Governor Abbott Announces Two Governor’s University Research Initiative Grant Awards

November 8, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Texas has recruited two distinguished researchers as part of the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI). This initiative aims to bring nationally-recognized researchers to Texas institutions of higher education. As a top priority for the Governor, GURI has already recruited some of the most highly regarded researchers in the world to Texas. The recipients announced today include M. Cynthia Hipwell, Ph.D., a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and Roderic Ivan Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D., also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine, among other accolades. Both Dr. Hipwell and Dr. Pettigrew will join the faculty at Texas A&M University.

"Texas universities continue to make great strides in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, making the Lone Star State the home of innovation," said Governor Abbott. "Not only do our university faculties spearhead cutting-edge research, but they continue to educate and develop the leaders of the future. I look forward to the opportunities that these world-class researchers will bring to Texas to further solidify our universities as some of the best in the world.

“The Governor’s University Research Initiative is the kind of smart, strategic investment that will keep our great research universities at the forefront of innovation,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “Gov. Abbott’s investment in higher education will pay off in a more educated workforce, a stronger economy and great universities.”

M. Cynthia Hipwell, Ph.D. currently serves as Vice President of Engineering for Bühler, Inc. where she oversees process design, system engineering, project management, and profit and loss (P&L) of over $200M in capital equipment projects for the food and materials processing industries in the North America Region. She has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering for her leadership in technology development. After receiving  her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley Dr. Hipwell began her long and successful career in Engineering working for Seagate Technology. Dr. Hipwell has served as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, University of Minnesota Nano Center Advisory Board, University of Minnesota Corps Innovation Panelist, and The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Nano Institute Advisory Board. Through her work, Dr. Hipwell authored or co-author 15 US Patents.  Prior to her joining Texas A&M University she recently spoke as part of the Fowler Distinguished Lecture Series. Texas A&M University has been awarded a GURI grant totaling three million dollars.

Roderic Ivan Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D. currently serves as the Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he has since held a number of corporate leadership roles including Inaugural Institute Director in 2002. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.D. from University Of California, San Diego, Dr. Pettigrew went on to hold a number of Professional Positions in both healthcare and education. Dr. Pettigrew has served on the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He has given 120 invited lectures, over 22 lectures as the selected keynote speaker, as well as contributed to or written 144 publications and 2 books.  Prior to joining Texas A&M University, Dr. Pettigrew has taught at the Emory University School of Medicine as a Professor of Medicine, and the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Professor of Bioengineering. Texas A&M University has been awarded a GURI grant totaling three million dollars.