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Optics, photonics players say NM can be global leader

9-25-15-Read the Albuquerque Journal article about the International Celebration of LIght event at UNM: http://www.abqjournal.com/649531/biz/biz-most-recent/optics-photonics-players-say-nm-can-be-global-leader.html

Optics, photonics potential on display at conference

9-24-15-The immense potential of emerging optics and photonics technologies will be on display at a free conference on Friday organized by the University of New Mexico.

The conference, which will celebrate the United Nations’ proclamation of 2015 as the International Year of Light-based Technologies, will feature panel discussions and presentations by local and national leaders, including a keynote speech by Harvard professor Roy Glauber, who shared the Nobel prize for physics in 2005.

The conference aims to strengthen academic and industry collaboration in developing and deploying optics and photonics technologies, said Earl Fuller, special assistant to the director of UNM’s Center for High Technology Materials, which jointly organized the conference with the School of Engineering’s Optical Science and Engineering program.

School of Engineering to honor 7 distinguished alumni at Oct. 15 event

9-23-15-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering will recognize the accomplishments of seven of its alumni during its Distinguished Alumni Award event on Oct. 15.

The invitation-only event will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque. Ticket ordering or more information can be found here or by contacting Courtney Holmes at (505) 277-0664 or courtg@unm.edu.

MathMovesU Day set for Sept. 26

9-22-15-The University of New Mexico MESA program partners with Raytheon to host MathMovesU (MMU) Day on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Stamm Room of the Centennial Engineering Center on Redondo Drive on campus.

More than 120 local middle and high school students will gather to participate in a highly visual, hands-on activity to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

In partnership with UNM, Raytheon’s MMU Day is designed to stimulate student interest in STEM related subjects. Students will engage in a variety of innovative projects while learning the math and science behind the processes.

Raytheon sponsors MMU Day in response to the U.S. working to point more students in the direction of STEM careers to reverse a declining number of engineers, scientists and technologists.


crestNSF grant will focus on interconnections of food, energy, and water in New Mexico

9-18-15-Two University of New Mexico School of Engineering faculty members, Ricardo Gonzalez-Pinzon, assistant professor of civil engineering, and Andrew Schuler, associate professor of civil engineering, will take the lead for a new National Science Foundation grant.

The research will focus on wastewater recycling for agriculture in arid regions seeks to understand how to expand the supply of water to agriculture through wastewater recycling and improved management decisions between wastewater treatment plants and water conservancy districts in arid regions.

“In developing this research area we are heeding calls to help resolve the growing competition between the demands of freshwater resources for urban and agricultural uses, particularly in arid and semi-arid, densely populated regions,” said Gonzalez-Pinzon. “Our research seeks to provide scientific knowledge to support the transformation of traditionally ‘linear’ societies (which treat intake water, use it, and then treat the wastewater and disposed of it directly in rivers), into ‘recycling’ societies capable of making productive gains in water use and reuse while minimizing environmental pollution.”

el-genkEl-Genk receives American Nuclear Society award

9-15-15-Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents’ Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical, and Chemical and Biological Engineering, has received the 2015 American Nuclear Society Thermal-Hydraulics Technical Achievement Award.

The award is “in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the understanding of terrestrial and space reactor thermal hydraulics phenomena and for his impact on the thermal hydraulics community as a researcher, educator, and leader.”

El-Genk, the founding director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies at UNM, is a nationally- and internationally-recognized expert and scholar with many key contributions to the technologies of space nuclear power and terrestrial nuclear reactors. He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, and an associate fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.

nealECE alumnus helping develop technology to protect troops

9-3-15-A University of New Mexico alumnus is helping develop state-of-the-art laser technology designed to protect troops overseas. Isaac Neal currently works in the Laser & Electro Optical Systems organization within The Boeing Company as a Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer for the Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) project in Albuquerque.

The system is designed to help the military, and other customers, track and defend against drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that may pose a threat to safety or security.

“The military’s been finding that [UAVs are] a real problem because it’s just not worth our tax dollars to shoot them down using traditional methods like rockets or guns,” said Neal, who received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 2011 and his master of science degree in electrical engineering in 2013, both at UNM. “The system that we’ve developed is quite effective at taking these out in a cheap way,” he added.


calhounCalhoun leads research team that will follow brain growth patterns in young people

8-31-15-For the next few years hundreds of young people will have their brains scanned at the Mind Research Network on the University of New Mexico’s north campus as researchers try to understand precisely how normal young brains rapidly develop the complex neural networks humans need to understand and function in the world.

UNM Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Executive Science Officer at the Mind Research Institute Vince Calhoun is principal investigator for a new $5.9 million research grant from the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The work will be done at the Mind Research Network in New Mexico, at the University of Nebraska and at Tulane University in Louisiana.

The cutting edge work will combine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans with images from a magneto encephalography (MEG) scan which measures change over time in the magnetic field produced by neurons firing in the brain. They will also use genetic information and observe changes in a specific type of epigenetic marker that can alter over time.

New Mexico celebrates International Year of Light with Nobel laureate, presentations

8-31-15-From the phones, tablets or computers we rely on daily to various medical technologies that improve our health, whether we know it or not, we depend upon technologies made possible by light.

That’s why the University of New Mexico and its Center for High Technology Materials will be the host of the state’s celebration of the International Year of Light on Sept. 25 as a chance to highlight current and future advancements in the field.

Events will be held at the University of New Mexico Student Union Building Ballrooms A, B and C. The day will kick off at 7:15 a.m. with a complimentary breakfast, with sessions beginning at 8 a.m. A complimentary lunch will also be served.

dirkDirk to attend Frontiers in Engineering Education Symposium

8-28-15-Elizabeth Dirk, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been selected as a National Academy of Engineering Frontiers in Engineering Education faculty member and will attend the 6th Annual Frontiers in Engineering Education Symposium in Irvine, Calif., in October.

Dirk was nominated by Jeffrey Brinker, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Sandia researcher.

During the symposium, researchers will participate in discussions and workshops focused on approaches to classroom, laboratory, project, experiential, computer-based, or other modes of preparing engineering students to work and lead in the 21st century. Attendees also have opportunities to share their innovations with others, learn from best practices, and network with colleagues.

plamenAtanassov interviewed for Electrochemical Society video

8-19-15-Plamen Atanassov, a Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico, was interviewed about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award he received in 2014. The interview appeared in the Electrochemical Society’s blog.

The video can be accessed here: http://www.ecsblog.org/challenge/#winners

Atanassov was awarded $70,000 for a project called “Artificial Biofilms for Sanitary/Hygienic Interface Technologies Interfaces.” The goal of research is to produce bio-catalytic septic cleaning materials that incorporate microorganisms removing organic and inorganic contaminants while simultaneously creating electricity (or hydrocarbon fuel) for energy generation in support of a sustainable and portable system.

letterCecchi among engineering deans to sign statement of diversity letter presented at White House

8-4-15-University of New Mexico School of Engineering Dean Joseph L. Cecchi was one of more than 100 engineering deans around the country to sign theAmerican Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Engineering Deans' Council Diversity Initiative letter as part of White House Demo Day on Tuesday.

The letter was presented amid activities and initiatives focused on inclusive entrepreneurship.

The deans signed the letter to reiterate their commitment to building a pipeline for the next generation of American engineers and entrepreneurs. ASEE declared 2014-2015 as the Year of Action in Diversity, and the letter states the deans’ commitments to provide increased opportunity women and underrepresented groups to pursue engineering careers.

datyeDatye elected a fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers

7-29-15-Abhaya Datye, department chair and Distinguished Regents Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico, has been elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The rank of fellow is the highest grade of membership in the organization.

Datye is internationally known for his research in catalysis and nanomaterials. He has been at UNM for more than 30 years.

UNM’s Formula SAE team learning from their experiences

7-27-15-For the University of New Mexico’s LOBOMotorSports team, it’s been a sweet few years. The team has done well at the Formula SAE competitions, and seemed to do better each year.

In 2014, the team placed 11th overall. In 2013, they took 12th place, and the team scored a 10th-place finish in 2012.

But at the Formula SAE competition June 17-20 in Lincoln, Neb., the team placed 33rd overall out of 80 international entries, lower than their performance in recent years.

John Russell, director of UNM’s Formula SAE program and Halliburton Professor of Mechanical Engineering, said the team’s overall finish was not what they were hoping for, but it’s all part of the up-and-down nature of racing.

“We’ve had three lucky years, but this year, there was a horrible sequence of events — things broke and we got behind all the time,” Russell said. “But hey, that’s racing.”

edlSchamiloglu awarded more than $1.4 million in Department of Defense instrumentation grants

7-23-15-Edl Schamiloglu, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico, was awarded two Defense University Research Instrumentation Program grants from the Department of Defense.

The first award is from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) for $960,156 for a project called "Instrumentation Support for AFOSR Center of Excellence on the Science of Electronics in Extreme Electromagnetic Environments." Co-principal investigators are Payman Zarkesh-Ha, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Sameer Hemmady, a research associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

fernandaDoctoral student wins best paper award at IEEE conference

Fernanda Yamasaki, a doctoral student at the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil who is currently working with Edl Schamiloglu, received the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference in Austin, Texas, in June.

Yamasaki has spent the last six months working with Edl Schamiloglu, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, being funded by the agency’s Sandwich Program.  

minesCommunity-university partnership documents metals content and mobility in Navajo uranium mine wastes

7-22-15-University of New Mexico scientists and collaborators have documented elevated concentrations of uranium and co-occurring metals in abandoned uranium mine wastes at a site on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona, according to a paper published recently in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

Results of the investigation conducted last year at the Claim 28 Mine in the Blue Gap-Tachee Chapter suggest that abandoned mine wastes can be a major source of potential metal exposure to local people and livestock living close to abandoned mine waste sites. 

“The Navajo people who live next to the Claim 28 site could potentially be at risk of exposure to uranium and other metal contaminants,” said Johanna M. Blake, a postdoctoral geochemist in the UNM Department of Chemistry and lead author of the article. “The mobilization of uranium from mine wastes to water sources, coupled with the small grain sizes we observed in the wastes in the laboratory, present potentially significant ingestion and inhalation exposures to the people who live nearby.”

School of Engineering seeking nominations for Distinguished Alumni Award

7-16-15-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering is seeking nominations for its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Awards will be given out to alumni from each of the school’s six departments, plus a young alumni award, which can be from any department in the school.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, July 27. Nominations can be submitted via an online form.
The award celebration will take place in Albuquerque on Oct. 15.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest recognition of outstanding lifetime achievement for School of Engineering alumni.

For more information regarding the event, table sponsorships or to request invitations by ticket only, contact Courtney Holmes at (505) 277-0664 or engineeringalumni@unm.edu.

signSandia, UNM ink pact to promote research, recruiting

7-13-15-The nation’s largest national laboratory and New Mexico’s flagship university on Monday expanded their commitment to work together to help redefine the future of science and engineering for national security, partner on research and jointly recruit top researchers.

Sandia National Laboratories President and Director Paul Hommert and University of New Mexico Provost Chaouki Abdallah signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Strategic Alliance at UNM’s Centennial Engineering Center.

“With this MOU, Sandia and UNM commit to a deeper relationship to strengthen both organizations by exchanging personnel, developing innovative joint research programs and educating the next generation of national security leaders,” Hommert said.

UNM President Robert G. Frank said, “In research, as in real estate, location is key! Not many research universities have a national lab as their neighbor, but we do,” said “This agreement with Sandia Labs strengthens that close working partnership and pools our intellectual resources.”

sandiaJoints, interfacial mechanics, nonlinear dynamics the focus of international Sandia-UNM summer research institute

7-10-15-Graduate students and early-career researchers from around the world are gathering at the University of New Mexico for the 2015 Sandia National Laboratories Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute.

The institute, which is being held at the Manufacturing Training and Technology Center (MTTC) at the UNM Science and Technology Park, brings together technical researchers from various backgrounds with the goal of developing collaborations and making progress toward solving major challenges in the area of joints and interfacial mechanics.

“The Summer Institute on Nonlinear Dynamics is a model for collaboration between Sandia and UNM,” said Zayd Leseman, associate professor of mechanical engineering and one of the organizers of the institute. “UNM’s MTTC is pleased to be housing the institute and accommodating its experimental endeavors with its micro/nanofabrication facilities and laboratories.”

Datye to conduct webinar on catalysts

7-9-15-Abhaya Datye, Distinguished Regents Professor and department chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico, will lead a webinar on his research on catalysts.

The webinar will be held July 15 at 9 a.m. MST.

The webinar will focus on research performed during collaborations between leading manufacturers in the automotive industry, the University of New Mexico, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and others on the development of advanced catalysis materials. 

Those interested in the webinar can sign up at


LoboscapeLoboScape features innovative design and content at the Sunport

6-24-15-LoboScape, an installation featuring the latest visual arts technology, welcomes travelers as they exit the revolving doors leading from the terminals at the Albuquerque International Sunport to discover the University of New Mexico.

“On behalf of UNM, we are proud to be a part of your destination,” said President Robert G. Frank, “whether you are a first time visitor to the Land of Enchantment or returning home.”
Traditional advertising doesn’t allow for a meaningful expression about UNM that was necessary in a venue as distinctive as the Sunport.

UNM Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Cinnamon Blair said, “With the Sunport as a major entry into the city and the state, we need to create an ad that fits their aesthetic with a ‘you have arrived’ message,” she said.

“We do not want to just advertise, but create an experience. LoboScape represents and promotes UNM and the programs that created it.”

Blair and Marketing Director Argy Maniatis turned to the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) and the College of Fine Arts (CFA) because “they are in the design business.”

senior designSenior engineering design project makes UNM campus easier to navigate

6-23-15-At the University of New Mexico, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) senior design course is the last hurdle for ECE undergraduates before they complete their degree. Students must design and build a project in a team environment to specifications from a sponsor.

