Science & Tech

Biden Names Texas A&M Engineer To Prestigious Advisory Panel

Nuclear security expert Marvin L. Adams will help steer the United States' path on science, technology and innovation.
By Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications September 22, 2021

Marvin L. Adams
Marvin L. Adams.

Texas A&M Engineering


President Joe Biden is turning to a renowned Texas A&M University nuclear engineer to strengthen his panel of top science and technology advisors in areas of national security.

Marvin L. Adams was named Wednesday to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Adams is the HTRI Professor of Nuclear Engineering, a Regents Fellow and the director of National Laboratories Mission Support for The Texas A&M University System.

The President’s Council is a direct descendant of the scientific advisory committee established by President Eisenhower in 1957 in the weeks after the launch of Sputnik. It is a group of external advisors charged with making science, technology and innovation policy recommendations to the president and the White House.

“I am honored to be selected to serve on the President’s Council,” Adams said. “I am sobered by the responsibility we have to provide sound advice and help the nation in these challenging times.”

The 30 members of the council include leading experts in astrophysics and agriculture, biochemistry, computer engineering, ecology, immunology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, national security, social science and cybersecurity.

Adams, 62, is considered the nation’s foremost academic expert on stewardship of the nuclear stockpile. He has served on many review and advisory bodies related to national security and has years of experience working with the military and U.S. scientists at Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Adams is the only academic on the Stockpile Assessment Team of U.S. Strategic Command, which annually assesses the nation’s nuclear capabilities for the president and Congress.

As a researcher, Adams has advanced the nation’s ability to use complex computational algorithms that help gauge the reliability of weapons systems in an era when explosive nuclear testing is banned.

“He has no peer in his field,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M System. “His world-class research capabilities, combined with his first-hand experience in the national labs, make him an outstanding choice for this vital assignment.”

Adams was instrumental in the System obtaining a federal contract in 2018 to help manage the Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico. He joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1992 after more than five years as a computational physicist at Lawrence Livermore.

“Dr. Marvin Adams’ selection to PCAST is an incredible honor and we are proud of his long affiliation and service to Texas A&M,” said M. Katherine Banks, Texas A&M University President. “Dr. Adams has a rare combination of expertise in nuclear weapons and energy and has played an instrumental role with the national labs. He is an excellent choice for this national thought leadership position.”

Adams is the first Texas A&M professor named to the President’s Council since Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Prize winning professor of international agriculture, served in the early 1990s.

“I am grateful to be at Texas A&M,” Adams said. “It’s a university that values service to the nation and provides an environment that has helped me grow through my career.

“As a result, I’ve had incredible, unusual opportunities for service in the interest of U.S. national security.”

William Press, a computer scientist, computational biologist and astrophysicist at The University of Texas at Austin, also was appointed to the panel.

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