Contact:
Abhaya K. Datye, 277-0477
Jeff Brinker, 272-7627
Michael Padilla, 277-1816

October 30, 2001

UNM Ranked 5th as High-Impact U.S. University in Materials Science

The University of New Mexico is ranked 5th out of the top 100 federally funded institutions in regard to the impact of materials science papers over the years 1996-2000 by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).

The list is published in ISI’s Science Citation Index which measures the number of times a paper is cited by other researchers.

Abhaya K. Datye, director of UNM’s Center for Micro-Engineering Materials (CMEM), said the ranking shows that UNM truly has a broad-based materials science effort, since it includes all papers from UNM and their citation frequency.

Datye said this ranking shows that research at UNM has the breadth and the quality that bring it within the top-five nationwide.

The University of Southern California is ranked 1st with 170 papers and 8.50 citations per 1996-2000; Harvard University is ranked 2nd with 177 papers, 8.18 citations; 3rd is University of California, 405 papers, 7.60 citations; 4th is Princeton University, 166 papers, 5.57 citations. UNM, ranked 5th, with 131 papers and 5.18 citations.

“This recognition is very significant since UNM’s overall research funding in this area is minuscule in comparison with the powerhouses we are being compared with,” Datye said. “We hope this recognition will help us attract students to our programs and to attract additional research funding.”

Jeff Brinker, co-director of UNM’s Center for Micro-Engineered Materials and professor of chemical and nuclear engineering and chemistry, said it is noteworthy that UNM’s citation ranking is superior to the rankings of schools that are highly rated in materials science by U.S. News and World Report.

“The fact that out of hundreds of universities conducting materials science research, UNM has the fifth-highest citation ranking means that our collective materials science research effort is highly valued within the scientific community,” Brinker said.

“UNM supports two strategic research centers in the area of materials science (CMEM and Center for High Tech Materials), but we have no department of materials science. There is effort underway to organize a multi-disciplinary program in materials science that will span various departments. It is my hope that this recognition will provide the impetus to create a new curriculum in materials science which will further help UNM in attracting students,” Datye said.

For more than 45 years, ISI has been providing the scholarly research community with products and services that help them transform the discovery process. These resources enable this community to gain access to historical research and keep abreast of the most recent developments in their respective disciplines.

Materials such as steel and concrete, ceramics such as those used in cellular phones to generate microwave frequencies, semiconductors such as those used by Intel to make computer chips, lasers such as those used in eye surgery and at the grocery checkout counter comprise material science. Materials science and engineering evolved from what formerly used to be metallurgical engineering. Today, it encompasses biological materials, such as prosthetics and implants to the heat shielding tiles used in the space shuttle.

In its October ‘95 issue, Science Watch ranked UNM 20th among all research institutions based on materials science citations and citation impact over the period 1990-94. Two papers from the center were ranked 10th and 11th in their citation impact.

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