Teams frequently have commercial or private sponsors, which are interested in specific outcomes. This year ECE Lecturer Rich Compeau sponsored one team himself in order to get a smartphone app he thinks is long overdue on the UNM campus.

His team built a locator app so anyone on UNM’s sprawling campus can find their way without resorting to trying to see the tiny buildings on the paper maps the university currently supplies. ECE Senior Marcos Archuleta was the team project manager.

Making travel plans? You better shop around, study finds

5-28-15-Vacation season is now upon us, and with the popularity of online review websites that give travelers a quick snapshot of hotel’s quality, making travel plans is as easy as ever. But can you really trust what you see there?

That’s what a team from the University of New Mexico’s Department of Computer Science sought to find out.

Abdullah Mueen, assistant professor of computer science, said the team was inspired to do research on the topic because of what they had personally noticed on various review sites like Hotels.com or TripAdvisor.com. In looking through reviews, Abdullah said they had noticed what they suspected to be fraudulent reviews, such as very similar reviews for the same hotel across different review sites or a lot of very positive or very negative reviews.

The team’s solution was to develop a cross-site analysis system called TrueView that provides a score that consumers can rely upon to be free of fraud. Instead of relying on just one review site, it aggregates the reviews to give a more accurate picture.

mosesNASA selects UNM to manage collaborative agreement for 'Swarmathon' competition

5-18-15-NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) has selected the University of New Mexico for a new cooperative agreement, which includes a three-year, $1.8 million grant, to manage the agency's “Swarmathon" challenge.

As part of the collaboration, Swarmathon aims to engage 1,000 students at 50 Minority Service Institutions (MSI) in cutting edge computer science and engineering research.
Swarmathon emerged from the collaboration between the research lab of Melanie Moses, UNM associate professor of Computer Science and NASA KSC Swamp Works. The collaboration builds on the Moses lab’s ant-inspired search algorithms, evolutionary simulations and iAnt swarm of cooperative robots, and NASA KSC Swamp Works’ physical robots and hardware innovations.

”Swarmathon will harness student creativity to solve difficult and complex problems,” said Moses. “This is an incredible opportunity for students to develop technologies to explore our world and beyond."

hossainEngineering student wins 2015 IEEE Outstanding Graduate Engineering Student Award

5-14-15-Md. Mottaleb Hossain, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the optical science and engineering program at the University of New Mexico, has won the 2015 IEEE Albuquerque Section Outstanding Graduate Engineering Student Award.

The award was presented at the IEEE Sigma Xi annual awards banquet on May 11 at the UNM Continuing Education building.

The award was given “for achieving excellence in scholarly research work on linear mode CMOS compatible p-n junction silicon avalanche photodiodes to be used in smart-lighting systems as well as for excellent leadership, communication and outreach skills in motivating youngsters in the field of engineering, especially in optical science and engineering.”

cerratoCerrato receives faculty enhancement award

5-14-15-José M. Cerrato, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, has received the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award.

The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. The awards are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty and result in new funding opportunities.

lumiaLumia receives Fulbright for projects in Thailand

5-13-15-Ron Lumia, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico, has received a Fulbright Scholar award for research and teaching in Thailand. It is second time he has received a Fulbright.

He will leave for Bangkok, Thailand, in August and return in May 2016, and will be working with Chulalongkorn University.

He will teach “Design for Manufacturability,” a course that he currently teaches at UNM. The course focuses on optimizing mechanical designs to minimize assembly time. For instance, Lumia said, finding a way to eliminate just one part of a product can yield great rewards in terms of time, reliability, and cost savings in its manufacture. A faculty member from Chulalongkorn University will attend the course, with the expectation that the professor can then teach the course to his or her students in the future.

The research part of the effort will involve exploration into what are known as Delta robots, which are small robots that have motorized rack-and-pinion arms that perform much like a marionette and are used for the “pick and place” manufacturing, where a part is moved from one place to another at a rate of two units per second.

alonzoCOSMIAC’s third CubeSat mission will study ionosphere

5-12-15-The University of New Mexico’s Configurable Space Microsystems Innovations and Applications Center (COSMIAC) is preparing its third CubeSat — a small, cube-shaped satellite — for a space launch.

The project — called Scintillation Observations and Response of the Ionosphere to Electrodynamics (SORTIE) — will involve the launch of a CubeSat to collect data to study the ionospheric F-region.

Alonzo Vera, a scientist at COSMIAC and principal investigator for the project on the UNM side, said that the ionosphere affects radio signals including satellite communication and GPS — but that there are many aspects of it that are not understood.

