A&M International Professors Receive Major Science Grants

Two Texas A&M International University College of Science and Technology faculty members, Drs. Juan Homero Hinojosa and Michael W. Roth, have been awarded over $145,000 in grants for studies focusing on resource assessment and responsible development of the Texas-Mexico border region and quantum coherence effects on trapped ions.

The grants were provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) through its Advanced Research Program/Advanced Technology Program.

University president Dr. Charles Jennett said the University is duly proud of the recognition provided its faculty by the THECB grants.

"This further endorses the legitimacy of the programs we are developing here and highlights the strengths and abilities of dedicated faculty members in conducting research that will have real-world ramifications. We salute their hard work and look forward to their research findings," he said.

Dr. Hinojosa, A&M International Associate Professor of Physics and Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, is a co-investigator in a multi-university cooperative study that seeks to compile and analyze digital spatial data to assess natural earth resources that will assist in the building of related databases for oversight of proposed development.

The effort will also increase the capacity of universities of the border region to develop trained professionals in data analysis, increase collaborations among border institutions and build a foundation for infrastructure, resource development, land use planning, wise investment decisions and environmental protection in the Texas-Mexico border area.

Dr. Hinojosa said the collaboration is vital to intelligent growth and wise use of resources.

"Given the rapid growth of the Texas-Mexico border area, collaborative efforts like this are crucial to helping to assure that growth occurs in an intelligent and appropriate manner given the availability of natural earth resources such as ground water, oil, natural gas and minerals," he explained.

Hinojosa will work with scientists from universities in both University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems including border institutions. The grant portion dedicated to A&M International is $129,732. Principal investigator with Hinojosa will be Dr. Jay A. Raney of the UT Bureau of Economic Geology.

Dr. Roth, Assistant Professor of Physics atA&M International, will work with Texas A&M University scientists in a theoretical and physical experiment that will test the boundaries of quantum physics in relation to trapped ions. The award totals $15,343.

"Basically we will trap ions, micro-particles that are highly charged, in electric and magnetic fields, test their responses and see how they conform or do not conform to the rules and limitations of quantum physics. Part of the intrigue in this type of study is the realization that uncertainty and chance govern the micro-world and accepted postulates must be redefined. It is an admittedly highly theoretical exercise, but it has real-world ramifications for small particle research and the need for flexibility in philosophical approaches to their study," Dr. Roth explained.

Roth's co-investigators include Drs. Hans A Schuessler and Sui A. Chin at A&M's Department of Physics in College Station.

For additional information on the THECB-funded research at the College of Science and Technology at Texas A&M International University, please contact the Office of the Dean at 956.326.2288.

University office hours are from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu