Contact: Shawn Shepherd, UNM (505) 277-6264
Steve Carr, UNM (505) 277-1821
Julie McCabe, PNM (505) 241-0849

 

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001

UNM ANNOUNCES PNM CHAIR IN MICROSYSTEMS

With the partnership of Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), The University of New Mexico is getting small. And that means big things for the future of The University and New Mexico.

UNM officials today announced the creation of the PNM Chair in Microsystems, Commercialization & Technology. The endowed Chair was funded by PNM in 1985. Under the new agreement, the funds of the Chair will be used to recruit and support a faculty member in The Anderson Schools of Management and the School of Engineering with a focus on Microsystems and commercialization - the entire spectrum of creating Microsystems technology and bringing that technology to market.

"The primary focus area of the PNM Foundation is education, not only for its own sake, but with a goal of developing an economic climate that will offer talented New Mexicans a reason to stay here," said Barbara Barsky, President of the PNM Foundation. "We are proud to have our name on this Chair and to help foster the Microsystems industry in New Mexico by providing for its study at UNM."
The configuration of the Chair - a joint appointment between two schools at the University - offers a unique advantage, said UNM Deans Howard L. Smith of The Anderson Schools of Management and Joseph Cecchi of the School of Engineering.

"Through the joint appointment of the Chair there will be enhanced opportunities for both faculty and students in the School of Engineering to be exposed to and participate in the commercialization of Microsystems technology," said Cecchi. "This will come about from new courses which incorporate both technological and commercialization issues, new research in these fields, and possible 'clinical' involvement in actual commercialization activities."

According to Smith, the opportunities for collaboration are something the business school is also looking forward to. "New Mexico is fast becoming one of the nation's leaders in Microsystems technology. Microsystems is one of the seven areas of economic development potential for the Middle Rio Grande region, identified by the Next Generation Economy initiative, and Sandia National Laboratories has been recognized as a world leader in Microsystems," he said. "These opportunities are leading to new business and economic development and we are pleased to partner with PNM to make certain that our graduates emerge with the skill set needed to create successful business enterprises in the New Economy."

Cecchi said that UNM is uniquely poised to make a difference in Microsystems. "At the conference on the Southwest as a Region of Innovation held in Albuquerque last summer, the consensus was that integrated Microsystems will play a unique, important, and hugely commercial role in a broad range of fields from nuclear weapons to automobiles to telecommunications to biomedicine," he said. "It was also clear to the experts on the panels that the Southwest has a significant strategic advantage in this technology, with particular focus on the unique capabilities of Sandia and the companies located here."

The PNM Chair will further leverage The Anderson Schools' Technology Commercialization Assistance Center, a UNM Center for Excellence that offers a comprehensive system of assistance including professional managerial education, mentoring, technical conferences, business-level commercialization resources, and integrative business-engineering research.

The PNM Chair in Microsystems, Commercialization & Technology is one of 17 endowed chairs across the various disciplines at UNM. In concert with the agreement penned between PNM and UNM, a national search to fill the Chair will take place over the next year, with the goal of a new faculty hire by Fall 2002.
The endowed funds of the PNM Chair are maintained by the UNM Foundation, the 501(c)3 organization that provides private funding support to The University. The current endowment of The University exceeds $151 million.

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MEDIA CONTACTS
For this story, press may contact the following story sources directly:
· UNM Provost, Brian Foster, 277-2611
· Dean of The Anderson Schools of Management, Howard L. Smith, 277-6148
· Dean of the School of Engineering, Joseph Cecchi, 277-5522
· UNM Foundation President, Leslie Elgood, 277-4503
· PNM Foundation President, Barbara Barsky, 241-2662
· PNM Foundation Executive Director, Diane Harrison Ogawa, 241-2209


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