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Why Fed Supernova? A Message from Texas University Leaders


Chancellor John Sharp
The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor

John Sharp was appointed Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System by the Board of Regents on Sept. 6, 2011.

Chancellor Sharp leads one of the largest systems in the country with an annual budget of $6.3 billion and an enrollment of more than 151,000 at the A&M System’s 11 universities. Additionally, under the System umbrella, there are eight state agencies.

Chancellor Sharp brings with him more than three decades of public service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University in 1972, where he was a member of the Corps staff of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the 1972 rugby team and was elected student body president. Upon graduation, Sharp was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.

In 1976, Sharp received a master’s degree in public administration from Southwest Texas State University while working full-time with the Legislative Budget Board in Austin. In 1978, he opened a one-man real estate firm in Victoria and became a successful small business owner. That same year he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives.

In 1982, he won a seat in the Texas Senate, and four years later, he was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission. He also was elected state comptroller in 1990 and re-elected in 1994.

Dr. Richard Benson
The University of Texas at Dallas, President

Dr. Richard C. Benson is the fifth president of The University of Texas at Dallas and holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. During his time at UT Dallas, the University has moved at the speed of bright with a number of innovative programs to support research, entrepreneurship and the arts. He has sought to increase partnerships with industry and business in the region.

Benson and his wife, Leslie, moved to Dallas in 2016 from Blacksburg, Virginia, where he had served as dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering. During that time, the College of Engineering climbed to its highest-ever ranking in the National Science Foundation’s report on engineering schools’ research expenditures.

Prior to beginning an academic career, Benson worked for the Xerox Corporation as a technical specialist and project manager. His career in academe began at the University of Rochester where he eventually became chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and continued with leadership positions at Penn State University and Virginia Tech. 

Benson earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree in aerospace and mechanical science from Princeton University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Benson’s teaching interests are in the fields of structural mechanics, design and applied mathematics. He has received three significant honors from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has held editorial positions with the ASME Press, ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics and Applied Mechanics Reviews.

Joshua Baer
Capital Factory, Founder & CEO of Capital Factory

Joshua Baer helps people quit their jobs and become entrepreneurs. He’s the founder of Capital Factory, a coworking community and mentorship-based accelerator designed to help startups find their first investors, customers and employees. Josh founded his first startup in 1996 in his college dormitory at Carnegie Mellon University and now teaches a class at the University of Texas for student entrepreneurs. He was recently recognized as a Henry Crown Fellow and Braddock Scholar at the Aspen Institute, a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations Young Leaders Forum, and an Eisenhower Fellow. Josh lives in Austin with his wife Amy and three children. The best way to reach him is on Twitter @joshuabaer  

Dr. Taylor Eighmy
University of Texas San Antonio, President

Taylor Eighmy is the 6th president of The University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition, Eighmy serves as a member of the UTSA faculty as a professor with appointments in the College of Engineering’s department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the College of Sciences’ department of Environmental Science and Ecology. 

As an advocate for urban-serving public higher education, Eighmy is passionate about UTSA’s role in developing San Antonio’s knowledge economy by preparing future leaders and generating new knowledge that changes the world. Eighmy brings a strong track record of advancing top research universities through strategic government collaborations, public-private partnerships and community engagement. Eighmy’s experiences as an administrative leader, researcher, inventor and professor influenced his perspective as a champion of student success, particularly regarding the impact of experiential learning and undergraduate research programs. Prior to arriving at UTSA in September 2017, Eighmy served as the chief research officer at three top public flagship universities: the University of New Hampshire, Texas Tech University and, most recently, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While at the University of Tennessee, Eighmy and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory directed efforts that resulted in the University of Tennessee’s selection to lead the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, a $259 million public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Eighmy serves on the boards of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), APLU Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio Medical Foundation, World Affairs Council of San Antonio, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Conference USA and UP Partnership. He is a member of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, the Council on Competitiveness, and an Advisory Trustee of Southwest Research Institute. He currently serves as the Chair of the APLU Commission on International Initiatives, serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas International Education Consortium, serves on the Board of Directors for Tech Bloc San Antonio, serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and serves on the Council of the National Academies' Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR).

In March of 2019, the San Antonio Business Journal named Eighmy its inaugural Dealmaker of the Year. 


