EDINBURG, RGV – Dr. Alexander Domijan, Jr., dean of the college of engineering and computer science at UTRGV, says the college has tripled its research productivity, reversed a declining trend in enrollment and will continue to make opportunities happen in the Rio Grande Valley.
Cristina Trejo, the associate vice president of community engagement and economic development, and Domjian on Tuesday gave a presentation to five site selectors from Germany. Their visit was organized by Rio South Texas Economic Council.
Domijan highlighted the impact UTRGV will have on the Valley by creating industries and moving things forward. One way to accomplish this, he said, is by making connections around the world.
“Our GPS signal is first about compassion … because we want to think about what products and services we develop to benefit end-users. So [once] we have all our products and services with that in mind we [will] bring people together to develop community-oriented efforts. Communities of customers, communities of cities and so forth. Then we can make technology happen and that’s in that order. Compassion, community and technology.“
The UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Science (COEC) established several academic and business agreements around the world including countries such as Spain and Thailand. Domijan says COEC has the biggest private investment in Texas–the LNG enterprises in Brownsville territory worth about $20 billion.
“I’m going to make partnerships around the globe to align our academic efforts with the business efforts so that we can effectively [create] our products [as well as] services and connect with students and markets from around the world. That will be done in many different fashions as well,” Domijan said.
The COEC wants to venture off towards nontraditional programs such as environmental issues dealing with water. Domijan says the college has 40 interlocal agreements established within a one year period. They are funded agreements in cities and countries within the 150-mile territory of UTRGV.
“We’re actively expanding energy and we’re doing all those different efforts–manufacturing, critical infrastructures, and that’s a priority for our country because the Trump Administration invested about a trillion dollars in that area so we want to be right on the forefront of that,” Domijan said. “We have a number of a lot of centers [here in the RGV]. One center has the largest transportation program in the United States in the railway area.”
UTRGV was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 and replaced the two legacy schools of Edinburg, the University of Texas-Pan American, as well as Brownsville, the University of Texas at Brownsville. The University has off-campus research facilities and teaching sites in Boca Chica Beach, Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City and South Padre Island.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a six-part series on a visit to the Rio Grande Valley by five site selectors from Germany. Click here for Part One.