Texas A&M to be first international university partner in Yucatán’s SIIDETEY research complex

September 18, 2014
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Cementing its reputation as an international leader in research, Texas A&M University has been invited to become the first international academic partner in SIIDETEY, the Mexican state of Yucatán’s expansive research consortium.  Texas A&M is the first university outside of Mexico to be asked to join the high-level research consortium and will have a physical presence in the SIIDETEY research park in Yucatán.

SIIDETEY is comprised of national and regional institutions such as the Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Mexico, CINVESTAV, the Mexican Aerospace Agency, the Mexican National Institute of Mathematics and Yucatan State University, among others.  

“We are honored to be the Yucatán’s first international partner in SIIDETEY,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “It is a testament to our world-wide reputation for research excellence.”

The governor of the state of Yucatán, Rolando Zapata Bello, announced the invitation in College Station during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between Yucatán and Texas A&M, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M AgriLife.

Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering and director of TEES said, “This unique collaboration will benefit students, researchers and industry partners. We have been engaged in promising dialogue with the Yucatán leaders and continue to discover new areas for collaboration.”

Initial collaborations between Yucatán and Texas A&M were limited to engineering areas such as water use and coastal dynamics, logistics and energy, but target areas in the future will expand to include agriculture, education, architecture, veterinary medicine, geosciences and marine biology.

“We chose Texas A&M to become our first international partner because of their tradition of excellence in academics and research,” said Governor Zapata Bello. “Having a strong relationship with a university of the reputation of Texas A&M is a win-win situation. We have great students and researchers to share and we look forward to many high impact discoveries by our joint research teams.”

Texas A&M’s partnership with Yucatán, known as the “Yucatán Initiative,” has evolved into a multidisciplinary, binational and cross-college collaboration supported by Texas A&M and Yucatán’s secretary of education. To expand on the success of the partnership, Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina, associate professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M, was announced as director of the Yucatán Initiative, which will be housed in Texas A&M’s Research Park.

The governor’s visit is the result of a partnership that has developed over the past year between Texas A&M’s Dwight Look College of Engineering and the state of Yucatán. As part of the CANIETI-Yucatán Program, 250 Yucatán-sponsored students will attend Texas A&M next summer to conduct research with faculty members.

To further build partnerships with Mexico, the Texas A&M System has created a new Office of Mexico Relations. The director of this new program will focus on creating and enhancing collaboration with Mexico for Texas A&M System universities and agencies. Dr. Maria Hernandez-Ferrier, who served as the inaugural president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio since 2008, will assume the role of director in January 2015.

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