AMARILLO,Texas— The Texas A&M System and the University of Tennessee are coming together to compete for the Management and Operations contract of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee and the Pantex Plant in Texas.
So, how could this potentially benefit West Texas A&M students?
From managing Los Alamos and Y-12, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp feels that his team has the knowledge and experience to be a strong contender in the future bid for Pantex and Y-12.
Y-12 and Pantex represent key Nuclear Production Capabilities in the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
“It would be a winning combination and one that we can provide a lot of expertise and a lot of service to this country,” said Sharp.
West Texas A&M is specifically involved in this bid because of its proximity to Pantex and the long-standing relationship they have with Pantex.
As of August 20th, 626 employees at Pantex are WTAMU graduates.
West Texas A&M University Associate Dean of the College of Engineering Matt Jackson said, “there’s a wide array of different disciplines that are represented out there. It’s almost a third of the total workforce at Pantex. And a little over half of the engineering workforce now are WT alumni.”
Not only could this be a factor to the Department of Energy, while choosing a team, but this could be a beneficial opportunity to WT students and the college as well.
West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler said, “one of our goals at West Texas A&M University is to find ways to encourage our graduates to stay and help build the future of the Texas Panhandle.”
Sharp said, “the Department of Energy will bid out this fall, request our proposals this fall, and I suspect sometime in the winter or early next year, the Department of Energy will pick a team.”
Texas A&M won the Management Contract for Los Alamos National Lab a couple of years ago and the University of Tennessee currently has the management contract for Y-12.
Texas A&M’s Chancellor Sharp said that if the team wins, together they will then also provide service for Pantex.
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