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UNM School of Engineering part of Department of Energy consortium

January 12, 2021 - by Kim Delker

Photo of young students working in a classroom on engineering projects.

The University of New Mexico has been selected as one of the institutions included in a new five-year, $5 million consortium funded through the Department of Energy's Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program.

UNM’s School of Engineering and its Engineering Student Success Center will receive nearly $1 million for the Consortium of Hybrid Resilient Energy Systems (CHRES) project. Ramiro Jordan, professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate dean for global initiatives, along with Elsa Maria Castillo, director of the Engineering Student Success Center, are co-principal investigators on the project.

Other partners on the project are the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and the lead institution, Universidad Ana G. Mendez, as well as Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the National Energy and Technology Laboratory.

The activities under the project will begin in spring 2021. The goals include giving minority students research experience, including experience working in and interacting with national labs and increasing students’ knowledge of resilient energy topics. Students in the program work closely with a faculty researcher, getting access to seminars and networking opportunities or to summer internships at partner universities or labs. The ultimate goal of the program is to increase the number of minority students employed at national labs.

This partnership project is an expansion of the former Consortium for Integrating Energy Systems in Engineering and Science Education that included the same leadership team and university partners along with Sandia and the National Energy and Technology Laboratory. That project concluded in September 2020 and allowed the School of Engineering team to make an impact in energy systems education across the community, bringing hundreds of students to the annual energy days, over 60 teachers from all across New Mexico to summer energy and sustainability workshops, and more than 60 high school students to the Engineering Summer Academy Energy Week. It also enabled several students in the partner universities to conduct research and exchange knowledge during summer internship programs at the partner institutions or national labs.

Students with questions about participating in the program can contact Elsa Castillo at