Chancellor John Sharp attends Texas A & M $70M renewal ribbon cutting
This week I attended the ribbon cutting for the $70 million Center for Infrastructure Renewal at the Rellis Campus at Texas A&M. The work already being done in this building is and will make major changes in the construction industry. I, along with other legislators, saw active 3D printing of experimental concrete parts and destructive testing underway, as well as a new form of quick drying asphalt plus ideas about drones doing wave length spectrum inspection of bridges. Since concrete is the second most consumed item behind water nationally, research and developments from this center could have a really big cost impact in Texas and the country as a whole in my opinion, and in the opinion of many of the professionals gathered for the center grand opening.
As the only Aggie in the Texas Senate (Class of 1980 and a former class agent), it is a cool day when the Dean of my old department, engineering, can come in and pitch and idea in my Senate office to have an integrated testing and development facility for infrastructure, which is an industry that could use the infusion of new modern materials and methods. Nowhere else but in Texas could an idea like this come up during a legislative session (in 2015) and in less than three already be in use doing the amazing things we saw this week.
One of the engineering doctors already had a software model for predicting power outages in the Ship Channel that accurately predicted the outages in the previous storms - so too bad they are not working on a "climate/weather" model! LOL
Chancellor Sharp credited Dean Banks with the idea as well as Lt. Governor Patrick for putting his support behind this project to gain the budgetary support in the legislative session needed to make the center a reality. I credit Chancellor Sharp's vision too and what neither the Chancellor nor the Lt. Governor can be topped on is when they get into an impromptu exchange that is simply one of the funniest I have ever witnessed. It is a must listen to the "lighter moments" clip from the rib-PS: It was great seeing several old classmates, a couple who are working at the facility and remembered my campaign signs that I had put out during my time in the Texas A&M Student Senate. Rep. John Rainey (class of 1972) will join me Friday on AM 700 at 4:20 PM to discuss this.
PSS: For old Aggies that want to hear a history of the site, Board of Regents Chair Charles Schwartz has a pretty interesting background at the link below as well. He also had a funny joke that they wouldn't spend 300 million without calling first! u