State Sen. Robert Nichols

State Sen. Robert Nichols

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - State Sen. Robert Nichols will be the inaugural speaker at the STEM Innovation - Tying Creativity to Success patent education lecture series at Stephen F. Austin State University at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, in SFA's Kennedy Auditorium.

Nichols, an industrial engineer who holds 32 U.S. and 128 foreign patents, will share his insights as an entrepreneur and his patent expertise. He will discuss career opportunities in fields that involve patent work in the 50-minute repeat sessions.

In addition to his success in obtaining patents, Nichols has built four successful manufacturing facilities in East Texas, creating more than 900 jobs.

In the Texas Senate, Nichols is chairman of the transportation committee. He also serves on the Senate Finance Committee, the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee, and the Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

Nichols served as mayor of Jacksonville and as a city council member before his election to the Senate in 2007.

"As an industrial engineer and legislator, Sen. Nichols is keenly aware of the importance of attracting students to pursue college degrees in the STEM disciplines," Dr. Kimberly Childs, dean of SFA's College of Sciences and Mathematics, said. "Sen. Nichols is regarded as one of the leading patent experts in the country, and we are delighted to host him on campus and have him share his expertise with our students and the community."

Admission to the lecture series is free and open to the public. The series is sponsored by Deborah Nichols Pruitt and Tom Pruitt and hosted by the SFA STEM Research and Learning Center.

For information about the lectures series or the SFA STEM Research and Learning Center, visit