More than 300 receive degrees during spring Convocation

5-11-15-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering held its spring 2015 Convocation ceremony Saturday, May 9 for students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees from the school.

The ceremony took place at WisePies Area (the Pit). A total of 338 students were eligible to graduate, which includes 302 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students for spring 2015, and 36 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students for summer 2015.

Innovate ABQ event to showcase student-created mobile apps

5-1-15-Future mobile app developers at the University of New Mexico will have a chance to showcase their creations at an event at Innovate ABQ.

Students in Patrick Kelley’s Computer Science 591: Mobile Application Development course will demonstrate what they’ve created from 3:30-5:30 p.m. May 5 at the recently-opened Epicenter@Innovate ABQ.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and try out more than 50 mobile apps.

For more information, join the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/697387453722988/

School of Engineering hosts senior design expo

5-1-15-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering is hosting its inaugural Senior Design Expo on May 8, which will feature projects from more than 200 students in the school.

The expo will be held 2-5 p.m. on the first floor of Centennial Engineering Center. Free food will be served, and free parking is available for participants in the B lot on the northwest corner of Central and University. See attached map.

RSVPs to the event are requested and can be submitted via the following link: 

Students, parents, faculty, staff, prospective students, and corporate sponsors are invited to attend.

School of Engineering honors outstanding students, faculty and staff at annual awards ceremony

4-30-15-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering is honoring its outstanding students, faculty and staff and its annual award luncheon on May 1.

Dean Joseph L. Cecchi will serve as master of ceremonies at the event. Awards will be given out at 10 a.m. the auditorium of the Centennial Engineering Center, then lunch will be served on the Centennial courtyard.

waterInaugural Southwest Water & Energy Summit discusses challenges, solutions

4-29-15-The University of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, and RWL Water were the hosts of the first Southwest Water & Energy Summit on April 22 that examined the challenges, solutions, and opportunities surrounding water issues.

The event was held in the Rotunda Room of the UNM Science & Technology Park, 801 University Blvd. SE, The room was filled to capacity, with about 160 attendees at the event.

The summit kicked off with comments by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, UNM President Robert Frank, RWL Water President and CEO Henry Charrabé, messages from representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pierce, and a video message from U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. 

"This symposium highlights the important role of the research university like UNM, not only to educate the next generation of leaders but also to conduct research and create knowledge to help solve the problems faced by our society,” Frank said.

UNM hosts civil engineering regional meeting, concrete canoe contest

4-13-15-The University of New Mexico Department of Civil Engineering was host to the 2015 Rocky Mountain Regional Conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers from April 9-11.

The meeting brought together 14 universities from New Mexico, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, and Colorado. About 350 students attended.

Among the events was a concrete canoe contest, in which student teams from the universities in attendance designed, built, and raced canoes constructed from concrete. The racing took place April 11 in Cochiti Lake in Sandoval County. Results of the contest can be found here

brinkerBrinker, Willman to receive 2015 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow Award

4-16-15-Two outstanding cancer researchers have been selected to receive the 2015 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow Award in recognition of their achievements as some of the University of New Mexico’s leading innovators.

Distinguished and Regents’ Professor and Sandia Fellow C. Jeffrey Brinker, and Professor and Cancer Center CEO Cheryl L. Willman have been selected for the award that will be presented April 20 at STC’s 2015 Innovation Awards Dinner.

 The event also recognizes UNM faculty, staff and students who have received issued patents and registered copyrights/trademarks within the past year. In addition to receiving the Innovation Fellow Award, Willman will also receive an Innovation Award for an issued patent this year, and Brinker will receive an Innovation Award for four issued patents this year. 

iantTiny robots called iAnts turn into student recruiters

By Karen Wentworth

4-9-15-How do you excite high school students about the possibilities of computer programming? One way is to show the results. That’s why this group of students from Nex+Gen Academy in Albuquerque is in the basement of the University of New Mexico's Centennial Engineering Center watching iAnts.

The iAnts are tiny robots made from iPods, placed on wheels, and programmed to behave the way real ants do. They swarm around a lantern in the middle of a room that represents the nest. The bright light is used to help cameras on the iAnts locate the nest.

Paper QR codes scattered around the floor represent food. When one of the ants rolls over a code, it scans the code, returns to the nest and communicates with others to tell them of the find.

roderickNorman Roderick, longtime Chemical and Nuclear Engineering professor, dies

4-9-15-Norman Frederick Roderick, born October 24, 1940, died April 6, 2015, of natural causes.

Norman was born in McKeesport, Pa., in 1940. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and received his master’s and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. He worked at the rocket test track at Holloman AFB, was a faculty member of the Department of Aeronautics at the U.S. Air Force Academy and was a faculty member of the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico for more than 30 years.

