Gov. Greg Abbott visits UTD, announces Texas semiconductor committee

Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Texas Governor



Dr. Manuel. Photo Courtesy of UTD

Gov. Greg Abbott announced new appointments to the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium’s Executive Committee on March 19 at UTD, which will include UTD Material Science and Engineering department head and professor Manuel Quevedo-Lopez and UTD President Emeritus David Daniel.

Abbott was joined by Rep. Greg Bonnen of district 24, House Speaker Dade Phelan and Daniel at a news conference at noon at the Natural Science and Engineering Research Lab to announce the committee’s inaugural members. Among local semiconductor leaders present, University of Texas System Chancellor James Milliken, Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp, and UTD President Richard Benson were present. 

“Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit, and we now lead the nation as the number one state for semiconductor manufacturing,” said Abbott. “With these new appointments to [the committee], we will leverage the expertise of industry leaders and our world-class higher education institutions to ensure we not only remain the best state in America for semiconductors, but we become a global leader for semiconductor innovation.” 

David Daniel. Photo Courtesy of UTD

Following the Texas CHIPS Act, which Abbott signed into law June 2023 to establish the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium, sixteen universities and six industry chairs have been announced to be a part of the TSIC EC, which will be led by Daniel. Some of the most notable representatives come from UT Austin, A&M, Samsung, Toyota, Dell and Dongjin. 

“This is a complex enterprise,” Daniel said at the news conference. “The work we’re doing has the potential to touch everyone’s lives. Success cannot be achieved without exceptional people. As these industries grow, we’re going to need thousands of Texans to contribute to our specific job needs.”

Daniel will be one of nine executive chairs selected by Abbott, Phelan and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to govern the work with industry stakeholders to ensure advances in Texas semiconductor research and manufacturing. He was the fourth president of UTD between 2005 and 2015 before departing to become deputy chancellor of the UT System. During his tenure, he tripled research expenditures at UTD, initiated $600 million in construction of new campus buildings and infrastructure and added 40 new degree programs. Currently, he serves as a national engineering consultant for natural disaster projects and serves on several esteemed nonprofit boards. 

Joining TSIC EC as a designee of institutions of higher education includes Quevedo-Lopez, who serves as an associate professor of material science and engineering at UTD and as an adjunct professor for both The University of North Texas and University of Sonora, Mexico. He currently supervises postdoc and Ph.D.students at the Center for Harsh Environment Semiconductors and Systems, the flagship program at UTD’s advanced North Texas Semiconductor Institute

Semiconductors, used to create semiconductor chips, are responsible for how electronic devices process and store and receive information. They are efficient, cheap and essential for modern technologies like refrigerators, phones, computers and cars. Semiconductor chips have greatly expanded computing power without causing computers’ size to grow bulkier. In an interview with The Mercury last year, Quevedo-Lopez said the Center for Harsh Environment Semiconductors and Systems was working on making radiation detectors for the Department of Homeland Security and evaluating gallium nitride chips for aerospace applications.  

Quevedo-Lopez believes the direction of the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium will be a big opportunity for students and a driving force for growth in the industry’s job market.

“We understand the driving force behind this is industry and that’s going to require our students as we prepare them to join the workforce,” Quevedo-Lopez said to the Dallas Morning News.



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