|Contact:||Debbie Dobson, 277-5539 or
Michael Padilla, 277-1816
Feb. 28, 2001
UNM Engineering Alumni Association Honors Six
University of New Mexico Engineering Alumni Association board will honor six
alumni at the Third Annual Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet on
Friday, March 23.
This years honorees are Nasir Ahmed (MSEE,1963, Ph.D.,1966), Kenneth
Donald Hansen (BSAE,1955), Bijay Rajbajhbhandry (MSCE,1991), Randy Velarde (BSChE,
1981), James Ernest Warne Jr. (MSCE, 1957) and K. Dane Wittrup (BSChE, 1984).
Ahmed, former interim Associate Provost for Research at UNM, is internationally
recognized for his contributions in digital signal processing research and textbook
writing and is also recognized locally as someone who has brought high standards
and excellent support from industry to electrical and computer engineering at
UNM. Ahmeds outstanding technical achievements were verified in 1985 by
his appointment to Fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
(IEEE), the highest grade award the IEEE has to offer. Only a small percentage
of its vast membership is given the Fellow award.
Hansen, principal and senior vice president of Schnebel Engineering Associates
in Denver, Colo., is an internationally recognized consultant, lecturer and
author on the design and construction of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dams.
He has consulted on 30 RCC projects in eight countries including the worlds
highest RCC dam (630 feet), which is in China. He is also on the Board of Senior
Consultants for the highest RCC dam in the United States. Hansen has given more
than 350 lectures on the subject in nine countries and is co-author of the book
Roller Compacted Concrete Dams.
Rajbajhbhandry, managing director for CE Construction Pvt. Ltd. in Kathmandu,
Nepal, is the only person in Nepal to have a Construction Management degree
from the United States, and the only CEO with this qualification. His most significant
accomplishment is that, in a short period of time, he grew a successful major
construction company in Nepal. He has had 52 projects in the eight years of
his business. Rajbajhbhandry started his company April 22, 1992, shortly after
completing his graduate work at UNM and spending a year working at Jaynes as
an assistant project manager.
Velarde, president of The Plaza Group in Houston, Texas, has helped the Plaza
Group to achieve phenomenal growth over the past three years. In 1999, Velarde
received The Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Hispanic Business magazine,
as well as the Entrepreneur of The Year Award from the Houston Hispanic Chamber
Warne, President of Western Technologies, Inc. (WTI) in Phoenix, Ariz., originally
founded Engineers Testing Laboratories, Inc. in 1955. The company, now known
as Western Technologies, Inc., specializes in geotechnical, construction materials
and environmental engineering services. Services which were pioneered and first
offered to the industry in Arizona by the company. Other service companies were
derived over the years and are now owned along with Western Technologies, Inc.,
by WTI, Inc. of which Warne is Chairman.
Wittrup, J.R. Mares Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is leading
the attempt to make specific molecules to be used in new pharmaceuticals. He
is currently working on cancer treatments with fewer side effects to make a
patients last months more tolerable. He is developing new tools for protein
engineering, and applying them both to particular disease targets and to better
understand protein structure/function relationships.
The six alumni were chosen based on their demonstrated professional eminence
and community service. As the nomination form states: The UNM engineering
program has produced outstanding, well-prepared engineers for almost a century.
These graduates have gone on to serve their profession, communities, society
and the university.
For more information, contact Debbie Dobson at (505) 277-5539.
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