News

UNM professor is focused on fate of uranium in water

Jose Cerrato

4-15-14- José M. Cerrato, a new assistant professor in the UNM Department of Civil Engineering, has a smile that lights up a room when he talks about his work.

“I feel blessed to have this job because it is not merely technically teaching a subject,” he says. “It is impacting people’s lives."

Cerrato came to UNM from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. where he was working as a post-doctoral researcher. He was a member of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Science Focus Area (SSRL SFA) Research Team, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, investigating the stability of uranium (IV) products resulting from in-situ bioremediation. Cerrato is originally from Honduras, where he received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

Datye, graduate students search for ways to make catalytic converters more efficient

4-15-14-UNM Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Abhaya Datye, and his graduate students Eric Peterson and Andrew De La Riva, are focused on finding a way to make catalytic converters on diesel engines as efficient as possible by engineering them to work at lower temperatures. Catalytic converters in vehicles convert harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions.

Catalytic converters can be more efficient if they work at lower temperatures, so they quickly begin converting toxic air pollution to harmless compounds soon after the vehicle is started. When a diesel engine is started on a cold morning, the catalytic converter is cold and does not work efficiently. Until the engine warms sufficiently, the catalytic converter is unable to remove the clouds of partially burned fuel billowing into the air. 

Mechanical Engineering honors distinguished alumni, students

4-15-14-The University of New Mexico’s Department of Mechanical Engineering honored distinguished alumni and outstanding students at a ceremony April 10.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering, part of the School of Engineering, honored Robert L. Cardenas, Michael E. Dexter, Allen E. Fuhs, and William S. Saric as distinguished alumni. Scott Lovald was honored with the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Chemical and Nuclear Engineering to become two departments

4-3-14-This summer, two programs that have been combined in one department for decades within the University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering will become separate.

The University of New Mexico Faculty Senate has voted to approve the proposal to transition the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering into two new departments: the Department of Nuclear Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The transition is effective July 1, 2014. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the proposal at its meeting on March 25.

STC spring breakfast seminar series is April 9

4-2-14-STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer office, is hosting its spring breakfast seminar series on April 9. The seminars are free and open to the UNM community and the public, but registration is required. Breakfast will be provided.

“Equity Crowdfunding for Start-ups: What’s Wrong with This Picture?” will be presented by Perry E. Bendicksen III, Esq., Rodey Law Firm. It will be held 8-9 a.m. at the auditorium, Building 800, UNM Science & Technology Park, 800 University Blvd., SE. Free parking is available in the parking garage directly west of Building 800 at the corner of Basehart and Bradbury Drive.

School of Engineering to honor retiring faculty members

3-31-14-The University of New Mexico School of Engineering will honor three retiring faculty members during a ceremony April 23.

Steve Brueck, former director of the Center for High Technology Materials who holds distinguished professorships in both electrical and computer engineering, and physics and astronomy; Juan Heinrich, professor of mechanical engineering and former chair of the department; and Tim Ward, chair and professor of chemical and nuclear engineering, will be honored.

Formula SAE students inspiring fifth-graders to pursue engineering

3-28-14-The University of New Mexico’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) team members are serving as teachers this month for a three-week engineering class, part of a national program to introduce and interest youth in engineering.

The class, being held at Monte Vista Elementary School in Albuquerque, has around 15 FSAE team members leading 48 fifth-graders in the design of a miniature race car — about 6 inches long and made of balloons, sticks, nozzles and other assorted parts.

School of Engineering alumnus named director of Air Force research office

Brasure3-27-14-L. Wayne Brasure, a member of the Senior Executive Service of the U.S. Air Force, has been named director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Va.

Brasure earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in nuclear engineering in 1991 and worked under professor Anil Prinja. While a doctoral student at UNM, he received the Outstanding Graduate Student in Nuclear Engineering Award in 1990 and the Top Graduate Student Presented Paper Award from the American Nuclear Society Regional Conference, Arizona State University, in 1990.

In his current role, Brasure manages the entire basic research investment portfolio for the Air Force, leading a staff of 200 scientists, engineers, and administrators in the United States, as well as in technology offices in London, Tokyo, and Santiago, Chile. The office manages a $510 million investment portfolio, and the office’s annual investment in basic research is distributed among more than 200 academic institutions, 150 businesses and 200 research efforts within the Air Force Research Laboratory.

LoboNet CONNECT links academia with tech community

3-21-14-What does an engineering student, an art student, a professor, a scientist and an entrepreneur all have in common?

Actually, a lot more than you’d think.

Members of these groups and others from the community have been attending a new event called LoboNet CONNECT, which is designed to bring academia and the technology business community together every month to talk about their similarities and where they might collaborate.

Atanassov to receive the 2014 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow Award

Plamen

3-20-14-Plamen B. Atanassov has been chosen to receive the 2014 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow Award in recognition of his achievements as one of the University of New Mexico’s leading innovators.

Atanassov is a professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering and director of the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies.

The award will be presented to Atanassov at STC’s 2014 Innovation Awards Dinner on April 3.

Kerry Howe

Center for Water and the Environment receives $5 million NSF CREST award

3-11-14-The Center for Water and the Environment, a research center based at the University of New Mexico, has received a 5-year, $5 million Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) award from the National Science Foundation.

