Fall Convocation set for Dec. 12

December 10, 2014

The University of New Mexico School of Engineering will hold its Fall 2014 Convocation ceremony Friday, Dec. 12 for students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees from the school.

The ceremony will take place at the Kiva Auditorium in the Albuquerque Convention Center. A total of 184 students are eligible to attend the ceremony, which includes 79 master's students and 42 doctoral students.

The keynote speaker is Gilbert V. Herrera, who received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in 1981.

Herrera is director of Microsystems Science, Technology, and Components at Sandia National Laboratories. He is responsible for a 600-person, $250 million research and development center. He also manages the MESA complex, which is the largest capital investment in the history of Sandia. The complex includes major semiconductor fabrication facilities housed in a 100,000-square-foot cleanroom.

While on a leave of absence from Sandia, he was chief operating officer of SEMI/SEMATECH, an Austin, Texas-based consortium of U.S. suppliers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials. During 1991-92, he served as an AAAS/Sloan Foundation White House Science Fellow at the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President George H. W. Bush.

In addition to his UNM degree, he also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

The undergraduate speaker is Ben Logsdon, who is receiving a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

Logsdon grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and began his academic journey at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, then switched to UNM about halfway through because his wife, Kathy, accepted a nursing job in Albuquerque. At UNM, Ben has focused his attention on roadway design.

Ben has been a member of the Air National Guard for nine years, which keeps him busy some weekends and other times. When not working or going to school, he enjoys golfing (which he began as a 6-year-old) and fishing. He is pursuing career opportunities in Denver, where his wife accepted a job at Denver Children's Hospital.

The graduate student speaker is Amber McBride, who is receiving a Ph.D. in nanoscience and microsystems.

McBride grew up in Gardner, Kansas, first choosing to study political science, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. After an internship with the Kansas Legislature, she realized she wanted to work on something novel where she could make a lasting impact. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas State University before moving to Albuquerque seven years ago with her husband, Ben.

While at UNM, McBride researched targeted drug delivery to the lung using nanoparticles with Pavan Muttil in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

She defended her Ph.D. in August and is a postdoctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. She is using the process of spray drying to increase the shelf-life of protocells and adapting them for inhalational delivery.