"Distinguished Professor" Status Bestowed On Four Texas A&M Faculty Members

By: Tamunews Email
By: Tamunews Email

Texas A&M University Professors R.J.Q. Adams, B. Don Russell, Clifford H. Spiegelman and Robert E. Tribble have been awarded “distinguished professor” designation by the institution in recognition of their scholarly and research status nationally and internationally, effective Sept. 1, announced Interim President R. Bowen Loftin.

Distinguished professor designation denotes a faculty member who is recognized as being in the top 5 percent of his or her field by peers throughout the world, Loftin explained. Academic units within the university nominate faculty members and letters of support must be received from the top researchers in the nominee's field. Currently, Texas A&M has 66 faculty members holding “distinguished professor” designation.

“Texas A&M has long had an outstanding faculty, and Professors Adams, Russell, Spiegelman and Tribble personify the high regard in which our faculty is held nationally and internationally,” Loftin said. “I congratulate each of them for having earned this lofty designation and thank them most sincerely for their exemplary and dedicated service to our university.”

Adams, professor of history, has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1974. He was named the Claudius M. Easley, Jr., Faculty Fellow in Liberal Arts in 2001 and since 2004 has held the Patricia and Bookman Peters Professorship of History. Other honors include being elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Great Britain, designation as a “Distinguished Visiting Professorial Fellow” of Queen Mary College at the University of London and service as a research fellow at St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford in England.

Adams’ research interests focus on the political, social and economic history of Great Britain in the 20th Century and are credited with helping reshape traditional interpretation of British political history for that era. His books have earned wide acclaim throughout the English-speaking world and in translation.

Russell, Regents Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been a member of the faculty since 1976 and currently holds the Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Chair for the History and Ethics of Professional Engineering. A registered professional engineer, Russell is a nationally recognized authority in the electric power field, specializing in the automation, control and protection of power systems.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was recently elected vice chair of the NAE’s Electric Power and Energy Section. Russell is a past president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society and a fellow of the IEEE, the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Institute of Electrical Engineers of England.

Spiegelman, professor of statistics and a member of the faculty since 1987, is a founder of the field of chemometrics, the science of extracting information from chemical systems by data-driven means to investigate and address problems in chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering. He also is a leader in the field of statistical forensics and was instrumental in the FBI decision to stop using compositional bullet lead analysis after he demonstrated it to be flawed. Related research prompted revisiting the possibility of a second shooter in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An article on that topic in the Annals of Applied Statistics led to a Statistics in Chemistry Award from the American Statistical Association.

He is a fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He is a two-time recipient of the ASA Statistics in Chemistry Award for best paper and also has received the 2007 Jerome Sacks Award for Outstanding Cross-Disciplinary Research. In conjunction with his Texas A&M position, he serves as an adjunct investigator of the Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, at the National Cancer Institute.

Tribble, professor of physics and director of the Cyclotron Institute, joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1975 and has become an international leader in experimental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics. His seminal contributions, both in instrument development and in measurement techniques, have led him — and the many researchers around the world who have copied his methods — to important new understanding of the fusion reactions that occur in stars and stellar explosions.

He is a former chair of the U.S. National Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, the nation's most influential position in nuclear physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (1982), a former Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellow and was recently was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg State University in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is the author or co-author of more than 250 refereed publications.

All four professors have won Faculty Distinguished Achievement Awards presented by the university and The Association of Former Students.

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