stevenSTC fall breakfast seminar series planned for Sept. 16

8-20-14-Small business development centers will be the focus of the fall breakfast seminar series hosted by STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer office.

The breakfast will be 8-9 a.m. Sept. 16. The seminars are free and open to the UNM community and the public, but registration is required. Breakfast will be provided.

Steven Becerra, director of the Albuquerque South Valley Small Business Development Center and owner of The Becerra Group, LLC, will talk about “Small Business Development Centers—The Ultimate Business Resource Partner.”

iAntsComputer Science professor awarded grant to study cooperative behavior

8-13-14-Cooperation is essential to a successful society. From children getting along on the playground to workers co-existing harmoniously on a job, without cooperation, not much would be accomplished.

Cooperation is also found in our bodies, with trillions of immune cells flowing through our blood vessels and crawling through our tissues, collectively fighting disease. It’s present in the ground we walk on, too, with millions of ants cooperatively searching for food to survive in their environment.

What do all of these things have in common? And what can we learn from these systems? That’s what Melanie Moses, associate professor of computer science, would like to find out.

Moses has received a six-year, $450,000 grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Science Initiative in Studying Complex Systems to study how cooperative behavior emerges in complex systems.

School of Engineering to take part in Explora free-admission event

8-7-14-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering will take part in a free-admission event geared toward children at Explora science center on Aug. 8.

The School of Engineering will present hands-on activities about nanotechnology from 8-10 a.m at Explora, located at 1701 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque.

The activities will be targeted toward elementary school-age children, but can be educational for those of all ages. Children will be able to learn about nanoscale science through projects that explore how nanotechnology is used and applied in everyday life.

The event is being organized by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will also be at the event with an activity on photovoltaics.


High schoolers learn the skills of the bad guys to fight cybercriminals

7-25-14-The name “hacker” usually has a negative connotation, as in someone who uses high-tech skills to steal a person’s or company’s private electronic information.

But a “white hat hacker” is just the opposite. It’s someone who is just as crafty, but uses that knowledge for a good cause, namely to fight cybercriminals by outsmarting them and staying one step ahead of them to prevent a crime from occurring. Other white hat hackers help protect journalists and dissidents from oppressive governments overseas.

That’s the subject of the UNM Cybersecurity Boot Camp, where about 30 high school students are getting the opportunity to learn about white hat hacking, forensics and information assurance principles through lectures, hands-on labs and gaming exercises. The camp began July 21 and continues through Aug. 1.

Nano hairNew technology allows hair to reflect almost any color

7-24-14-What if you could alter your hair to reflect any color in the spectrum?  What if you could use a flatiron to press a pattern into your new hair color?  Those are possibilities suggested by researchers from the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Engineers aren’t typically known for their interest in cosmetic applications involving their work. However, in a new paper titled "Nano-Patterning of Diffraction Gratings on Human Hair for Cosmetic Purposes" and published recently in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, researchers at the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Labs demonstrate the potential usage.


Materials scientist appointed to UNM-Sandia joint position

7-24-14-The University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories have selected Fernando Garzon, whose background is in materials science and engineering, as the latest jointly-appointed faculty member between the two institutions.

Beginning Sept. 8, 2014, Garzon will hold the position of professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UNM, and the position of joint university faculty research scientist at Sandia. His time will be split between the two institutions, and he will have access to equipment and facilities at both UNM and Sandia.

Garzon comes to the position from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he has held a variety of positions since 1988, including technical team leader, technical project leader, deputy group leader, and postdoctoral fellow. Since 1997, he has been the materials chemistry team leader for the electronic and electrochemical materials and devices group.

Arduino classTeachers get science lessons of their own this summer

7-21-14- K-12 teachers who are taking part in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers program got a crash course July 16 in Arduinos and how they can incorporate the small microcontrollers into lessons for their science students.

Bruce Milne, a UNM professor of biology and the founder of UNM’s sustainability studies program, provided an overview of the technology needed to get started. He calls Arduinos “accessible to everyone” and “a transformative way to teach STEM disciplines.”

Arduinos are inexpensive (about $25) and very customizable to a wide variety of projects. With some basic electronics, programming, and mechanics knowledge, the sky is the limit as to what kinds of data the device can collect. Milne said he uses the technology in sustainable garden projects, such as tracking growing degree days and measuring ambient air temperature and ambient light.

