Robert G. Cochran Memorial
Scholarship in Nuclear Engineering
Help Us Honor the Founder of Texas A&M Nuclear Engineering
Founding department head, seminal textbook author, creator of the nation's first nuclear engineering undergraduate program and top-secret military consultant. Dr. Robert G. Cochran, Sr. was all this and more.
For 22 years Dr. Cochran served as inaugural department head of Texas A&M’s nuclear engineering department, destined to become the nation’s largest. Under his leadership, the discipline's first undergraduate program emerged as did Texas A&M's signature specialties in reactor physics and analysis, reactor safety and thermal hydraulics, health physics and computational methods.
He was instrumental in setting up the AGN-201 teaching reactor, currently in Zachry Engineering Center, and in constructing the Nuclear Science Center with the TRIGA-Mark II reactor. He co-authored The Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Analysis and Management, the textbook used today, and was a mentor to students who entered every aspect of the nuclear industry, including many in top leadership positions. He was a founder and charter member of the American Nuclear Society, and in great demand as a consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission, Air Force, Navy, national energy laboratories, numerous universities and private industry. The National Academy of Sciences named him chair of its Research Reactor Subcommittee. Bob Cochran dedicated his life to the development of nuclear energy and to Texas A&M nuclear engineering. This endowment is a lasting tribute to his legacy. Download the Pledge Form to make your donation.
Scholarships drive the spirit and guide the minds of generations of Aggies, so they can affect the world in productive and inventive ways. When you fund a scholarship, you’re making a profound difference for individual students and for the lives those students touch as graduates of Texas A&M University.
Some of the best and brightest high school students cannot afford today’s tuition, and scholarships open up a world of possibilities to them. For others, a scholarship frees them from student jobs, giving them more time to follow their intellectual curiosity or to participate in A&M’s character-building student-led organizations.
Spirit and Mind
On October 11, 2008, Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano announced the launch of Operation Spirit and Mind, a multiyear, $300 million initiative to raise private funds for new endowed scholarships and graduate fellowships for Texas A&M students. The Robert G. Cochran Memorial Scholarship in Nuclear Engineering will help fulfill this initiative. Recipients will be selected from a pool of qualified incoming freshmen who meet the university’s admissions requirements. The endowed award will be renewable for four years as long as the recipient continues to meet selection criteria and guidelines.
Robert G. Cochran, Sr.
Bob Cochran revolutionized the world's way of thinking about nuclear energy, says his son, Robert G. Cochran, Jr., M.D.
"Up to that point atomic energy had only been used as a warhead, and people hadn't thought about uses for it in peacetime. Everyone else in the U.S. then was into theoretical physics. Texas A&M wanted an applied approach as opposed to theoretical.
"My father helped develop the idea of the nuclear power plant, designed and helped build the Nautilus submarine. He also wrote the criteria for reactor safety and set up the testing reactor operators all over the world."