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Banner that says, "Three named University Distinguished Professors," with Texas A&M University Engineering logo and headshots of Dr. Perla Balbuena, Dr. James Hubbard Jr. and Dr. Stratos Pistikopoulos.
Dr. Perla Beatriz Balbuena, Dr. Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos and Dr. James Hubbard Jr. were recognized as University Distinguished Professors, along with five other Texas A&M University faculty members. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering
Eight Texas A&M University faculty members, including three from the College of Engineering, have been appointed as University Distinguished Professors. This designation is bestowed upon faculty who are preeminent in their fields and have made at least one transformational contribution or provided an intellectually substantial “leap forward” in their discipline.

The recipients from the College of Engineering are Dr. Perla Beatriz Balbuena and Dr. Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos, professors in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. James Hubbard Jr., professor in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering.

University officials say these faculty individually and collectively demonstrate Texas A&M’s strengths in providing transformational education for our students and translational research discoveries that impact our state, nation and the world.

Dr. Perla Beatriz Balbuena

Balbuena joined the chemical engineering department at Texas A&M as a full professor in 2004, where she holds the Mike O’Connor Chair I. She has been an affiliated faculty in the materials science and engineering department since 2006 and a joint professor of chemistry since 2016.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Electrochemical Society. She received the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Research Impact Award in 2020, The Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievements Award in Research in 2018 and the Engineering Genesis Award in 2017.

Dr. James Hubbard Jr.

Hubbard joined the mechanical engineering department in 2018 after serving as a visiting fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. He is the holder of the Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. ’45 Chair I Professorship and a permanent member of the Hagler Institute.

He is supported by the Chancellor’s Research Initiative and the Governor’s University Research Initiative, a statewide fund created to attract distinguished researchers to Texas institutions of higher education.

He leads the StarLab at Texas A&M-RELLIS and focuses on research areas including smart or adaptive structures, morphing aircraft, autonomous vehicles and human-machine interface.

Hubbard is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Society for Optical Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors.

Dr. Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos

Pistikopoulos joined the chemical engineering department in 2015, where he holds the Dow Chemical Chair Professorship and is also the director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute. He was a professor of chemical engineering at Imperial College London (1991-2015) and the Director of its Centre for Process Systems Engineering (2002-09).

He is the current editor-in-chief of Computers & Chemical Engineering and has authored or co-authored 10 books, three patents and over 550 major research publications in the areas of modeling, control and optimization of process, energy and systems engineering applications.

He was a co-founder of Process Systems Enterprise and is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Royal Academy of Engineering in the U.K. He was elected a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas in 2021.

Pistikopoulos received the prestigious MacRobert Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering in the U.K. in 2007, the Computing in Chemical Engineering Award of the Computing and Systems Technology/AIChE in 2013, IChemE’s Sargent Medal in 2020 and AIChE’s Sustainable Engineering Forum Award in 2021.

Read about the award and the other five 2023 University Distinguished Professors on Texas A&M Today.