Real partners: Swansea researchers' visit to strengthen Texas links

Swansea University will be strengthening its close links with Texas as a team of top Swansea researchers visit the Lone Star State from 26th - 31st October to speak about their research at a series of events in Houston, College Station and Austin.

The visit, known as the Swansea University Texas Research Showcase, is the latest chapter in a growing partnership between Swansea and Texas universities, including the University of Houston, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin.   

Texas flagWelsh flag with black border

Pictures:  The flag of Texas, the Lone Star State, and the flag of Wales, the red dragon.

The Texas partnership is already delivering real benefits, from exchange schemes for students, to research collaborations in areas such as nanohealth.

The Showcase is timed to coincide with what would have been the 100th birthday of Dylan Thomas, and features several sessions relating to the poet's work, including some events in the Ransom Center, which holds one of the world's largest collections of Dylan Thomas's original papers.   

However, the programme showcases the work of world-leading researchers from across all Swansea subject areas, with sessions such as:

  • Up to Speed’ : The 1000mph World Land Speed Record: Swansea University and the Bloodhound Project: Dr Ben Evans, College of Engineering,
  • Federalism, Decentralisation and the implications of the Scottish Referendum: Rt. Hon. Rhodri Morgan, former First Minister of Wales, now Chancellor of Swansea University
  • Barcoding cells with nanoparticles, to improve drug effectiveness, Prof Paul Rees, Centre for Nanohealth
  • Innovative ageing and gerontology - latest research, Prof Vanessa Burholt, College of Human and Health Sciences
  • Buildings as Power stations: Delivering Clean Renewable Energy from the Built Environment: Prof. David Worsley, College of Engineering
  • Where has all the Antimatter gone? Swansea University and the ALPHA Experiment at CERN: Prof. Niels Madsen, College of Science, Swansea
  • The significance of Dylan Thomas, lecture to an invited audience by Prof. John Goodby, world expert on the Swansea-born poet, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University

Texas Research Showcase - in pictures

Dylan Thomas ‌Picture:  Swansea poet Dylan Thomas, who was born on 27 October 1914.  Watch former US President Jimmy Carter talk about his love of the poet's work. 

The showcase is supported by the UK Government, through its Consulate General in Houston.

It is sponsored by Burleson LLP: with headquarters in Houston it is the USA’s biggest firm of oil and gas attorneys. It is also supported by the Welsh Government and by CISCO Networks International.

Swansea University Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Davies, said:

"I am delighted to be in the Lone Star State to reinforce and develop further the special relationship between Swansea and Texan universities.

No university can expect to tackle the big research challenges in isolation. There is a dawning realisation that working with others elsewhere in the world not only creates larger research teams with better access to the necessary range of world-class research facilities, but also creates a more innovative dynamic.   Swansea and our Texan partners are at the forefront of making this work in practice."

George Abbey, former Director of NASA Johnson Space Center, said:

"I am delighted, as a proud American and as the son of a Welsh-speaking mother from Laugharne in west Wales, where the poet Dylan Thomas lived and wrote for several years, to see my friends from Swansea University hit these shores once more.

I have watched as their original participation in the Texas-UK Collaborative has developed into a strong collaboration between Texas and Swansea University. May it continue and prosper!"

Texas studentsPicture: Students from Texas A&M University pictured at Swansea University, where they spent a semester as part of an exchange programme.

Taylor Delap (left end of row), from Allen in Texas, said:
“I am loving my time at Swansea. Everyone is very friendly and it’s a beautiful location. I’ve really enjoyed visiting the Gower and the chance to see historic places like London, Bath and Stonehenge.”

Current research collaborations between Swansea University and Texas partners include:

•    The Centre for Nanohealth and The Houston Methodist Research Institute
•    College of Engineering and Texas A&M University College of Engineering
•    Department of Geography and University of Texas at Austin
•    College of Arts and Humanities and Texas A&M University
•    College of Arts and Humanities and University of Texas at Austin
•    College of Law and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

The University's new Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) is a constituent member of the Global Energy Safety Institute (founded in Houston, Texas in 2011), a sister Institute of the Energy and Environmental Systems Institute at Rice University, Houston and an associate of the National Corrosion Research Centre at Texas A&M University.

About Swansea: pictures of our location and our links with Texas