WT’s Hiranuma Appointed to Energy Department Advisory Committee


CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University environmental science professor has been named as an advisory committee member for a U.S. Department of Energy lab. 

Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, associate professor of environmental science in the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences in WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, now serves on the user executive committee for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. 

EMSL, located in Richland, Washington, is the DOE Office of Science’s premiere molecular sciences laboratory. Scientists in various research disciplines from around the world partner with EMSL to use world-class laboratory space, expertise and equipment for free if their research proposal is accepted through its peer-review process. 

“I have benefitted from EMSL, the opportunity to use its state-of-the-art tools and the chance to collaborate with its scientists in the past,” Hiranuma said. “So I am honored and grateful to have an opportunity to help other scientists in my role as a user committee member.”  

In his role on the advisory committee, Hiranuma will provide recommendations about EMSL operating policies and needs and recommend participants for proposal review panels, among other duties. 

Hiranuma said that the position will allow him to help the national research community, including his WT colleagues and others in this area, facilitate their research at the lab. 

“I will help current and future lab users achieve their research goals at the lab by giving them guidance on how best to work within its guidelines,” Hiranuma said. “I also will be able to pass along user feedback to lab officials for possible improvements in its operations.” 

Hiranuma will serve for three years. He is one of seven committee members from around the country. 

“This is quite a significant honor for Dr. Hiranuma and for WT,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean of the Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. “Not only does it reflect his extensive research activities, but it also recognizes WT’s role as a regional research university.” 

“This brings attention to the quality of research conducted at West Texas A&M University,” said Dr. David Sissom, professor of biology and head of the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences. “Dr. Hiranuma has been an outstanding and highly productive researcher in our department, and his research is internationally recognized.” 

WT’s vision of being a Regional Research University is the center point of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. 

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.