Astronaut José Hernandez to deliver LBJ Distinguished Lecture

Texas State University

Astronaut and engineer José Hernandez will deliver the LBJ Distinguished Lecture at Texas State University September 25 during Innovation Week.

The free public speech will be held at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium. It is presented in conjunction with the Common Experience at Texas State. Seating is limited, and advance tickets to the event may be obtained at

Hernández, a former migrant farmworker, was selected as a member of the 19th class of NASA astronauts in 2004. After completing his training, he was selected for a mission in 2007 and flew as the flight engineer during the 14-day STS-128 mission aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station in 2009. In addition to his flight engineer duties, Hernández was also one of two principal robotic arm operators and the first to tweet in English and Spanish from space.

Prior to his time with NASA, Hernández spent more than 15 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where he co-developed the first full-field digital mammography system for the earlier detection of breast cancer—thus opening a new area of research called computer-aided diagnosis—and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for this important contribution.

Hernández is a former candidate for U.S. Congress and the author of several books, including his autobiography, Reaching for the Stars, and the children’s version, The Boy Who Touched the Stars. Today, he works as a consultant within the company he founded in 2012, Tierra Luna Engineering. He provides his expertise in business development and strategic operations to help clients develop optimum growth solutions through an integrated approach. He focuses these efforts on companies involved in aerospace technologies and renewable energies.

Hernández has been the recipient of numerous awards, including NASA Service Awards (2002, 2003), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Outstanding Engineer Award” (2001), Upward Bound National TRiO Achiever Award (2001), U.S. Department of Energy “Outstanding Performance Commendation” (2000), Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) “Medalla de Oro” recipient for professional and community contributions (1999), and the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award for “Outstanding Technical Contribution” (1995). Hernández has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees including his alma mater, University of the Pacific.

For more information, contact Twister Marquiss at or (512) 245-3579, or Erika Nielson at

About the LBJ Lecture

The annual Lyndon Baines Johnson Lecture, initiated in 1982 to honor the former president and Texas State graduate, recognizes the importance of education to the continuing prosperity of the nation. Through the series, Texas State works to perpetuate the former president’s high educational ideals by bringing outstanding individuals to campus to meet with students and faculty and present public lectures. Previous lecturers include former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, poet Maya Angelou, former President Gerald Ford and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.

            About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 189,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.