The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The Division of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development

Executive Team

Juan M. Sanchez, Ph.D.

Juan M. Sanchez, Ph.D.

Interim Sr. VP, Research, Innovation, and Economic Development 

BRN: 956-882-7676
EBG: 956-665-3883

Dr. Juan M. Sanchez is Interim Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Temple Foundation Endowed Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his B.S. in Physics at the University of Cordoba, Argentina (1971) and M.S. (1974) and Ph.D. in Materials Science (1977) at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining the University of Texas at Austin in 1989, he served as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Full Professor at Columbia University in the City of New York. Dr. Sanchez was appointed Vice President for Research at the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 and served in that capacity until January 2016.

During his tenure as Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin annual research and development expenditures grew by approximately $400 million, reaching an all time high of $650 million in fiscal year 2015. Two major developments at the University of Texas at Austin fostered by Dr. Sanchez during his tenure as Vice President for Research were the creation of the Institute for Computational Science and Engineering (ICES) and of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). ICES has become an internationally recognized center of excellence in computational sciences and engineering, and applied mathematics. Likewise, TACC has evolved into a leading advanced computing center in the world.

Dr. Sanchez led the establishment of the South West Node of NSF's I-Corps program, a joint collaboration with UT Austin, Texas A&M, Rice University and Texas Tech University, and served as the Principal Investigator of the program until July 2016. The main activity of the Node is to support faculty and graduate students interested in bringing technologies that they develop under NSF sponsorship into commercial products. The methodology and curriculum, based on the "Lean LaunchPad" principles, has attracted a significant level of interest among faculty and students and promises to contribute to the development of a effective entrepreneurial culture in Texas.

Dr. Sanchez is the author and co-author of over 140 technical publications on a wide range of topics in materials science and engineering. His current research interests are in the electronic, thermodynamic and structural properties of materials including intermetallic compounds, magnetic and non-magnetic alloys, thin films and magnetic multilayers. Primary interest is the development and application of first principles computational methods for the construction of phase diagrams of multicomponent material systems.

Dr. Sanchez is a member of the Board of Directors of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, serves as a member of the External Evaluation Committee of the Instituto Potosino de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas, SLP, México, and is a founding member of the Advisory Committee on Internationalization of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, NL, México. He is a past member and Chair of Visiting Committee on Advanced Technologies of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and past member of the Board of Visitors of the US Army War College and of the Board of Directors of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.