Texas Tech University

Annette Sobel Named Recipient of Henry L. Taylor Founder's Award

George Watson

April 25, 2016


The Texas Tech researcher is being honored for her career work in understanding and implementing policies to ensure protection from bioterrorism.

Dr. Annette Sobel
Dr. Annette Sobel

Dr. Annette Sobel, the Executive for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Health Security Initiatives for Texas Tech University, will be honored Tuesday (April 26) with the 2015 Henry L. Taylor Founder's Award at a luncheon in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The award, presented by the Aerospace Human Factors Association (AsHFA), recognizes the work of outstanding individuals in the field of aerospace human factors. Criteria for the award include achievements in research and publications, developments or contributions such as equipment, techniques or procedures, and leadership in the field.

Sobel, a former major general in the Arizona Air National Guard, is an associate professor in the Department of Medical Education and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as well as an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She joined Texas Tech in 2014.

“Dr. Sobel has an impressive background in medicine and research of the human condition, which lends to her credibility in receiving this honor,” Texas Tech interim president John Opperman said. “The diversity of her experiences has been a wonderful asset to Texas Tech University and the Health Sciences Center, and I congratulate her on achieving this award.”

In her current role at Texas Tech, Sobel helps facilitate research and educational collaborations between Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She has extensive experience in developing and executing protocols on bioterrorism preparedness and safety procedures both nationally and internationally.

Her research deals with human performance in a variety of extreme environments and the human factor on systems engineering platforms, such as radar systems for advanced tactical fighters, virtual reality and robot training and algorithms that help with making decisions when dealing with emerging infectious diseases and medical diagnostics.

Sobel has an extensive career in both the medical and engineering communities as well as an adviser in the government. She was a senior advisor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and was a senior adviser for biosecurity engagement in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense/Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Program. A trained military and civilian flight surgeon, she currently serves as the chair for the permanent monitoring panel for mitigation of acts of terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists. She has been recognized by NATO for her lifelong devotion to understanding the science of weapons of mass destruction.

Sobel is also active in the community, serving on the national board of directors for the Girl Scouts of the USA and the South Plains council for Boy Scouts of America. She also is the vice president-elect of the Lubbock chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and has earned the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award.