Six Members Added to External Advisory Council for U.T. Dallas Office of Vice President for Research and Graduate Education
Leaders from Fields of Science, Medicine, Business, Academia

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Education at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has expanded its external advisory council to 21 members with the addition of six leading experts from the fields of science, medicine, business and academia.

The council is tasked with helping administrators plan the future of the university’s research, assisting in maintaining a sense of direction and focus in current research and interacting with UTD’s internal council to build a common view of research. Members also provide insight into trends, entrepreneurial activities, government liaison and global outreach.

“As the economic climate changes, especially in Texas, I have attempted to add members to the board that represent both a variety of regions and disciplines that are growing,” said Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, vice president for research and graduate education at UTD. “As a result, these new members bring added insight into the defense industry, health care, nanotechnology, law, chemical research and international education, and offer unique perspectives that reflect their diverse locations. Their contributions to university research will be both substantial and meaningful.”

The new members include:

  • Dr. Peter Englert, pro vice chancellor and dean of science, architecture and design at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Englert was recently named chancellor of the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 1995, Englert was a faculty member and administrator at San Jose State University in California
  • Monty Humble, partner of Vinson and Elkins LLP. Humble has been an attorney with Vinson & Elkins since 1982. In 1986, he established the Dallas office’s public finance practice, which now consists of clients in eight states from Texas to Washington. Humble currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative and the Texas General Counsel Forum.
  • Dr. James Robert (Bob) Johnson, chief scientist and senior technical staff of Raytheon Imagery and Geospatial Systems, Raytheon Corporation. Johnson has served as the advisor to the director of the Smithsonian Institution and is a past member of the Department of Defense Joint Vision 2010 Visualization Committee. Currently, he briefs Congressional staffs and members about new technologies and is the technical interface with intelligence community customers.
  • Dr. Che-I Kao, chief scientist and Dow Fellow (ret.) of the Dow Chemical Company. Kao retired recently from Dow after 34 years of service. As the chief scientist, he was the scientist partner for the corporate vice president of research and development with responsibility to maximize the impact and contributions of Dow’s technical community toward company growth. He was recently awarded the 2002 outstanding achievement award from the Society of Plastics Engineers, Thermoplastics and Foam Products division.
  • Dr. John D. McConnell, executive vice president for administration, professor of urology and S.T. Harris Family Chair in medical science of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. As executive vice president for administration, McConnell is in charge of resource allocation, space allocation and institutional planning for the medical center. He also serves as the chief medical school liaison to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas’ hospital administration and board.
  • James Von Ehr II, President and CEO of Zyvex Corporation. Von Ehr founded Zyvex in 1997. He co-founded the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing Texas as a world leader in the discoveries, development and commercialization of nanotechnology. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative, Metroplex Technology Business Council, the North Texas Technology Council and the New York-based NanoBusiness Alliance.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].