“University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty, They are recognized as pre-eminent authorities in their fields and their accomplishments are exemplified by outstanding teaching, mentoring, discovery and service. They demonstrate to the world the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&M University.” - Dr. Karan L. Watson, Provost and Executive Vice President

Current Faculty    
Name Department Year
Adams, R. J. Q
Alfriend, Kyle.
Aerospace Engineering
Alpini, Gianfranco
Banks, M. Katherine
Civil Engineering
Barrick, Murray R. Management 2010
Bazer, Fuller Animal Science 2004
Begley, Tadhg P. Chemistry 2011
Berry, Leonard L. Marketing 1999
Briaud, Jean L. Civil Engineering 2015
Carroll, Raymond J. Statistics 1997
Chapkin, Robert Nutrition 2014
Clearfield, Abraham Chemistry 2007
Crompton, John Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences 2000
Darensbourg, Donald J. Chemistry 2010
Darensbourg, Marcetta
Petroleum Engineering
DeVore, Ronald Mathematics 2010
Dickman, Martin B. Plant Pathology and Microbiology 2015
Dougherty, Edward R. Electrical and Computer Engineering 2013
Douglas, Ronald Mathematics 1999
Dunbar, Kim Chemistry 2007
Eckel, Catherine C. Economics 2015
Edwards, George C.  Political Science 1990
Ezell, Margaret J.M.  English 2007
Feagin, Joe Sociology 2014
Foias, Ciprian Mathematics 2007
Fry, Edward Physics and Astronomy 2010
Gladysz, John A. Chemistry 2008
Golsan, Richard J.  International Studies 2008
Griffin, Ricky W.  Management 2002
Granger, Harris J. Medical Physiology 1997
Grigorchuk, Rostislav Mathematics 2008
Han, Je-Chin Mechanical Engineering 2006
Hardin, Paul E. Biology 2008
Hardy, John C. Physics and Astronomy 2007
Herschbach, Dudley R. Physics and Astronomy 2011
Hitt, Michael A. Management 1999
Höök Magnus Bioscience and Technology 2011
Ireland, R. Duane Management 2008
Johnson, Arthur E. Chemistry 2002
Johnson, William B.
Johnson, Valen
Junkins, John L.
Ko, Che-Ming
Aerospace Engineering
Physics and Astronomy
Kocharovskaya, Olga A.  Physics and Astronomy 2007
Kuchment, Peter Mathematics 2011
Kumar, P.R. Electrical and Computer Engineering 2014
Lagoudas, Dimitris C. Aerospace Engineering 2013
Layne, Christopher International Affairs 2012
Lee, David M. Physics and Astronomy 2012
Lincoln, Yvonna S. Higher Education 2001
Loving, Jerome M.  English 2003
Macfarlane, Ronald D.  Chemistry 2008
Mallick, Bani K.  Statistics 2011
McCarl, Bruce A. Agricultural Economics 2008
McDermott, John J. Philosophy and Humanities 1982
McKeehan, Wallace Biosciences and Technology 2008
McLeroy, Kenneth R. Public Health 2013
Meier, Kenneth J. Political Science 2006
Nanopoulos, Dimitri V.
Needleman, Alan
Physics and Astronomy
Materials Science and Engineering
North, Gerald Atmospheric Sciences 1986
Ory, Marcia G. Healthy Aging 2013
Phillips, Timothy Veterinary Integrative Biosciences 2012
Pisier, Gilles Mathematics 1985
Pokrovsky, Valery Physics and Astronomy 1998
Pope, Christopher Physics and Astronomy 2006
Rajagopal, Kumbakonam R. Mechanical Engineering 2003
Raushel, Frank M. Chemistry 2010
Reddy, J. N. Mechanical Engineering 1998
Reynolds, Larry J. English 2011
