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Retired Army general to lead UT Arlington robotics institute

Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office: 817-272-7075, Cell: 214-546-1082,

The University of Texas at Arlington is pleased to announce that Rick Lynch, a recently retired Army lieutenant general with a background in robotics research, has been named executive director of the Automation Robotics and Research Institute in Fort Worth.

Lynch will oversee the University’s robotics institute; the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, or TMAC; Cross Timbers Procurement Center and the Small Business Development Center for Enterprise Excellence.

Rick Lynch

Rick Lynch

The institute manages and directs microrobotics, nanorobotics and medical device technology, including projects such as Biomask, a pliable, polymer mask embedded with electrical, mechanical and biological components that can speed healing from disfiguring facial burns.

Lynch, who will start April 2, also will serve as a special adviser to UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo.

In his previous position, Lt. Gen. Lynch managed all 163 Army installations around the world, a workforce of 120,000 people and an annual budget of nearly $13 billion.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead an interesting and strategically important arm of UT Arlington,” Lynch said.

Spaniolo said Lynch’s leadership skills and experience integrating governance, economic and communication lines for Army operations in Iraq will strengthen UT Arlington’s robotics and micro-manufacturing operations.

“General Lynch brings a wealth of knowledge and institutions to our University,” Spaniolo said. “He will be an incredible asset in terms of charting strategies for the expanding profile of our robotics institute and micro-technology research programs.”

Lynch is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a concentration in robotics in 1983.

He served as the Robotics Project Officer in the Directorate of Combat Developments at the U.S. Armor School in Fort Knox, Ky., and later as the Armor Center’s Chief of Force Development.

Lynch said that while his military experience and network will certainly aid UT Arlington, he will press to broaden research support for the robotics institute beyond government funding.

“We need to discover commercial applications for what we build,” Lynch said. “There are unlimited commercial applications if the research is focused.”

Ron Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Lynch’s blend of leadership and research experience is a perfect fit for ARRI.

“He will bring a way of looking at research that capitalizes on his federal ties in government and private industry sectors,” Elsenbaumer said. “Understanding battlefield conditions first-hand will help guide us as to what research is needed in the future. General Lynch also has a unique ability to adapt that research to meet demand in the marketplace.”

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas and the second-largest member of The University of Texas System. Visit to learn more.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.