Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University, CNS Announce Strategic Partnership

Allen Ramsey

October 10, 2023

Joe and Colby at iHub

The Innovation Hub and Pantex have formed a partnership focused on fostering innovation involving national security.

Texas Tech University and Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS), LLC have announced a strategic partnership aimed at fostering innovation in West Texas and the development of creative solutions to challenges directly related to national security. 

This groundbreaking initiative leverages synergies between Texas Tech's Innovation Hub at Research Park and Pantex, which is managed by CNS, to develop tools, technologies and critical skills important for nuclear and national security. The partnership offers Texas Tech students and faculty the chance to support real-world national security missions, while Pantex will benefit from access to the talent, expertise and research and development facilities of the university.

“Texas Tech University is extremely proud of its long history of collaboration with CNS,” said Joseph Heppert, Texas Tech's vice president for research and innovation. “Texas Tech has repeatedly been the recipient of national recognition for the quality and success of our graduates in all fields of study. This expanded partnership between the university and CNS will allow us to collaborate in fostering the next generation of innovators through strategic initiatives and competitions.”

Through this partnership, the organizations hope to achieve the following goals:

  • Synergy and collaboration: Bringing together the diverse talent pool and knowledge base of Texas Tech and Pantex to innovate and address crucial challenges.
  • Innovative problem solving: Harnessing innovative thinking to tackle national security challenges and uncover new opportunities for technology transfer and commercialization.
  • Workforce development: Engaging students, faculty and community members to identify and connect with potential talent for future recruitment or collaborative partnerships.
  • Knowledge transfer: Facilitating the exchange of industry-specific challenges and academic knowledge, contributing to the advancement of both academia and industry.
  • Community engagement: Strengthening the relationship between the Pantex community, Texas Tech and the Amarillo and Lubbock communities.

About Pantex

Pantex, the nation's only assembly/disassembly facility for nuclear weapons, is integral to the nation's nuclear security enterprise because it applies unique capabilities to ensure the effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile in support of the nation's nuclear deterrent. 

“The enhanced partnership between Pantex and Texas Tech University is symbiotic in that it will enable another level of innovation and benefit to each organization,” said Pantex Site Manager Colby Yeary. “With this partnership, Pantexans will learn about the latest technologies, processes and innovators that can provide value to our site, while Red Raiders will have increased exposure to Pantex, including career opportunities that may align well to their professional goals and skill sets. It's a textbook definition of a win-win scenario.”

Pantex cultivates a work environment that balances dedication to its mission with a culture that encourages growth, collaboration and a sense of fulfillment among its employees. Through the partnership with Texas Tech, Pantex intends to showcase career prospects that inspire students to pursue national and nuclear security professions.

The Pantex Innovation Challenge

As a part of this new partnership, Pantex and the Texas Tech Innovation Hub invite students from across Raiderland to join in the Pantex Innovation Challenge on Friday (Oct. 13). The one-day event introduces students with a passion for STEM-related fields to developing solutions to problem sets provided by Pantex.

Students participating in the program will form teams, identify and develop solutions through interactive workshops, and network with industry professionals and mentors. The top three to five teams will have the opportunity to win $7,000 in cash prizes and advance to the Innovation Hub's iLaunch Competition Pantex Track, vying for a chance to secure a $5,000 prize.

Pantex and Texas Tech invite all enthusiastic individuals to join this collaborative endeavor.  

To register for the Pantex Innovation Challenge 2023, click here.

For media interested in covering the event, final presentations begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Innovation Hub, 3911 4th St.