CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two local companies whose support has made the Mechanical Engineering program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi a success were honored today (Tuesday, Feb. 4) during the “Friends of Engineering” Awards luncheon held at the Corpus Christi Town Club.
The “Friends of Engineering” Award at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi honors the outstanding achievements of supporters for the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. Honorees are chosen for their significant impact on the development and continued excellence of the facilities, faculty, and students. This year’s honorees were Flint Hills Resources and AEP Texas.
“Flint Hills and AEP Texas did not blink any eye when asked to step up and provide the foundational support for our engineering program,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President/CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “Their contributions made it possible for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to hire initial faculty and staff, buy equipment, and create a state-of-the-art experience for the first class of mechanical engineering students back in 2009.”
Flint Hills Resources has been a part of the Coastal Bend business community since 1981. The independent refining and chemicals company has one of its three refining complexes located in Corpus Christi, providing jobs to about 900 people, including about 85 engineers. Flint Hills Resources has shown its commitment to A&M-Corpus Christi by raising startup money for the University’s Mechanical Engineering program as directed by the state’s requirement for a community match. In 2009, Flint Hills Resources established the Flint Hills Resources Fund in Mechanical Engineering to provide scholarships to deserving students enrolled in the program.
AEP Texas, headquartered in Corpus Christi, has been a longtime supporter of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. AEP Texas is part of American Electric Power (AEP), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP Texas has shown its commitment by raising funds to help establish the Mechanical Engineering program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as directed by the state’s community match. AEP Texas has supported Texas A&M-Corpus Christi since 1980 with contributions to the President’s Council, the Parents’ Council, and other areas.
Last week, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved a new Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Reports from both the Texas Workforce Commission and the Higher Education Coordinating Board show a great need for electrical engineers in the Coastal Bend for years to come.
The program will include initiatives to ensure high completion rates, success for community college transfer students, and to recruit Texas students into the program. If approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the University plans to begin accepting its first class of electrical engineering students in fall 2015.