Russell Jr., B. Don Electrical and Computer Engineering 2009
Safe, Stephen Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology 1984
Sanchez-Sinencio, Edgar Electrical and Computer Engineering 2015
Saric, William Aerospace Engineering 2007
Savell, Jeffrey Animal Science 2014
Saving, Thomas Economics 1989
Scully, Marlan Physics and Astronomy 1996
Singh, Vijay P. Biological and Agricultural Engineering 2013
Spiegelman, Clifford Statistics 2009
Suntzeff, Nicholas B. Physics and Astronomy 2013
Thompson, Bruce Educational Psychology and Library Science 2006
Threadgill, David W. Veterinary Pathobiology 2015
Tizard, Ian R. Veterinary Pathobiology 2013
Tribble, Robert E. Physics and Astronomy 2009
Varadarajan, P. Rajan
Waters, Michael
Womack, James E. Veterinary Pathobiology 2001
Wooley, Karen L. Chemistry 2011
Wu, Guoyao Animal Science 2012
Würsig, Bernd G. Marine Biology, and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences 2013
Zhang, Renyi Atmospheric Sciences 2014
Zubairy, M. Suhail Physics and Astronomy 2014
Emeritus/Past Faculty    
Name Department Year
Adkisson, Perry (emeritus)
Entomology 1979
Armstrong, Robert B. (emeritus) Health and Kinesiology 2007
Arnowitt, Richard L. (deceased) Physics and Astronomy 2004
Bass, George F. (emeritus) Anthropology 2001
Bockris, John O'Mara (deceased) Chemistry  
Borlaug, Norman (deceased) Agriculture 1984
Bramble, James H. (emeritus) Mathematics 2007
Calhoun, John C. (deceased) Petroleum Engineering  
Chui, Charles K. (emeritus) Mathematics 2000
Cook, Earl F. (deceased) Geology and Geography 1981
Cotton, F. Albert (deceased) Chemistry 1984
Duce, Robert A. (emeritus) Atmospheric Sciences 2006
Ewing, Richard (deceased) Mathematics 1998
Fackler, John (emeritus) Chemistry 1987
Flipse, John (emeritus) Civil Engineering  
Golden, Susan (departed) Biology 2003
Goodman, D. Wayne (deceased) Chemistry 2000
Grabo, Norman (deceased) English 1977
Greenhut, Melvin (emeritus) Economics  
Hall, Timothy (deceased) Biology 1984
Harris, William J. (deceased) Civil Engineering  
Kaplan, Howard B. (deceased) Sociology 1991
Kettleborough, Frederick (deceased) Mechanical Engineering 2004
Koepke, Wulf (emeritus) Modern and Classical Languages  
Lupton, Joanne R. (emerita) Nutrition and Food Science 2015
Lunsford, Jack H. (emeritus) Chemistry 2000
Martell , Arthur E. (deceased) Chemistry 2000
Natowitz, Joseph (emeritus) Chemistry 2014
Nowlin, Worth D. Jr. (emeritus) Oceanography 2007
Pace, Nick (emeritus) Molecular and Cellular Medicine  
Parzen, Emanuel (emeritus) Statistics 2009
Quantrill, Malcolm (deceased) Architecture 2008
Reid, Robert (emeritus) (deceased) Oceanography  
Richardson, Herbert (emeritus) Civil Engineering 1984
Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio (emeritus) Civil Engineering 2002
Sawyer, Donald T. (emeritus) Chemistry  
Scott, Ian (deceased) Chemistry  
Summers, Max (emeritus) Entomology 1983
Taylor, Henry F. (deceased) Electrical Engineering 1999
Welch, Finis R. (emeritus) Economics 2003
West, James R. (emeritus) Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics  
Wilmore, Jack (emeritus) Health and Kinesiology  