DirkNSF grant will support research on heart valve tissue engineering, inspire future scientists

7-14-14-Elizabeth L. Dirk, an assistant professor in the University of New Mexico Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been awarded a $400,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

This funding will support research on heart valve tissue engineering, as well as the development of programs to encourage students to pursue biomedical engineering.

The CAREER award is NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the community. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

John RussellRussell receives Formula SAE’s highest honor

7-7-14-John Russell, director of the University of New Mexico’s Formula SAE program and Halliburton Professor of Mechanical Engineering, received the organization’s top award for his many years of work with students in the LOBOMotorSports program.

He was honored at the Formula SAE competition award ceremony in Lincoln, Neb., with the 2014 Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup by FSAE and the Sports Car Club of America. It is the highest award that can be earned by any Formula SAE advisor, and only one award is given per year.
The Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup recognizes extraordinary levels of personal time and expertise given to engineering education, and the ability to serve as an exceptional role model for students. 

FSAE teamUNM’s Formula SAE team places 11th in international competition

7-7-14-The University of New Mexico’s LOBOMotorSports team placed 11th overall out of 80 international entries at the Formula SAE competition June 18-21 in Lincoln, Neb.

 “The team did really well, and we had the second-highest placement ever at the event,” said John Russell, director of UNM’s Formula SAE program and Halliburton Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “Our goal is to score better than 7/10 of the available points in each of the competitions, and we met that goal.”

5K run to generate funds for School of Engineering scholarships

7-7-14-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering is holding its first-ever 5K run to raise funds for an endowment for student scholarships.

The “Run Nerds Run! 5K” will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 at the University of New Mexico. The route will begin and end at the Centennial Engineering Center. All are open to sign up for the event. Registration is $25 before Aug. 29 and can be done online. The race is also on the calendar of

The run will raise funds for the Visionaries of Infinite Potential (VIP) endowment. Once endowed, the scholarships will provide tuition assistance to a full-time School of Engineering student with high academic merit and financial need.

CHTM research in compressive sensing reported in ‘Nature Photonics’

7-2-14-In a collaborative effort, researchers at the University of New Mexico have broken new ground in Terahertz imaging through the development of a new metamaterial which allows manipulation of light in the Terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum and enables compressive sensing similar to what is possibly being undertaken in the human eye.

Metamaterials are engineered materials that have special properties that are not found in nature. It uses shapes and orientation to manipulate light waves. The metamaterial was grown and fabricated at the Center for High Technology Materials says director Sanjay Krishna.

cosmiacCOSMIAC builds satellites and the tools to make them fly

 7-2-14-The University of New Mexico’s latest tool for building and testing small satellites is under construction. Students will spend the rest of the summer completing work to test and calibrate power sources for a Helmholtz Cage they have built at the UNM School of Engineering's Configurable Space Microsystems and Appliciations Center (COSMIAC).

As COSMIAC charts a course through the evolving world of small satellite technology, researchers and students are preparing the infrastructure they need to build and test the sensors that make the satellites work properly. The Helmholtz Cage allows them to cancel the effects of the earth’s magnetic field when they want to test satellite sensors. Since satellites use the magnetic field as a way to orient themselves in space, it is important to build sensors to make the orientation as precise as possible, and to provide a geomagnetic environment similar to what the satellite would experience in space.


Two Engineering professors earn distinguished professor rank

6-23-14-Two professors from the University of New Mexico School of Engineering have been promoted to the title of distinguished professor.

Plamen Atanassov, professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and former director of the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies, and Edl Schamiloglu, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the School of Engineering’s COSMIAC center, have been selected for this honor.

sorrentinoHidden symmetries, cluster synchronization may be keys to better power grids, brain function

6-19-14-In most parts of the world, we take for granted that when we turn on a light switch, the light flicks on in an instant. Or when we have multiple large appliances running at the same time in our homes, the electricity flow remains plentiful and stable so that we don’t have to worry about turning on a television or vacuuming.

However, the minute something goes wrong — such as a blackout or a power surge — consumers are frustrated and baffled, and power experts are often left scratching their heads as to what went wrong. And in many parts of the world, electrical instability is a near daily concern.

