Founding Senator named midstream honoree

The Center for Midstream Management and Science has named Senator Robert Nichols a “Profiles in Midstream” honoree. The CMMS honors those who are doing good work for the midstream industry, and
Robert Nichols
Senator Robert Nichols
Nichols is recognized as a founder for the Center.

“It is strategic thinking of leaders like Senator Nichols who enable us in our effort to build the Midstream Center into a problem-solving cornerstone of the midstream industry, clearing house and developer of innovative midstream technologies, and ultimately a thought leader in the midstream sector,” said Thomas Kalb, director of the CMMS. “We are proud to have him on our team at Lamar University and to name him as the Center for Midstream Management and Science’s Profiles in Midstream honoree.

Nichols, a 1968 graduate of Lamar University, was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2007 and represents District 3, including 19 counties covering the greater part of East Texas and Montgomery County. Prior to his election as a Texas state senator, he served as Texas transportation commissioner for eight years. Earlier in his career, Nichols was a businessman in his hometown of Jacksonville, Texas, where he not only built four successful manufacturing facilities, earned 32 U.S. patents, and created more than 900 jobs for his fellow Texans, but he also served on the city council and was elected mayor.

“Senator Nichols' lifetime of contribution and service made him aware of the reasons the Texas economy is so successful and the problems facing it,” said Kalb. “His knowledge of the midstream industry, that part of the state’s energy infrastructure that transports, processes and stores produced oil and natural gas, enabled him to recognize the fact that this complex system was a bit of an orphan in the energy-focused academic world.”

Prior to the establishment of the CMMS at Lamar University, no academic research institution was focusing on identifying and solving the problems of the huge and complex midstream system serving Texas, its industry and its citizens. To correct this failure to meet the needs of an important industry, Nichols worked with Dr. Ken Evans, Lamar University’s president, to create and fund the Center for Midstream Management and Science, which is housed at the Lamar University campus in Beaumont. The CMMS opened for business on Sep. 1, 2019 with funding from the Texas legislature that Nichols sponsored.