In introducing U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry during his visit to the Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus on Feb. 16, Chancellor John Sharp said Perry, A&M Class of ‘72, is making Aggies everywhere proud.
Perry, the first Aggie Governor of the state of Texas, spoke at the newly completed Center for Infrastructure Renewal and toured its laboratories, which are developing new solutions for today’s aging infrastructure. He would later tour the campus and witness a Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) crash test of a roadside safety device and ride aboard an 18-wheeler in a demonstration of TTI’s Truck Platooning project, which is sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Together we are shaping the country, and were making the Lone Star State and the United States a better and brighter place,” Perry told the audience. “I’m looking forward to learning more about what you have imagined and what you anticipate for this RELLIS Campus. I know it’s going to be good, I know it’s going to be exciting. I know it has the potential to change the world, because that’s what Aggies do.”
Perry spent some of his time speaking about President Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan which was announced earlier in the week, but much of his focus was on energy and Texas A&M’s role in the future. As part of his duties, Secretary Perry manages the United States Department of Energy National Laboratories.
Many of Perry’s comments centered on nuclear energy, which he said had been neglected over the course of decades. Texas A&M’s Department of Nuclear Engineering is the largest program in the country and ranked second in the nation for its undergraduate programs and third in graduate programs among public universities.
“We have the potential and opportunity because of its zero emissions, because of these new fuels and the new safe ways of being able to deal with the development of nuclear power,” Perry said. “Texas A&M can be right at the epicenter of this new technology and the innovations on the nuclear side.”