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New graduate scholarship established in mechanical engineering

May 10, 2024 - by Kim Delker

photo: Tim Thompson
Tim Thompson

Graduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering will receive more financial support beginning next academic year, thanks to a gift from an alumnus.

Tim Thompson, who received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UNM in 1990, and his wife, Barbara, recently established the Tim and Barbara Thompson Graduate Scholarship Fund in Mechanical Engineering. The scholarship is aimed at supporting high-achieving graduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with the ultimate mission of recruiting and retaining the best and brightest in New Mexico.

Inaugural recipients of up to four first-year graduate students will be selected for the 2024-2025 academic year, with each receiving $10,000.

Thompson, CEO of AvaDent, is a native of Belen, N.M. While attending UNM, he was a group leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he managed about 150 engineers and technicians and developed advanced technology programs.

Before attending UNM, he received a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University in 1978.

Among Thompson’s honors, he received the Flying Forty award from Technology Ventures Corporation for 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007; Discover Magazine’s award as a top innovator in aerospace in 1996; and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2004.

Thompson was the keynote speaker at the spring 2022 School of Engineering Convocation ceremony.

He and his wife live in the Santa Fe area with their Havanese pets.