He was a senior member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), a member of the American Physical Society (APS), and a fellow of IEEE. He had a long, successful career in research and consulting in the Air Force, UNM, Los Alamos National Laboratory and at Numberex, specializing in high-density plasma physics. He was blessed with a great life, family, friends and career.

smithNanoPore president to speak at LoboNet CONNECT on April 16

4-7-15-Douglas Smith, president of NanoPore Inc., will be the featured speaker at the LoboNet CONNECT event on April 16.

The event will be held 5-7 p.m. at the UNM Faculty Club, 1923 Las Lomas. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available. The event is free, and no registration is required. Hourly parking is available at the Yale Garage.
Smith’s work at NanoPore focuses on the use of nanoporous materials for thermal and electrical insulation and adsorption cooling. He has 97 patents and is the lead inventor for both the NanoglassTM family of dielectrics and has created eight different nanotechnology-related ventures. Smith has been president of NanoPore since 1994. Previously, he was director of the NSF Center for Microengineered Ceramics and was a Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering at UNM.

lyndsayStapleton receives NSF graduate fellowship

4-1-15-Lyndsay Stapleton, an undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico, has received a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

She was also selected as the department’s outstanding senior undergraduate award recipient for the annual School of Engineering awards.

Stapleton has worked for associate professor of chemical and biological engineering Heather Canavan over the past two years. Her research has yielded six presentations to date, and will result in two publications. In one of the publications she is lead author.

fsaeDriving success: Two engineering programs to benefit from donation by local company

3-26-15-Thanks to the generosity of a local donor, two programs in the University of New Mexico School of Engineering will be better equipped to meet the needs of their students.

Marc Powell, owner of Albuquerque-based transportation company ReCARnation, is donating the use of two vehicles that will benefit two initiatives in the school: the Lobo MotorSports Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) team and outreach and research efforts led by the Center for Water and the Environment.

UNM fuel cell research may provide electrical backup at home

3-19-15- Research faculty members in the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering will spend the next two years working to develop materials for a cheaper, more durable and stable electrocatalyst for fuel cells.

Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanassov, Kateryna Artyushkova and Ivana Gonzales from UNM will partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory, IRD Fuel Cells and Pajarito Powder, two private companies. Each partner will address a specific technical part of the alkaline exchange membrane fuel cells. This is a significantly different approach to the technology.

attorneyAttorney to discuss patents for academics

3-16-14-“An Introduction to Patents for Professors and Graduate Students” will be the title of a talk March 17, sponsored by STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer and economic-development office.

Nicholas P. Lanzatella, an attorney with Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner in Minneapolis, will explain what a patent is and what it can do, why a professor or graduate student would want a patent, how to write an invention disclosure, and how to efficiently fit the activities needed to get a patent into the workflow of academic research. 

The talk will be held noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 in Clark Hall, Room 214A. The seminar is free and open to the UNM community and the public, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided.

jake‘I made a decision to give back’

Q&A with Jake Hollowell, Run Nerds Run! 5K founder

3-11-15-For the second year in a row, the University of New Mexico School of Engineering is sponsoring the Run Nerds Run! 5K and 1K race to raise funds for student scholarships. This year’s races will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 4 on the UNM campus. Registration for the races, as well as for those interested in volunteering, is now open at https://runsignup.com/Race/NM/Albuquerque/RunNerdsRun5k1k

One of the race’s founders is Jake Hollowell, who received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UNM in 2008 (UNM alumni Daniel Garcia, Brian Hesch, and Noel King are also race co-founders).

Jake now works for Vencore in Virginia, a company that does work for government agencies and large companies with a focus on systems engineering and integration, modeling and simulation, and enterprise information technology support.  

He explains what the Run Nerds Run! race is and its importance to students.

UNM engineering programs rise in ‘U.S. News & World Report’ Best Graduate Schools list

3-10-15-The University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering overall graduate programs ranked No. 85 in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report magazine’s 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings, released March 10.

buehlerStudent honored with ROTC Award of Merit

3-3-15-David J. Buehler, a senior in chemical engineering in the University of New Mexico School of Engineering, is a recipient of the Society of American Military Engineers ROTC Award of Merit.

Buehler is a Cadet Colonel in the Air Force ROTC, where he is the cadet wing commander at Detachment 510.

The award is given to the top five AFROTC engineers in the southwest region, which extends from California to Arkansas. Winning the award places Buehler in the top 20 AFROTC engineers in the nation.

The award is given by the Society of American Military Engineers in conjunction with AFROTC. 

neelBank executive, attorney to speak March 4 on crowdfunding

3-2-15-Marshal Neel, cofounder of Main Street Crowd, will discuss how organizing local communities around entrepreneurial endeavors can increase awareness, promote sustainability of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and improve results, at an STC.UNM-sponsored talk this week.

