“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 Distinguished Professor List
Last Name First Name Department Year
Alfriend Kyle T. Aerospace Engineering 2017
Banks M. Katherine Civil Engineering 2017
Ko Che-Ming Physics & Astronomy 2017
Needleman Alan Materials Science and Engineering 2017
Waters Michael R.  Anthropology 2017
Datta-Gupta Akhil Petroleum Engineering 2016
Johnson Valen Statistics 2016
Walker Cheryl Institute of Biosciences and Technology 2016
Briaud Jean-Louis Civil Engineering 2015
Dickman Martin Plant Pathology and Microbiology 2015
Eckel Catherine Economics 2015
Sanches-Sinencio Edgar Electrical & Computer Engineering  2015
Threadgill David  Veterinary Pathobiology 2015
Alpini Gianfranco Internal Medicine 2014
Chapkin Robert S. Nutrition 2014
Feagin Joe Sociology 2014
Kumar P.R. Electrical & Computer Engineering  2014
Savell Jeffrey Animal Science 2014
Zhang Renyi Atmospheric Sciences 2014
Zubairy M.Suhail Physics & Astronomy 2014
Dougherty Edward R.  Electrical & Computer Engineering  2013
Lagoudas Dimitris C. Aerospace Engineering 2013
Ory Marcia G. Healthy Aging 2013
Singh Vijay P. Biological & Agricultural Engineering 2013
Suntzeff Nicholas B. Physics & Astronomy 2013
Tizard Ian R. Veterinary Pathobiology 2013
Layne Christopher International Affairs 2012
Lee David M. Physics & Astronomy 2012
Phillips Timothy Veterinary Integrated Biosciences 2012
Wu  Guoyao Animal Science 2012
Begley Tadhg P. Chemistry 2011
Herschbach Dudley R. Physics & Astronomy 2011
Höök Magnus Biosciences & Technology 2011
Kuchment Peter Mathematics 2011
Mallick Bani K. Statistics 2011
Reynolds Larry J. English 2011
Wooley Karen L. Chemistry 2011
Barrick Murray R. Management 2010
Darensbourg Donald J. Chemistry 2010
Darensbourg Marcetta Chemistry 2010
DeVore Ronald Mathematics 2010
Fry Edward S. Physics & Astronomy 2010
Raushel Frank M. Chemistry 2010
Russell, Jr.  B. Don Electrical & Computer Engineering  2009
Spiegelman Clifford Statistics 2009
Tribble Robert E. Physics & Astronomy 2009
Gladysz John A. Chemistry 2008
Golsan Richard J. International Studies 2008
Grigorchuk Rostislav Mathematics 2008
Hardin Paul E. Biology 2008
Ireland R. Duane Management 2008
McCarl Bruce A. Agricultural Economics 2008
Clearfield Abraham Chemistry 2007
Dunbar Kim R. Chemistry 2007
Ezell Margaret J. M. English 2007
Hardy John C. Physics & Astronomy 2007
Kocharovskaya Olga A.  Physics & Astronomy 2007
Saric William Aerospace Engineering 2007
Han Je-Chin Mechanical Engineering 2006
Meier Kenneth J. Political Science 2006
Pope Christopher Physics & Astronomy 2006
Thompson Bruce Psychology & Library Science 2006
Bazer Fuller Animal Science 2004
Rajagopal Kumbakonam R. Mechanical Engineering 2003
Griffin Ricky W. Management 2002
Lincoln Yvonna S. Higher Education 2001
Varadarajan P. Rajan Marketing 2001
Crompton John Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences 2000
Berry Leonard L. Marketing 1999
Douglas Ronald G. Mathematics 1999
Junkins John L.  Aerospace Engineering 1998
Pokrovsky Valery Physics & Astronomy 1998
Reddy J.N. Mechanical Engineering 1998
Carroll Raymond J. Statistics 1997
Scully Marlan Physics & Astronomy 1996
Nanopoulos Dimitri V. Physics & Astronomy 1992
Edwards George C. Political Science 1990
Johnson William B. Mathematics 1989
North Gerald Atmospheric Sciences 1986
Pisier Gilles
Safe Stephen Physiology & Pharmacology 1984
McDermott John J. Philosophy & Humanities 1982
Emeritus/Past Faculty  
Last Name First Name Department  
Adams R.J.Q. History  
Adkisson Perry Entomology  
Armstrong Robert B. Health & Kinesiology  
Arnowitt Richard L. Physics & Astronomy  
Bass George F. Anthropology  
Bockris John O'Mara Chemistry  
Borlaug Norman Agriculture  
Bramble James H. Mathematics  
Calhoun John C. Petroleum Engineering  
Chui Charles K. Mathematics  
Cook Earl F.  Geology & Geography  
Cotton F. Albert Chemistry  
Duce Robert A. Atmospheric Sciences  
Ewing Richard   Mathematics  
Fackler John Chemistry  
Flipse John Civil Engineering  
Foias Ciprian Mathematics  
Golden Susan Biology  
Goodman D. Wayne Chemistry  
Grabo Norman English  
Granger Harris J. Medical Physiology  
Greenhut Melvin Economics  
Hall Timothy Biology  
Harris William J. Civil Engineering  
Hitt Michael A. Management  
Johnson Arthur E. Chemistry  
Kaplan Howard B. Sociology  
Kettleborough Frederick Mechanical Engineering  
Koepke Wulf Modern & Classical Languages  
Loving Jerome M. English  
Lunsford Jack H. Chemistry  
Lupton Joanne R. Nutrition & Food Science  
Macfarlane Ronald D. Chemistry  
Martell Arthur E. Chemistry  
McKeehan Wallace Biosciences & Technology  
McLeroy Kenneth R.  Public Health  
Natowitz Joseph B. Chemistry  
Nowlin, Jr. Worth D. Oceanography  
Pace Nick Molecular & Cellular Medicine  
Parzen Emanuel Statistics  
Quantrill Malcolm Architecture  
Reid Robert Oceanography  
Richardson Herbert Civil Engineering  
Rodriguez-Iturbe Ignacio Civil Engineering  
Saving Thomas Economics  
Sawyer Donald T. Chemistry  
Scott Ian Chemistry  
Summers Max Entomology  
Taylor Henry F. Engineering  
Welch Finis R. Economics  
West James R. Neuroscience & Experimental Therapeutics  
Wilmore Jack   Health and Kinesiology  
Womack James E. Veterinary Pathobiology  
Würsig Bernd G. Marine Biology, & Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences  

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.