PHILADELPHIA - Axalta Coating Systems has endowed the Axalta Coating Systems Chair in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. The two million dollar chair will also receive funding from the Office of the President of the university.
The endowment is a response to the university’s multi-year campaign, themed “Lead By Example,” which is designed to provide adequate resources to help solve a variety of real-world challenges that its students are being equipped to address. According to Axalta, it is one of the most ambitious fundraising programs ever undertaken by a public university in the United States.
“We are excited to be able to support Texas A&M’s programs and especially the curriculum at the Look College,” explained Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver and an alumnus of Texas A&M with a degree in chemical engineering. “The applied sciences are the backbone of so many initiatives in both the private and public sector. At Axalta, engineering is the foundation of much of our operations and technology. Graduating students will have the key to opportunities in so many potential occupations and be able to give back to the communities they’re from across the state and the nation.”
The purpose of the chair is to attract or retain an engineering faculty member with teaching and research interests related to paint and coating technologies, including but not limited to rheology, accelerated testing, and dispersion and process modeling. Distributions from endowment will support the teaching, research, service and professional development activities of the holder of the chair in accordance with university guidelines.
Axalta has a strong relationship with the university and the Look College. In 2014, Axalta launched its college racing program with Texas A&M. Selected students were invited to attend the annual NASCAR® race at the Texas Motor Speedway, where they were able to get an in-depth look into applications of engineering on the track and in the pits and meet crew members of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Team Chevy sponsored by Axalta. A number of Texas A&M alumni work throughout Axalta.