2016-2017 University Distinguished Professor Honorees

Dr. Kyle T. Alfriend
Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Kyle T. “Terry” Alfriend, TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 1997. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech.  Before coming to Texas A&M, Dr. Alfriend served on the faculty of Cornell University, conducted postdoctoral research at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and held positions with the Naval Research Laboratory, CIA Office of Development and Engineering, and the Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Alfriend’s primary expertise is astrodynamics. His career diverse experience includes research, development and management in the private sector, government and academia. He is recognized for his theoretical contributions, applied research and leadership in satellite orbital mechanics and spacecraft attitude control.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). He has received the prestigious AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award and AAS Dirk Brouwer Award.  In 2016, he received the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Award that is given to one person every other year, and he received a Distinguished Achievement Award for Research from The Texas A&M Association of Former Students. Dr. Alfriend has published one book, two book chapters, and more than 280 journal and conference papers in astrodynamics.  His paper “The State Transition Matrix of Relative Motion for the Perturbed Non-circular Reference Orbit” has been cited more than 200 times.

Dr. M. Katherine Banks
Civil Engineering

Dr. M. Katherine Banks is professor and holder of the Harold J. Haynes Dean’s Chair Professorship in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering. She also serves as vice chancellor and dean of the College of Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University and joined the faculty of the Texas A&M University College of Engineering in 2012.  She previously served on the faculty of the Lyles School of Engineering at Purdue University, served as head of the Department of Civil Engineering and directed two research centers and one state-supported center. She is a pioneer in the field of phytoremediation of organic contaminants, having published the first article assessing microbial degradation of petroleum degradation in the rhizosphere and conducted the first large-scale trial of phytoremediation of petroleum contaminants in California, Virginia, New Jersey, and Texas. Dr. Banks is also recognized as a leader in phytostabilization of metal contaminants, publishing on the mobilization and uptake of heavy metals in the rhizosphere. In addition, she is a recognized leader in applied biofilm research. Her earlier work evaluated the competition of bacterial species in biofilm and more recently focused on developing tools to assess microbial activity at the nanometer scale. She created a unique biofilm water recycling system to be used by NASA in a future Mars mission. Dr. Banks is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a recipient of the Margaret Petersen Woman of the Year Award and the Rudolph Hering Medal, both from the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has published 107 peer-reviewed articles, 37 peer-reviewed proceedings and book chapters, has over 200 presentations, and has been responsible for $24 million in research funding.

Dr. Che-Ming Ko
Physics & Astronomy


Dr. Che-Ming Ko, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, joined the faculty of the College of Science in 1980. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Before coming to Texas A&M, Dr. Ko conducted research at McMaster University, the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Research, Michigan State University, and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. His research interests are in theoretical nuclear physics, including nuclear symmetry energy effects in heavy ion collisions with rare isotopes, signals and properties of the quark-gluon plasma produced in relativistic heavy ion collisions, and particle production in hadronic reactions. Among his honors and awards, Dr. Ko is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award for US Senior Scientists and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Research from The Texas A&M Association of Former Students. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, was named an Outstanding Referee of the American Physical Society, and was recognized twice for Excellence in Reviewing by Physics Letters B (Elsevier). He has served on the Editorial Board of Physical Review C and has been an Associate Editor of The Chinese Journal of Physics since 2009. He has published more than 300 papers in refereed journals with a total of about 14,000 citations. 

Dr. Alan Needleman
Materials Science and Engineering

Dr. Alan Needleman, TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 2015. He earned his doctorate in engineering from Harvard University.  Following a career spanning almost 45 years with service at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Brown University and the University of North Texas, Dr. Needleman was a member of the inaugural class of Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) Fellows in 2013. He is a preeminent leader in the area of mathematical modeling of materials. His contributions include the development of a ductile fracture computational methodology, the development of cohesive surface methods for fracture analysis, and creation of a framework that enables the use of discrete dislocation plasticity to solve general boundary value problems. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Needleman is the recipient of a number of top honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Timoshenko Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Prager Medal from the Society of Engineering Science, and the Drucker Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as a Highly Cited Author in both the fields of engineering and materials science. His work has received more than 20,000 citations.

Dr. Michael Waters

Dr. Michael Waters, professor in the Department of Anthropology, holder of the Endowed Chair in First American Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans, joined the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Arizona. In addition to his primary appointment in Anthropology, Dr. Waters held a secondary faculty appointment in Texas A&M’s Department of Geography from 1986 to 2015. As an internationally recognized archaeologist, Dr. Waters has fundamentally changed our understanding of the prehistoric human settlement of the Americas.  His research has been pivotal in rejecting the 80-year-old “Clovis First” paradigm and establishing a new model for the peopling of the Americas.  Among his seminal contributions are determining the age of the 13,000 year-old Clovis culture and its lithic technology, investigating four of the key archaeological sites in North America dating to 15,000 years ago, and presenting the first and oldest ancient human genome of the Americas. In addition, Dr. Waters pioneered the discipline of geoarchaeology—the application of geological methods and concepts to archaeological research.  His seminal book, Principles of Geoarchaeology, is the definitive book in this field.  A Fellow of the Geological Society of America, he is a recipient of the Society’s Kirk Bryan Award and the Rip Rapp Archaeological Geology Award. His research has been highlighted in cover stories in Scientific American, Smithsonian Magazine, and National Geographic.