The center, formed in summer 2013, is led by Kerry Howe, associate professor of civil engineering, who is the principal investigator on the grant. Co-principal investigators on the grant are Department of Civil Engineering faculty Bruce Thomson, Andrew Schuler, Mark Stone, and Vanessa Valentin.

UNM engineering programs make U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools list

3-11-14-The University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering overall graduate programs ranked No. 87 in the nation, according to the U.S. & World Report magazine’s 2015 Best Graduate Schools rankings, released March 11.

Rio Grande projectUNM graduate student works with local engineers to save a bridge

By Karen Wentworth — March 10, 2014

UNM Civil Engineering graduate student Adrienne Martinez is working to solve a potentially big problem in Albuquerque’s North Diversion Channel. Martinez is an engineering intern at the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority where engineers spend a lot of time worrying about how storm water runoff can travel safely through Albuquerque on its journey to the Rio Grande.

Storm water from Albuquerque’s northeast heights travels to the Rio Grande through a series of arroyos to the North Diversion Channel. The very large concrete channel that flows north along I-25 then turns west and enters the river near the Bernalillo county line. Storm water engineers are particularly concerned about the Rainrunner Bridge over the channel and its vulnerability to damage from summer thunderstorms.

 

Supercomputer racks

UNM gains supercomputer from the New Mexico Consortium

By Kim Delker
2-24-14-UNM will soon have much more computing power under its belt.  Enough to sequence the genomic data for thousands of people in New Mexico over the next several years.

Thanks to a gift from the New Mexico Consortium, the repurposed 120-node, 960-core, AMD/InfiniBand-based system will be housed at the UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) and be made available for parallel research computing use by faculty and student researchers at UNM, New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State University.

CecchiJoseph Cecchi named dean of the School of Engineering

University of New Mexico Provost Chaouki Abdallah has announced the appointment of Dean Emeritus and Professor Joseph L. Cecchi as dean of the School of Engineering.

“I am pleased to announce Dr. Joseph Cecchi as interim dean of the School of Engineering. His previous service as dean as well as his distinguished record in a variety of leadership roles makes him uniquely qualified to take on this position while we conduct a national search for a permanent dean. I am confident that he will do an excellent job,” said Provost Chaouki Abdallah.

Research scientists, engineers sought to judge projects at symposium

2-18-14-Those in the scientific and engineering fields are needed to serve as volunteer judges at the 2014 Southwest Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on March 1 at UNM.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium recognizes students for original research achievements in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. Student participants will be judged mainly on their ability to demonstrate valid investigation and experimentation aimed at the discovery of knowledge.

RET teachers

Research Experience for Teachers educators learn about solar energy

2-17-14-Educators from around the state who are part of the Research Experience for Teachers initiative got an up-close look at the ASUNM Solar Decathlon house Saturday, Feb. 15 that is currently located at Mesa del Sol.

Teachers learned about the house, known as the SHADE (Solar Homes Adapting for Desert Equilibrium) house, from Olga Lavrova, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and faculty advisor to Team ASUNM. In addition, teachers toured the PNM facility at the location. The PNM site is the first solar storage installation in the country to be fully integrated with a utility's smart grid. The teachers also visited the UNM Center for High Technology Materials, where they gave presentations on the status of their projects as part of the grant.

CS senior earns Finalist award from Computing Research Association

Alan Kuntz

2-10-14- Alan Kuntz, a senior in Computer Science at UNM, has been awarded a Finalist award (third place) in the 2014 Computing Research Association Undergraduate Researcher Award competition. In 2013, Kuntz received an Honorable Mention from the same competition. He is currently working on a senior honors thesis on molecular aggregation simulation and analysis with Professor Lydia Tapia. Last summer he participated in the Dynamics Summer School Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory. After graduating this spring, he plans on pursuing a Ph.D.

solar decathlon house

Open house planned Feb. 21 for ASUNM Solar Decathlon house

2-7-14-The public is invited to tour the ASUNM Solar Decathlon house, now located at Mesa del Sol, on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.

The house, located at 5650 University Blvd. SE, will be dismantled at the end of the month, so this will be one of the last chances for the public to view and tour the home, said Olga Lavrova, UNM assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and faculty advisor on the project.

The project is a collaborative building effort between Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico.

UNM hosts statewide robotics competition

2-4-14-Governor Susanna Martinez was on hand as students from elementary, middle and high schools around the state gathered at the UNM School of Engineering Centennial Center on Feb. 1 for the UNM VEX Robotics Competition. About 70 students participated in the competition. Martinez announced that Hispanic students in New Mexico had improved Advanced Placement scores over the past year.


The students battled throughout the day with robots they created from the VEX Robotics Design System in games of “Toss Up” and “Add it Up.” The games were developed by VEX Robotics, Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, leaders in educational and competitive robotics. The sponsor of the UNM event is 3D Proven Systems. 

 

Events

STC Spring 2014 Breakfast Seminar Series

STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer office, will be hosting its spring breakfast seminar series on April 9. The seminar is free and open to the UNM community and the public, but registration is required.  Breakfast will be provided.

Bendicksen

April 9, 2014
7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
“Equity Crowdfunding for Start-ups: What’s Wrong with This Picture?”
Presented by Perry E. Bendicksen III, Esq., Rodey Law Firm

For more information click here.

UNM Engineering Graduation Ceremony Schedule

Spring 2014 Convocation
May 17, 2014
Ceremony begins at 1 p.m.
Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque Convention Center downtown


 

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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