Louisiana Tech is one of the greatest assets in Ruston, according to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Landrieu stopped and visited Tech on Aug. 14 to discuss the university’s economic development and the great potential from Tech’s researchers.

‘Louisiana Tech understands the position it plays in Louisiana’s economic future, particularly where it relates to the Cyber Command,’ Landrieu stated.

The ultimate decision regarding final location of the Cyber Command, currently housed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, has been delayed but should not be a cause for concern, Landrieu added.

‘There is no doubt whatsoever that this is a command that should be stood up,’ she said. ‘And there is no doubt that Barksdale is a leading contender.’

Landrieu noted the recent cyber attack in the Eurasian country of Georgia where the communications’ equipment was jammed.

‘We believe this is just the beginning,’ Landrieu said. ‘This new warfare is real, and we believe we still have a great opportunity to be the leader in the nation for this command.’

Turning her attention to alternative energy and rising fuel costs, Landrieu mentioned the oil found in the Haynesville Shale and the boost it had given the state’s northwestern economy.

‘There’s a lot of domestic oil and gas yet to be found,’ she said. ‘I have always been a strong supporter of opening up domestic drilling. We have gas prices that are too high. We need to drill more domestically, conserve more, and I think university researchers are generating opportunities throughout the countries for alternative fuels.’

Landrieu said she is very excited about the opportunity to find new alternative fuels and how the universities in Louisiana are working together in a collaborative effort for economic development.

‘The research done here at this university and the businesses growing out of it are going to do so much to strengthen the economy,’ Landrieu stated. ‘(Tech leaders) have my full support for the development of this university.’

Corre Stegall, vice president for university advancement, and Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth said Landrieu has always been a staunch supporter of Tech and of the city.

‘We would not be where we are today without her,’ Hollingsworth said. ‘She has taken particular interest in things that are important to our city and university.’

Also on her Tech trip, Landrieu toured Network Foundation Technologies, which was founded in 2001 by Dr. Mike O’Neal, the Larson Professor of computer science at Tech, and Marcus Morton, a Tech MBA graduate.

Written by Judith Roberts