But new research examining the connection between what is known as network symmetry and cluster synchronization could some day lead to a solution to make power grids more stable. It could also have implications for treating neural network disorders of the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Conference teaches the science of the small

6-18-14-How do you interest students in building things so small they can’t be seen by the unaided human eye?  At UNM, faculty members know that is where the most sophisticated manufacturing capabilities – the jobs that will pay the best are likely to be. But teaching skills for jobs that are emerging and continuously changing is a challenge.

More than 80 educators from high school through university level spent the last few days learning about how micro and nano technologies can be taught effectively in the classroom. The teachers are here because they want their students involved in learning about the exploding micro/nano industry and the science in their future. This is the fourth year UNM has sponsored the conference.

STI kidsStudents get a glimpse at careers at Summer Transportation Institute

6-12-14-Summer may be quiet for a lot of the University of New Mexico campus, but for some budding engineers, it’s prime time to learn more about what an engineering career is like.

The School of Engineering is offering its annual Summer Transportation Institute (STI) at UNM through June 27. The program educates students about the array of job opportunities in the transportation industry and encourages students to pursue these careers.

MusicECE professor designs easy music creation software

6-10-14-Can you learn to make music if you’ve never had any musical training? Bandojo LLC, a startup using technology developed by UNM Research Assistant Professor Panaiotis Panaiotis in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is betting you won’t be able to resist the temptation. Bandojo has developed a software program you can download now on your iPhone or iPad.  You can play alone or with friends, no matter what age you are.

RET teachersTeachers learn solar skills at CHTM

6-11-14-K-12 teachers learned how to make a solar cell during the Center for High Technology Materials kickoff of the second year of the "Energizing Engineering Education" Research Experience for Teachers program funded by the National Science Foundation.  

CHTM graduate students Emma Renteria, Sadhvikas Addamane, and Orlando Romero took the teachers through the steps of growing, patterning and testing a solar cell.  


KhraishiDemand now driving engineering internship program

6-2-14-Mechanical Engineering Professor Tariq Khraishi is working hard these days to keep up with the fruit of his own success. Over the last year, he and his colleague Sue Buffington have arranged internships with local companies and agencies for more than 100 engineering students.

Khraishi says he didn’t imagine where his National Science Foundation grant would take him. In 2011, Khraishi and co-principal investigators received an NSF grant for $2 million to pay stipends for UNM freshmen and sophomore engineering students to serve summer internships with companies and agencies in New Mexico. Some interns serve in research positions with UNM School of Engineering (SOE) faculty members. 


HossanStudent awarded Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship

5-28-14-Md. Mottaleb Hossain, a research assistant at the University of New Mexico’s Center for High Technology Materials, has been awarded a 2014 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship for $2,000 by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for his potential contributions to the field of optics and photonics.



senior designSenior design project showers experience on students

5-20-14-Would you be interested in a shower you could program to flow just the way you want it? That’s the project sponsors of the Innovation Design Clinic capstone design course suggested to students. The course covers two semesters and students must address real-world problems of a multidisciplinary nature.

“While universities excel at providing theoretical understanding to undergraduates, they are weak at providing real-world design experience and especially in a multidisciplinary setting,” Electrical and Computer Science Department Lecturer Rich Compeau said. “The Innovative Design Clinic brings together students from diverse disciplines to focus as a team on a design element, which could range from defining the infrastructure of an emerging community to a new product – and beyond. Graduates of the clinic are better prepared for employment where multidisciplinary teams are the norm.”

School of Engineering holds Spring 2014 Convocation

5-19-14-Several hundred family and friends gathered at the Kiva Auditorium in the Albuquerque Convention Center on Saturday, May 17 to congratulate University of New Mexico School of Engineering graduates at the Spring 2014 Convocation.

Keynote speakers were Kathryn Naassan, who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1987, and Michael Emerson, who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1986.

TahaTaha selected as chair of Civil Engineering

5-16-14- Mahmoud Reda Taha, a professor of civil engineering, has been selected as the new chair of the University of New Mexico School of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering, effective July 1, 2014.

Taha has contributed significantly and importantly to Civil Engineering, the school, and UNM as an outstanding teacher and as a very accomplished researcher with international visibility and distinction, said dean Joseph L. Cecchi.



Dr. Elizabeth Dirk explains how medicine is being reinvented through research into self-renewing stem cells that act as a repair system for the human body.


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