiology and director of the Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and professor and holder of the Tom and Jean McMullin Chair of Genetics in the department of molecular and cellular medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

“University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty,” said Dr. Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “They are recognized as pre-eminent authorities in their fields and their accomplishments are exemplified by outstanding teaching, mentoring, discovery and service. They demonstrate to the world the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&M University.”


Briaud -jlDr. Jean-Louis Briaud, professor and holder of the Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, joined the faculty of the Texas A&M University Dwight Look College of Engineering in 1978. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in Canada. Dr. Briaud pioneered the field of bridge scour in geotechnical engineering and helped drastically reduce the number of bridge failures due to scour. His seminal contributions include the development of a patented soil erosion device and a method to calculate the depth of scour around bridge supports based on a targeted risk of failure. His techniques are used worldwide. Dr. Briaud has also made seminal contributions to protecting embassies against terrorist trucks and building foundations of very tall buildings, geothermal foundations to save energy, and foundations for houses on shrink-swell soils. He has more than 200 publications, including two books. He has received awards from organizations in the United States, Canada, and Kazakhstan, and is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He was also elected president of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, the highest honor bestowed on a geotechnical engineer.


Sanchez -newDr. Edgar Sánchez-Sinencio, the TI Jack Kilby Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering joined the faculty of the Dwight Look College of Engineering in 1983. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Sánchez-Sinencio is a pre-eminent scholar in the areas of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, and radio-frequency circuits and systems.  His seminal contributions to the field include pioneering work in switched-capacitor circuits, continuous-time filters and current-mode filters, and research on radio-frequency integrated receivers.  He has co-authored five books and co-edited another.  He has been co-author on more than 400 technical papers.  Dr. Sánchez-Sinencio is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  His awards include:  IEEE Guillemin Cauer Award; IEEE Darlington Award; IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Golden Jubilee Medal; IEEE Circuit and Systems Charles Desoer Technical Award; an honorary doctorate from the National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Mexico; and Texas Senate Proclamation #373 for Outstanding Accomplishments.

The 2015 university distinguished professor honorees join a select group of more than 75 current faculty members that hold the prestigious title. This designation denotes a faculty member who is pre-eminent in his or her field, has made at least one seminal contribution to the discipline, and whose work is central in any narrative of the field and is widely recognized to have changed the direction of scholarship in the field.

Texas A&M Interim President Mark Hussey and the Texas A&M Foundation will host a reception on April 29 recognizing the five new university distinguished professors and honoring all of the University Distinguished Professors. More information, including a complete list of University Distinguished Professors, is available online.