TAMEST Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards

O'Donnell Awards

The Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards annually recognize rising Texas researchers who are addressing the essential role that science and technology play in society, and whose work meets the highest standards of exemplary professional performance, creativity and resourcefulness.

The O’Donnell Awards acknowledge outstanding achievements by Texas-based researchers in five categories: medicine, engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences and technology innovation.

Each award includes a $25,000 honorarium and an invitation to present at TAMEST’s Annual Conference each year. Since 2006, 15 O’Donnell Awards recipients have been elected to one of the National Academies.

New for the 2023 O’Donnell Awards, the program has expanded to create a secondary science award. The annual awards will now recognize recipients in medicine, engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences and technology innovation categories.

Nominations for the 2023 O’Donnell Awards were open February 1, 2022 – May 31, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Shaw at stephanie.shaw@austin.utexas.edu or at (512) 232-8495.

The Deadline to Submit Nominations for the 2023 awards has passed.

Learn more about the nomination process and what the awards selection committee is looking for when choosing recipients:

  • Academic Awards (Medicine, Engineering, Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences): Video and Slides
  • Technology Innovation: Video and Slides

2022 O’Donnell Awards Recipients

2022 O'Donnell Awards Recipients

Mapping and altering coronavirus spike proteins to create COVID-19 vaccines. Utilizing polymers to provide degradable and reusable solutions for organic batteries and energy storage. Replicating the brain’s unique capabilities through tunable electronic materials. Integrating digital electronic automation into oil and gas wellbores to provide faster and safer drilling at depths never seen before.

These are the discoveries by Texas’ rising stars in research being honored with the 2022 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards by TAMEST Learn more >

Nomination Guidelines and Application

TAMEST is not currently accepting nominations for the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards. The nomination deadline was May 31, 2022.

Nomination Guides

For more detailed information on submitting a nomination, download the appropriate guide below:


All nomination applications and letters of support were due by May 31, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Shaw at stephanie.shaw@austin.utexas.edu or at (512) 232-8495.

To begin the online nomination application, please click on the appropriate link below:

General Guidelines

  • Nominators may only designate one award category. The O’Donnell Awards Selection Committee reserves the right to move a nominee into a different category if they feel the nomination is more suitable for that category.
  • All nominees will be automatically re-nominated for the following two years after the initial nomination — if the nominee meets all eligibility requirements. Although not required, additional or updated information may be submitted for consideration in the 2023 review process. If a nominator would like to withdraw a nominee, they may contact the TAMEST office.
  • Eligible nominators include TAMEST members, university presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents for research, deans, department chairs, industry executives as well as former recipients of the award.
  • If the committee elects to recognize more than one individual in a field, the $25,000 honorarium will be divided evenly among the winners.

2023 Science Awards

New for the 2023 O’Donnell Awards, the program has expanded to create a secondary science award. The annual awards will now recognize recipients in medicine, engineering, physical sciences, biological sciences and technology innovation categories. Previously, the TAMEST O’Donnell Awards rotated its science award between physical and biological sciences in alternating years.

Selection Process

A committee of TAMEST members will evaluate nominations and select finalists in consultation with a panel of National Academies members from outside of Texas and a committee of Texas Nobel Laureates. TAMEST’s Board of Directors provides final approval of the award recipients.


The deadline to submit 2023 nomination materials was May 31, 2022.


For questions, contact Stephanie Shaw at stephanie.shaw@austin.utexas.edu or at (512) 232-8495.

Committee Members

Ann Salamone

Ann Beal Salamone (NAE)

Awards Committee Chair
Rochal Industries, LLC

Medicine Subcommittee

  • Margaret “Peggy” A. Goodell, Ph.D. (NAM), Baylor College of Medicine
  • Kenneth S. Ramos, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), Texas A&M Health
  • Carol Tamminga, M.D. (NAM), UT Southwestern Medical Center

Engineering Subcommittee

  • Brian A. Korgel, Ph.D. (NAE), The University of Texas at Austin
  • Kaushik Rajashekara, Ph.D. (NAE), University of Houston
  • James Williams, Ph.D. (NAE), University of North Texas

Science Subcommittee – Biological

  • Bonnie Bartel, Ph.D. (NAS), Rice University
  • Luis Rafael Herrera-Estrella, Ph.D. (NAS), Texas Tech University
  • Margaret Phillips, Ph.D. (NAS), UT Southwestern Medical Center

Science Subcommittee – Physical

  • Ronald Devore, Ph.D. (NAS), Texas A&M University
  • Stephen Fuselier, Ph.D. (NAS), Southwest Research Institute
  • Peter J. Rossky, Ph.D. (NAS), Rice University

Technology Innovation Subcommittee

  • Robert O. Ambrose, Ph.D. (NAE), NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Mary Pat Moyer, Ph.D. (NAE), INCELL Corporation LLC
  • Oliver C. Mullins, Ph.D. (NAE), Schlumberger Limited

Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards 10th Anniversary

2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the O’Donnell Awards. Over $1 million has been awarded to dozens of recipients in the categories of medicine, engineering, science and technology innovation since the inception of the program. The awards are named in honor of Edith and Peter O’Donnell who are among Texas’ staunchest advocates for excellence in scientific advancement and STEM education.

O’Donnell Awards Supporters

The Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards Endowment Fund was established in 2005 through the generous contributions of the following individuals and organizations:

  • Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Altshuler
  • Anonymous (2)
  • AT&T Foundation
  • Austin Industries, Inc. and William T. Solomon, Former President, CEO and Chairman
  • Julie and Louis A. Beecherl
  • Melanie and Tim Byrne
  • Mr. and Mrs. W. Plack Carr Jr.
  • William P. and Rita Clements Jr.
  • Collins Family Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Copley
  • The Cullen Foundation
  • Cullen Trust for Health Care
  • Cullen Trust for Higher Education
  • Dell Inc.
  • Hunt Consolidated, Inc.
  • Kodosky Foundation
  • The Eugene McDermott Foundation
  • The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation
  • The Rodger Meier Family
  • Joyce and Harvey Mitchell
  • National Instruments
  • Edith and Peter O’Donnell
  • Margot and Ross Perot
  • Caren H. Prothro & The Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation
  • Rowling Foundation
  • Southwestern Medical Foundation
  • Ron and Phyllis Steinhart
  • Susser Family Foundation in Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Steinhart
  • Temple-Inland
  • Texas Instruments Foundation
  • TXU Energy
  • Valero Energy Foundation
  • Dr. and Mrs. Kern Wildenthal
  • Cheryl and Sam Wyly
  • Dee and Charles Wyly
  • Zachry Foundation

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