Honoring engineers and setting 2018 goals

February 19, 2018 - By Rachel Whitt

Not a morning goes by without lives being impacted by the work of an engineer. From checking cell phones, to flipping on light switches, to using a pens and pads of paper – each moment of a person's day is defined by the research and dedication of the engineering field.

This week The University of New Mexico is celebrating the innovation, achievements and research of local engineers by hosting a series of events for National Engineers Week. National Engineers Week, organized by the National Society of Professional Engineers, is a week dedicated to celebrating the contributions of engineers to society and to promote the field. The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington's birthday. President Washington is considered as the nation's first engineer, notably for his survey work.

This year Engineers Week falls on Feb. 18-24 and UNM School of Engineering is holding several student-themed events.
 
Tuesday, Feb. 20. Workshop by Tau Beta Pi. Learn from recent engineering graduates where they are now and their advice. 4 p.m., Stamm Commons.

Thursday, Feb. 22. Showing of Hidden Figures in Centennial Engineering Center auditorium, 7 p.m. Free admission and free popcorn. Drawing for two tickets to “Da Vinci, the Genius” exhibition at The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.

Friday, Feb. 23. UNM Engineering Ambassadors drive STEP mentoring event. Free pizza. 3 p.m. Stamm Commons.

In addition, Christos Christodoulou, Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing, outlined the following efforts to move the School of Engineering forward in the coming year and continue building it up as a destination school for engineering students.
 
“We are launching updated marketing materials, a new recruitment video, social media and new online programs to reach more undergraduate and graduate students,” Christodoulou said. “This promises to be a year of development and progress for the school and I thank the faculty, staff and students that are making that possible.”

Farris Engineering Center
The $26 million, 18-month project is not only impressive looking, but it also is one of the most high-tech buildings at UNM. The main goal of the renovation was to enhance research and student learning and the collaborative environment. The official grand opening is being held March 1.

Marketing
The School is revamping its image and working to increase awareness of faculty, staff and students’ successes, with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollments. The School is exploring new ways to make this marketing campaign successful, by optimizing messaging and resources to enhance our national reputation, expand corporate partnerships and increase donor and alumni support. In addition, the School hopes to reach new audiences to increase enrollment – Christodoulou's number one goal as dean.  To help in this effort, the School recently created new recruitment videos.

Research and Industry Collaboration
The School’s annual research expenditures in FY17 were $32.4 million. Its goal is to increase this moving forward. With federal sources of research grants likely to stay flat or decline in the coming years, it is critical for the School to grow its engagement with industry, both in the state and nationally.  This is why the School has entered into agreements with Honeywell, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Applied Technology Associates, AECOM, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Lockheed Martin, Blue Origin, Leidos, Wyle Laboratories, QSigma, Millenium Engineering and Integration and others.

Economic Development
One of Christodoulou's goals to transform the School of Engineering into an economic engine for the state, by being an active member in the Albuquerque Economic Development and the New Mexico Technology Council, while collaborating with the mayor’s office.

Tasks to Complete this Semester
The School of Engineering will be creating a strategic plan to guide its vision, as well as assembling an advisory board that will draw members from the ranks of university deans, industry and national laboratory leaders from all over the country. Christodoulou hopes a board of this magnitude will provide the School with new and innovative ideas to help achieve the goals outlined above.