Education

Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering - University of New Hampshire

M.S. in Civil Engineering - University of New Hampshire

B.S. in Biology - Tufts University


Distinctions

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fellow, National Academy of Inventors

Diplomate, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists


Don’t miss Capital Factory Founder & CEO Joshua Baer as he shares his reasons for creating this event, what it means for the innovation ecosystem in Texas and beyond, and what you can expect to experience during the next two days.

To help us kick off Fed Supernova, we’ve invited leaders from Texas’ premier universities to speak about their vision for Texas as the best state for defense innovation. As centers for national security research and development, Texas’ universities pave the way for innovators to drive critical defense solutions. How do academic institutions bridge the gap between industry and defense? More importantly -- which bridges can we begin to build now?

Joining Joshua Baer onstage are TAMU Chancellor, John Sharp, UT Dallas President, Dr. Richard Benson, and UTSA President, Dr. Taylor Eighmy, who will spotlight the power of Texas universities to align efforts and advance research toward the national interest.


Attendees (181)

Alec Longarzo
Alec Longarzo
Dcode, Director
Wayne Polatkan
Wayne Polatkan
Tuloy, Chief Executive Officer
Romeo Augustine
Romeo Augustine
Mobilize VISION, Account Manager
DE
David Edwin Karle
VIZulocity, CEO
Jacob Fridakis
Jacob Fridakis
University of Texas at Austin, Student
Bruce Altmann
Bruce Altmann
SonarFastAi, ceo
David Young
David Young
Hypergiant, Chief Revenue Officer
Derek Denton
Derek Denton
MDM Wound Ventures Inc, Co-Founder & CEO
Trent Edwards
Trent Edwards
MGMWERX, Director
Allison Williams
Allison Williams
VMware Tanzu Labs, Sr Manager, Public Sector
Lynne O Hamilton
Lynne O Hamilton
Lawelawe Defense, Inc., President
Cullen Jones (He/Him)
Cullen Jones (He/Him)
Microsoft, Sr Startup Lead: National Security Group
SA
Steve Amos
HealthCode, CEO/Founder
TK
Todd Kirby
Fluor, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Karen (KK) Krause-Bencal
Karen (KK) Krause-Bencal
Activate, VP, Defense Innovation
Liya Smolina
Liya Smolina
AWS, Air Force Account Manager
Ken Phillips
Ken Phillips
Ultra, Capture Manager
Matthew Schuler
Matthew Schuler
Saint Industries Inc, Chief Strategy Officer - PCADS HALO
Sophia Rodriguez
Sophia Rodriguez
Booz Allen Hamilton, Technology Infusion Leadership Team
Stephen Ellis (Prime)
Stephen Ellis (Prime)
Air Education and Training Command, Det 62, Learning Coordinator, Agility Prime
Matthew Craig
Matthew Craig
Boone Group, Client Success Strategist
KC
Kara Carlson
Austin American-Statesman, Reporter
Devin Breen
Devin Breen
CHAaSM, Vice President
David Solomon
David Solomon
MTSI, Director, Technology Transition
John Chapman
John Chapman
Link to Learn, President
ME
Michael Ertmer
@AUSAPittsburgh & Army AI2C
Dave Lineman
Dave Lineman
Information Shield
Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith
L3Harris Technologies, Electrical Engineer
Mark Hair
Mark Hair
CEREBRAS SYSTEMS, FEDERAL LEADER
Christopher Pavel
Christopher Pavel
Western Air Defense Sector, BCC Spark Cell, Senior Enlisted Leader
RG
Randy Groves
Exabyte.io, Business Development Public Sector
Michael Williams
Michael Williams
Boeing, Principal Advanced Technologist
Ramon Sellers
Ramon Sellers
Siemens, National Federal Business Manager
Todd Parsons
Todd Parsons
Riverside Research Institute, Deputy Program Manager
Jeanne Walter
Jeanne Walter
Leidos, Product Owner
Justin Mackie
Justin Mackie
Entrepreneur, Data Scientist
Nelson Salas
Nelson Salas
Grug Group / JetX, Founder
Dave Robau
Dave Robau
National Energy USA, CEO & Chief Scientist
Scott Nolan
Scott Nolan
ORBIS INC, Army Business Development
Tom Dougherty
Tom Dougherty
Intelligent Waves, VP software Products
Jeff Ribel
Jeff Ribel
Dark Wolf Solutions, LLC, Director, Strategic Accounts
Private attendees are hidden.