Neel will speak from 8-9 a.m. March 4 at the UNM Science and Technology Park, 800 University Blvd. SE. Food will be served.

Neel is both a bank executive and an attorney and has a degree in human and community services. He will share his thoughts on how an understanding of human networks that support business development relates to the challenges faced by small business start-ups and existing businesses struggling to find capital.

prinjaPrinja receives American Nuclear Society award

2-26-15-Anil K. Prinja, professor and chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico, has been selected to receive the American Nuclear Society’s Gerald C. Pomraning Award for 2015.

The Gerald C. Pomraning Memorial Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding technical achievements in mathematics and computation. The award will be presented at the banquet of the Joint International Conference on Mathematics and Computation, Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications and the Monte Carlo Method. The conference will be held April 19-23 in Nashville, Tenn.

HallScience on Tap celebrates moon missions during March 5 talk

2-25-15-The monthly Science on Tap discussion will be held March 5 and will feature a presentation by author Loretta Hall called “Getting Men to the Moon: Behind the Scene Stories.”

The talk will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Yanni’s, 3109 Central Ave. NE.

Nearly half a century ago, the world watched as seven Apollo missions over a four-year period took 21 men to the moon and back. Twelve of those men landed on the moon, explored it, and brought back samples of rocks and dirt. April 11, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, in which an explosion aboard the spacecraft nearly doomed three astronauts. This presentation reveals insiders’ stories of what it took to overcome challenges and accomplish triumphs in the Apollo program and its predecessors, Mercury and Gemini.

plamenAtanassov appointed director of UNM’s Center for Micro-Engineered Materials

2-24-15-Michael Dougher, vice president for Research, announced the appointment of Professor Plamen Atanassov as director of the University of New Mexico’s Center for Micro Engineered Materials (CMEM). The appointment was effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Atanassov, a Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, is an internationally-recognized expert on new materials and technology for electrochemical power sources. His research includes development of non-platinum electrocatalysts and nanostructured catalysts for fuel cells, advanced electro materials for batteries and biological fuel cells and the design for sensor systems.

edlSchamiloglu honored with IEEE pulsed power award

2-24-15-Edl Schamiloglu, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico, has been recognized with the 2015 IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Society’s Pulsed Power Science and Technology Committee’s Peter Haas Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of pulsed power.

The Peter Haas Award recognizes individuals whose efforts, over an extended period, have greatly benefited the pulsed power field through the development of important applications or areas of activity, including research, education, and information exchange. The award is given biennially, with presentation in odd-numbered years at the IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference awards banquet. This year’s conference will be held May 31-June 4 in Austin, Texas.

chadSTC Spring Breakfast Seminar Series set for Feb. 25

2-19-15-STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer and economic-development office, is hosting its spring breakfast seminar series on Feb. 25. The featured speaker is Chad Person, co-founder and chief design officer at Seed Worthy.

The talk will be 8-9 a.m. in the auditorium of Building 800 of the UNM Science & Technology Park, 800 University Blvd. SE. He will speak on “Ship, Brand, and Take Your New Product to Market Faster:  Launching the BowTie Platform.”

Free parking is available in the parking garage directly west of Building 800 at the corner of Basehart and Bradbury Drive.

andersonLongtime chemical engineering professor Harold Anderson dies

2-18-15-Dr. Harold Anderson, associate professor emeritus of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, passed away on Jan. 29, 2015.

Anderson joined the University of New Mexico in 1981 and taught in the chemical engineering program until he retired in 2006. He was responsible for developing courses in the area of semiconductor manufacturing that helped to broaden the chemical engineering curriculum at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  

NASA scientist, author to speak, sign books Feb. 19, 20

2-17-15-Les Johnson, NASA technologist and author of Going Interstellar, will give two talks on the University of New Mexico campus Feb. 19 and 20.

Johnson will speak at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 218, then sign copies of his books, which also include Rescue Mode, in the Mechanical Engineering Building Atrium at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served. In Going Interstellar, Johnson describes methods that may one day enable us to travel to the stars.

On Feb. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 218, Johnson will speak about the fundamentals of solar sailing, which is a rapidly-maturing, in-space propulsion technology that will soon be used to send small robotic spacecraft throughout the inner solar system. The talk will focus on the fundamentals of solar sailing, the state of the technology, near-term missions, and how future solar sails could one day take us to the stars.

Sandia researcher to speak at LoboNet CONNECT on Feb. 19

2-11-15-LeAnn Adams Miller, senior manager with Sandia National Laboratories, will be the featured speaker at the LoboNet CONNECT event on Feb. 19.

