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TEXAS A&M at SXSW 2020

March 14-16

Texas A&M is the only university at SXSW’s Interactive Conference delivering comprehensive programming by incorporating high-profile thought leaders in compelling discussions, one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits and solution-focused brand experiences. SXSW gives the country’s largest university the opportunity to illustrate its interdisciplinary research in front of an international crowd, as well as Fortune 500 recruiters who hire our students.

Event Overview

Texas A&M returns to SXSW as it welcomes NASA innovators and technology leaders from a variety of fields to explore the university’s 30 years of space-grant research through conversations and interactive exhibits. The Texas A&M Space Lab discoveries begin at Fleming’s in downtown Austin, where visitors can maneuver a Mars rover prototype, lose themselves in an infinity room and pick up exclusive space-themed Champion apparel giveaways. At the Austin Convention Center, visitors will experience NASA exhibits at the Texas A&M exhibit booth. Evening entertainment at Fleming’s will feature live music, a comedy show and a Pepsi product launch.

mars rover
nasa partner logo starry sky
rocket launching at night


Texas A&M continues to unlock humankind’s potential on Earth and beyond. New ideas and innovations, along with solutions and better understanding, will be showcased March 14-16 at the Texas A&M Space Lab in downtown Austin where select leaders from across Texas A&M and the nation will share insights into the future of our world. Just one block away at the Austin Convention Center, Texas A&M will be on the exhibit floor March 15-18.

  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    The Future of Food

    Food policy, precision nutrition and healthcare costs take center stage. The idea of “food as medicine” is more important than ever in preventing and treating illness. Scientists and leaders from academia and one of the largest grocers in the nation discuss this and other means of solving America’s one trillion-dollar diet-related chronic disease burden.

    Dr. Patrick J. Stover

    Vice Chancellor and Dean of Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

    Martin Otto

    Chief Operating Officer of H-E-B Grocery Co., past president of National Association of Chain Drug Stores

    John Sharp

    Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System

    Dr. Martha Field

    Biochemist at Cornell University

  • 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    Smart Branding

    Broad appeal to a brand is rare, but NASA created a true lovefest when it unveiled its “cosmically cool” merchandise in 2017. Is it nostalgia at work, or a renewed interest in engineering, technology and science? NASA’s top communicator talks with a marketing master and social media expert about remaking traditional organizations into modern trendsetters, as well as what is working on digital platforms and why.

    Stephanie Schierholz

    NASA Communications for Spaceflight

    Akshaya Sreenivasan

    Marketing and Social Media Professor at Texas A&M University

    Krista Berend

    Social Media Director at Texas A&M

  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Pushing Our Bodies And Minds To The Limits

    If the future of humankind relies on space, many believe that the mental challenges will be overcome, but what about our Earth-friendly bodies in such weightlessness? A former astronaut, NASA’s Scientist-in-Residence and a sport psychologist discuss the possibilities of long-term human presence in space.

    Dr. John Charles

    NASA’s first and only Scientist-in-Residence

    Dr. Ryan Pittsinger

    Director of Texas A&M Counseling and Sport Psychology Services

    Dr. Bonnie Dunbar

    Director of Texas A&M’s Aerospace Human Systems Laboratory and former NASA astronaut

  • 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    You’re The Expert comedy show

    Created and hosted by comedian Chris Duffy, this live episode recorded at the Texas A&M Space Lab features a Texas A&M researcher. Through games, sketches and hilariously misguided guesses, three comedians try to figure out what our expert studies. Over the course of the show, we hear about the latest findings and why the expert’s field is important.

  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Lunar Village

    Four leading technologists and construction experts discuss with authority the feasibility of building a life-sustaining environment on other planets, along with creating zero-gravity live-work quarters. This is where space architecture, construction, robots and engineering intersect.

    Rob Mueller

    Senior Technologist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center; Co-founder, Swam Works

    Peter J. Carrato

    Senior Advisor at Bechtel, the largest construction company in the U.S.

    Dr. Pat Suermann

    Department Head of Texas A&M Construction Science, College of Architecture

    Nicole Shumaker

    Research Specialist at Texas A&M overseeing prototype of brick-printing lunar robot

  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Who on Earth Should Govern Space

    Who will make the rules once out of the Earth’s orbit? Can any commercial space company attempt to colonize Mars? These are just the start-off questions for those with insatiable curiosity. A university president, the director of space flight policy at SpaceX and an expert on who owns artifacts discovered in space confer with an award-winning science journalist.

    Michael K. Young

    Texas A&M University President

    Caryn Schenewerk

    senior counsel and director of space flight policy at SpaceX

    Michelle Hanlon

    founder of For All Moonkind; associate director of the Center for Air and Space Law; instructor at the University of Mississippi School of Law

    Bijal Trivedi

    senior writer for The Conversation; journalist specializing in science

  • 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    Texas A&M Space Lab Wrap Up event & Presidential Announcement

    Featuring live music, food and an announcement by President Michael K. Young.


Texas A&M will return to Fleming’s in downtown Austin and be open Saturday, March 14 through Monday, March 16, 2020. This location will house both Texas A&M programming components and brand experience components.


All Texas A&M SXSW panel discussions and activations at the Texas A&M Space Lab March 14-16 and the Austin Convention Center March 14-18 will be staffed by the Division of Marketing and Communications. They will coordinate interviews, as well as videography and photography.

Inquiries can be emailed to tamunews@tamu.edu with "TAMU SXSW" in the subject line, please.