PSS’s Eric Hequet named Office of Research & Innovation Faculty Fellow
By: Norman Martin
An internationally-recognized cotton science researcher from Texas Tech University's Department of Plant and Soil Science has been named a Faculty Fellow in the university's Office of Research & Innovation. The office is tasked with fostering university-driven innovation along with its traditional mission in promoting and providing oversight of Texas Tech research.
Looking ahead, Horn Professor Eric Hequet will divide his time between his home department and the Office of Research & Innovation. Drawing on his experience as the former chair of Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science, Hequet will collaborate with faculty across Texas Tech units to develop a portfolio of multidisciplinary externally funded translational research projects, including working with the university's new Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance to secure federal funding for individual researchers and major programmatic projects.
In addition, Hequet will work with faculty in all colleges across campus to assist them in the invention disclosure process, especially with projects in the BASF Project Revolution program, said Joseph Heppert, Tech's Vice President for Research and Innovation.
Hequet will also develop and implement a strategic plan to broaden support for and development of Tech's Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute (FBRI) as a primary research asset for the university. This effort will involve exploring alliances among federal and state agencies, industry, and granting agencies to enhance the international prominence and research capacity of research facility.
Located some six miles east of the main campus, Tech's FBRI occupies 110,000 square-feet of space allowing Tech researchers to conduct testing and evaluation from the raw fiber stage through the finished textile product. Facilities include a multimedia classroom and conference room, biopolymer research laboratory, cotton phenomics laboratory, cotton ginning laboratory, and cotton processing laboratory (spinning and weaving).
Hequet, who co-developed and co-released 21 improved germplasm lines of upland cotton and two cultivars, has served the cotton genetics community as a breeder, textile engineer, department chairman, and collaborator with cotton breeders worldwide. In addition, he's conducted research into the use of high-volume instrument and Advanced Fiber Information System data as selection criteria for breeders across the United States, and encouraged breeders to utilize these parameters in the development of improved cotton germplasm and cultivars.
Earlier this year Hequet was the recipient of the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee's Cotton Genetics Research Award. Other honors for the multi-lingual Hequet include being designated an honorary professor and international advisory board member for scientific research by the Industrial Crop Research Institute in China's Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2017). In addition, he was name a Horn Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can receive from the university, by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents in 2016.
Hequet joined the Texas Tech faculty in 1997, after serving in a variety of research positions including head of the Cotton Program and head of the Cotton Technology Laboratory at CIRAD-CA in Montpellier, France. CIRAD is the International Center for Agronomic Research and Development headquartered in Paris, France. Prior to that, he was head of the Bebedjia Agronomic Research Station and head of the Cotton Breeding Program and head of the Cotton Technology Laboratory for IRCT (part of CIRAD) in Bebedjia, Chad.
Hequet earned a Diploma of Higher Education in chemistry-physiology from Orsay, Paris XI; a Master of Sciences in genetics from Orsay, Paris XI; and a Diploma of Applied Advanced Studies in plants genetics from Orsay, Paris XI. His doctorate in engineering sciences is from the Universite de Haute Alsace (France).
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or email@example.com
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Editor: Norman Martin
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