Research & Graduate Studies
Sea Camp and Outreach
Texas A&M Maritime Academy
Center for Marine Training and Safety
Dr. William Seitz
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Dr. William Seitz was born in 1948 in Waltham, Massachusetts. He attended Rice University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Chemical-Physics. While at Rice he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Lambda Upsilon, and Sigma Pi Sigma academic honor societies. He was also awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.
Upon graduation, Dr. Seitz spent three months working at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico. He returned to Texas where he attended the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in theoretical chemistry focusing on models for large molecular systems. He graduated in 1973 with a PhD (also in Chemical Physics), spent three months as a lecturer at UT, then briefly entered the US Army where he served as a Captain in the Ordinance Corps at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
Dr. Seitz returned to Rice as a postdoctoral fellow working in biophysics and polymer science and then served for a year on the Rice faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 1977, he moved to Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) where he has remained. Dr. Seitz was awarded the first Welch Foundation grant given to TAMUG and became Head of the Marine Sciences Department. In that capacity, he hired a group of physical scientists that specialize in physical modeling that could be supported at a small institution with limited experimental resources. This group continues to this day as a major “player” in the theoretical chemical-physics community. In 1987 he received the outstanding Faculty/Staff award at Texas A&M University at Galveston. In 1988 Dr. Seitz was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and spent a summer at the Rudger-Boskovic Institute in Zagrab, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). He attended and helped organize an important international school and conference in Dubrovnik that continues today.
In 1988, Dr. Seitz was named Dean of the Moody College of Marine Technology where he oversaw a major expansion of research faculty at the campus. He also (at the same time) began the formal continuing education program at TAMUG. He used the Center for Marine Training and Safety as a mechanism to develop maritime training programs for industry taught by TAMUG faculty and others. This program grew rapidly in just two years with revenues exceeding $1 million. To support this growth, Dr. Seitz (working with President Merrell and Dean Schmidly) worked to persuade the TAMU Board of Regents to purchase the Bayou Campus. That campus now continues to house the Center for Marine Training and Safety and the sailing programs.
In 1992, TAMUG was reorganized and became a part of the College of Geosciences and Maritime Studies. Dr. Seitz continued to supervise continuing education and served as Interim Associate Dean for Research.
In 1996, Dr. Seitz took a faculty development leave and joined the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment in Washington, DC as a Senior Fellow. At the center he developed the computational support center and was significantly involved with a major federally supported study of the effects of erosion on FEMA’s flood insurance program. Results from that study later proved instrumental in the development of Texas’s erosion mitigation efforts after Dr. Seitz worked with the Texas General Land Office, community leaders, and others to highlight the erosion threat to the legislature.
After returning from Washington in 1998, Dr. Seitz continued his research program which has resulted in over 90 publications in refereed journals. In 2000, he was asked to serve as Interim Head of the General Academics Department. In 2002, he again became Head of the Marine Sciences Department with responsibility for over 45 faculty and staff and with a budget of more than $1.4 million.
In 2006, he was named a Regents Professor of Texas A&M University System. He also began a new administrative appointment as the Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Seitz assumed the additional role of Associate Provost, Texas A&M University (TAMU) and Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Texas A&M University at Galveston. He continues his research in Complex Systems Theory.