CNS, Texas Tech University announce strategic partnership

  • Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 12:26 pm

Dr. Joseph Heppert, Texas Tech University’s vice president for research and innovation shaking hands with Pantex Site Manager Colby Yeary
Dr. Joseph Heppert, Texas Tech University’s vice president for research and innovation shaking hands with Pantex Site Manager Colby Yeary during a recent Strategic Partnership meeting.

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC and Texas Tech University are proud to announce their 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 the Texas Tech Innovation Hub and Pantex to develop tools, technologies and critical skills important for nuclear and national security. Texas Tech benefits from this partnership by developing opportunities for students and faculty to support real-world national security missions. Pantex benefits from its ability to support its vital national security mission by providing access to talent, expertise and research and development facilities.

“Texas Tech University is extremely proud of its long history of collaboration with CNS,” said Dr. Joseph Heppert, Texas Tech University’s vice president for research and innovation. “TTU has repeatedly been the recipient of national recognition for the quality and success of our graduates from 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’ leadership aspires to achieve the following goals:

  • Synergy and collaboration: Bringing together the diverse talent pool and knowledge base of Texas Tech University 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 University, and the Amarillo and the 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, October 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.

This initiative represents a unique and exciting opportunity for aspiring innovators to contribute to the vital mission of ensuring national security. Pantex and Texas Tech University invite all enthusiastic individuals to join us in this collaborative endeavor.


Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. Bechtel National, Inc. is the lead member of CNS; minority members include Leidos, Inc.; ATK Launch Systems, LLC; and SOC LLC. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero defects, and delivery as promised.

For more information on each site, visit or Follow Pantex on Facebook, X or LinkedIn. Follow Y-12 on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.

Thomas Edison State University, like all higher education institutions, continuously updates and enhances degree requirements to meet the ever-changing needs of students and the workforce. For this reason, only TESU staff is authorized to advise students on what CNS employees’ courses satisfy specific TESU degree requirements. Students should only seek advice about transferring credit to TESU from TESU advisors. To be advised by TESU, students should apply to TESU, select a degree program, and speak to a TESU advisor.

Steve Myers
Office (806) 573.6032
Cell (806) 236.2826