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UTSA Taps National Energy Expert to Join Research Staff

The University of Texas at San Antonio has recruited a nationally recognized expert in the field of sustainable energy to become the new director of the UTSA Institute for Conventional, Alternative and Renewable Energy (ICARE).

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The University of Texas at San Antonio has recruited a nationally recognized expert in the field of sustainable energy to become the new director of the UTSA Institute for Conventional, Alternative and Renewable Energy (ICARE).

The university recruited Les Shephard from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, a facility managed by Lockheed Martin Corp. Most recently, he was the vice president of Sandia’s Energy, Security and Defense Technologies Division in Albuquerque, N.M. He will officially join UTSA’s faculty and staff on April 15, 2010. Shephard will work in UTSA’s College of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He will hold the USAA Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Engineering, an endowment that helped secure his recruitment.

“Les Shephard is an expert in his field. He is knowledgeable, well-respected and highly sought after by energy companies across the world,” says UTSA President Ricardo Romo. “We are thrilled that he will be coming here to UTSA, where he will work with our faculty and our collaborative partners to build a world-class energy institute right here in San Antonio.”

Romo says Shephard’s hire is strategic for UTSA, which is competing with six other universities in Texas to reach tier one status. In order to do that, UTSA will have to significantly increase its annual federal research expenditures. Energy research is one of five areas UTSA will focus on to draw in research dollars.

Under Shephard’s leadership, ICARE will work to bring together representatives from industry, government and academia to explore alternative energy sources. The institute will also look into new policies and best practices for the energy industry in the region, the state and internationally. ICARE will also support the Energy Research Alliance of San Antonio, developed earlier this year by UTSA, Southwest Research Institute, CPS Energy and San Antonio Water System.

UTSA is the second largest university in the University of Texas System. The school has more than 29,100 students.

Source: San Antonio Business Journal