The event will be held 5-7 p.m. at the UNM Faculty Club, 1923 Las Lomas. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.
Miller has been with Sandia since 1986. She worked in nuclear facility accident analysis for 13 years, then transitioned to the enhanced decision-making group within the Computing Research Center. She is now a senior manager in the group, responsible for research and development in the areas of discrete mathematics, cognition, massively scalable analytics, and visualization. She also provides links between these areas and Sandia’s mission.

UNM part of consortium bidding for $110 million federal grant

2-5-15-A consortium, which includes the University of New Mexico, is bidding for $110 million in federal funds for a new Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI). The consortium has advanced to the final round of competition, the Department of Defense announced recently.

The initiative is part of a national effort launched in 2013 to create a network of regional manufacturing institutes or “hubs” across the county that help bridge the gap between applied research and product development.

The mission is to establish a state-of-the-art hub focusing on the design, manufacture, testing, assembly and packaging of complex photonic integrated circuits that combine a variety of photonic and electronic components to achieve functionality. 

nerd logoRun Nerds Run! 5K, 1K to benefit student scholarships set for April 4

2-3-15-For the second year in a row, the University of New Mexico School of Engineering is sponsoring the Run Nerds Run! 5K race to raise funds for student scholarships. This year’s race will be 8-9 a.m. Saturday, April 4 on the UNM campus.

Registration for the races, as well as for those interested in volunteering, is now open at https://runsignup.com/Race/NM/Albuquerque/RunNerdsRun5k1k

The price is $25 per runner until March 6, with discounts offered for group registrations. Runners get a free T-shirt and a race pack with gifts donated from sponsors. Details can be found on the registration website.

‘Presenting Your Business Plan’ seminar set for Feb. 6

2-3-15-The University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management and STC.UNM are partnering to offer to a seminar on how to effectively pitch your technology-themed business ideas.

The presentation will be held 9:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 6 at the Anderson School of Management, Room 1017. A light breakfast will be served.

History of thermal imaging topic for Feb. 5 Science on Tap

2-2-15-The monthly Science on Tap discussion will be held Feb. 5 and will feature a presentation by Stephen Myers, a research scientist at SKInfrared in Albuquerque, who will present “Beyond Red: A History of Thermal Imaging.”

The event will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Yanni’s, 3109 Central Ave. NE.

Order of the Engineer nominations due Feb. 6

1-26-15-The New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers Albuquerque chapter will hold its Order of the Engineer induction ceremony Feb. 23. Nominations for induction into the society will be accepted through Feb. 6.

The induction ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the Centennial Engineering Center’s Robert J. Stamm Commons, Room 1044.

vexYoung innovators gear up for VEX Robotics Competition Feb. 7

1-22-15-Over 100 elementary, middle and high school VEX Robotics students and their mentors from around Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Mescalero, Los Lunas, Las Cruces and Farmington, NM, will unite at the Centennial Engineering Center on the University of New Mexico (UNM) campus on February 7 for the VEX IQ and VEX Robotics competitions. 

The action-packed tournament will feature more than 24 teams who will compete with and against other schools in a series of back-to-back robot challenges, made possible by the following sponsors: The Albert I. Pierce Foundation, Los Alamos Technical Associates, the Levitated Toy Factory, NASA, and UNM’s School of Engineering. 

Participants will compete for the championship title by strategically executing the “Skyrise” game, driving robots they designed, built and programmed from the ground up using the VEX Robotics Design System.

Human-Centric Security Initiative talk to focus on secure software

1-20-15-“Projecting the Integrity and Confidentiality of Security Functions Through Provable Code Obfuscation” will be the topic explored Friday (January 23) by the newly-created Human-Centric Security Initiative at the University of New Mexico.

The speaker will be Adrian Chavez of Sandia National Laboratories. Chavez helped develop CodeSeal, a Sandia technology that provides a way to securely make software harder to interpret in a mathematically-provable way.

The talk will be 3-5 p.m. Friday in the Centennial Engineering Center, Room 1044.

feezellFeezell receives NSF CAREER award to study blue and green vertical-cavity lasers

1-15-15-Daniel Feezell, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico, has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

The award, which begins March 1 and continues through February 2020, is for a project titled “Short-Wavelength Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser Arrays Using Nonpolar and Semipolar GaN.”

Feezell said the basic thrust of the project is to develop arrays of blue and green vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) with stable polarization of the light emission by using novel orientations of the semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN).

He said the vertical geometry of VCSELs has several advantages over conventional edge-emitting lasers, including high beam quality, small form factor, the ability to form densely-packed arrays, and lower power consumption. Feezell’s work will focus on adding stable polarization and increasing the output power using arrays.