Recent Awards

Celebrate our Own /
Nominate an Alum!

CONTACT US

Development Coordinator 
Courtney Holmes
(505) 277-0664
Centennial Engineering Center
Suite 3071
courtg@unm.edu

RESOURCES

Nomination form

School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni

The 2017 honorees are:

• Kenneth Armijo, a graduate of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Armijo, a native of New Mexico, received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UNM in 2005. Armijo went on to earn a master's degree and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California - Berkeley and now works at Sandia National Laboratories. The holder of four patents, Armijo's research is in alternative energy technologies and sustainability.

• George S. Bosiljevac, a graduate of the Department of Civil Engineering. Bosiljevac, is the owner and president of two construction companies, Harwood Engineering Inc. and Structural Services Inc. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UNM in 1960 and went on to earn his master’s in civil engineering from UNM in 1966.

• Ireena Erteza, a graduate of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Erteza earned her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from UNM in 1986 (summa cum laude). She went on to earn her master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Erteza is a distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. She is an expert in optics and signal processing.

• Subhash N. Shah, a graduate of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Shah, received a master’s in chemical engineering from UNM in 1971 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UNM in 1974. He has 40 years of service in the oil and gas industry and is an emeritus professor of the University of Oklahoma.

• Joseph A. Sholtis Jr., a graduate of the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Sholtis= received his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from UNM in 1977. He spent 23 years serving in the United States Air Force and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Sholtis is an internationally-recognized expert in the areas of space nuclear systems and has served on 14 NASA missions. 

• Torsten Staab, a graduate of the Department of Computer Science. Staab received a master's degree in computer science from UNM in 1998 and later went on to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from UNM in 2007. Staab has dual roles, working as the chief technology officer for Raytheon Blackbird Technologies Inc. and as a technical director at Raytheon Corporation. Staab has previously won the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

The Young Alumni Award was presented to Dimitrios Anagnostou, a graduate of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Anagnostou received a master's degree in electrical engineering from UNM in 2002 and went on to earn his Ph.D. from UNM in 2005. He is currently an associate professor at the Heriot Watt University, UK.  Anagnostou's research is in the area of reconfigurable and tunable antennas.

In addition to the awards for alumni, a special award was presented to Joseph L. Cecchi, Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Professor Emeritus of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Cecchi received the Exemplary Service Award, presented by the School of Engineering Alumni Leadership Board. 

For the full program from the Distinguished Alumni Awards, click here.

You can view the full list of Distinguished Alumni here.


UNM Alumni Association Award Winners

Robert SolenbergerRobert Solenberger (65' BSChE)

Robert Solenberger, '65 BSChE, has been awarded the UNM Alumni Association Lobo Award.

Solenberger, a physician and a colonel in the U.S. Army, has been deployed as a senior surgeon and field hospital commander in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Honduras, Egypt and Korea.

The surgeon credits his engineering education at UNM for helping him think outside the box in medicine, including a unique and successful separation of conjoined Siamese twins in 1995

in which Solenberger led a 70-person team through more than 26 hours in the operating room.

Solenberger currently works at the VA Hospital in Belton, Texas as a surgeon.

Gilbert V. HerreraGilbert V. Herrera (81' BS)

Congratulations to Computer Engineering alumnus Gilbert V. Herrera, winner of the 2015 Lobo Award.   This award is given to an alumnus/a who has given outstanding personal service to the university or whose career achievement reflects credit on the university.

Herrera is the director of the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS), a National Security Agency (NSA) research institute on the University of Maryland campus. At his former position at Sandia, he was responsible for a 600-person, $250 million research and development center. He also managed the MESA complex, the largest capital investment in the history of Sandia. Herrera also served as an AAAS/Sloan Foundation White House Science Fellow at the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President George H. W. Bush.

Derek SmithDerek Smith (‘94 MS, ‘97 PhD)

Congratulations to Computer Science alumnus Derek J. Smith, winner of the UNM Zimmerman Award. This award is given to an alumnus who has made a significant contribution which has brought fame and honor to UNM and to the state of New Mexico.

Derek Smith is now a Professor in the zoology department at the University of Cambridge in England. He received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneers Award of $2.5 million for his groundbreaking research of the influenza virus and predictions of how pathogens, particularly influenza, will evolve. He generated “maps” and opened the door for finding connections between the antigenic changes and genetic changes in the virus. That could translate into faster and better ways of monitoring the flu.

Science Magazine has called Derek “the mapmaker of the world of influenza.”