University of New Mexico Chapter


Lecture Schedule Awards Newsletters Membership Contact


The joint UNM chapter of Sigma Xi/ Albuquerque Section IEEE annual awards banquet will take place on Monday, May 19, 2014, with check-in beginning at 5 PM, dinner at 6. Make your reservation by 16 May 2014 on the internet using: https://www.123signup.com/register?id=drfmb  The banquet speaker will be V. M. (Nitant) Kenkre, Distinguished Professor of Physics & Director, Consortium of the Americas for Interdisciplinary Science, UNM, “SPREAD OF INFECTION IN EPIDEMICS: Random Walks, Nonlinearity, and Extinction.”



The annual joint awards banquet of the UNM Chapter of Sigma Xi and the Albuquerque Section of IEEE was held May 13. The banquet speaker was Dr. Dale Alverson MD, who spoke on A Brave New World in Healthcare: A Time for Telemedicine and Health Information Technology

On Thursday, April 11, 2013, The UNM chapter hosted the category winners and those advancing to the International Science fair from the Central NM Science and Engineering Expo at the Explora! museum. After a brief awards ceremony, the honorees, their families, and teachers enjoyed Explora! free of charge.

The UNM chapter held its annual awards banquet on May 14, 2012, in conjunction with the Albuquerque Section of IEEE.

The speaker was UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah.

Awards presented were;

2012 Outstanding Young Investigator
Susan Bogus Halter, Dept of Civil Engineering

2012 Excellence in Graduate REsearch
George Bezerra, Dept of Computer Science

Including advisor Stephanie Forrest

2012 Superior Undergraduate Students
Shelby Parker, Dept of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine


Nicole Wilson, Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences

2012 Noteworthy Technical Support Person
Michael Rendina, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

12 initiates were inducted. Pictured are:

Guohui Shang, Crystal Leanne Keiffer,

Leigh A.R. Cominiello, Kelly Monteleone,

Christina Salas, and George Aikins

The Chapter held its annual awards banquet on Monday, May 16, 2011.


On October 18, 2010, our very own Erika DeBenedictis (now a freshman at CalTech) presented her research project at the first-ever White House Science Fair! Erika had a chance to meet and share her research with President Obama as well as the hosts of Mythbusters. The photo above was taken by the White House photographer when Erika had some one on one time with the President. AWESOME!


The joint awards banquet of the UNM Chapter and the Albuquerque Section of IEEE was held on May 17, 2010 in Room C of the UNM Conference Center. Meet and greet at 5:30, dinner at 6 and the lecture at 8 PM. The banquet lecture was entitled Engineering & Scientific Memoirs of a Lobo and presented by Allen E. Fuhs. The presentation is available online.

Allen Fuhs is the owner-manager of the Monterey Consulting Services. He obtained B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UNM, earning PhD degree at the California Institute of Technology. He was a Distinguished Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. His honors include, Fellow of: the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the British Interplanetary Society. Allen has published over hundred technical articles and books over four decades. He played a crucial role in the design and successful flights of Re-entry vehicles RVX-2 and RVX-2A, with several patents to his credits.

Awards were presented to 2010 Superior Undergraduate Students: Jessica Martin, Hallie Rane, Dianne Pater, and Monica Moya, all in the Department of Biology 2010 Excellence in Graduate Research: Sarah Koerner, Department of Biology 2010 Noteworthy Technical Support Persons: Thomas Hess, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Joy Avritt, Department of Biology Sewa Singh and Jaswant Kaur Memorial Presidential Scholar: Desiree Sanchez, Arts and Sciences

New initiates: Christopher Witt, Biology; Narendra Taly, Civil Engineering; Peter Dorn, Mems Optical; Jing Sui, MIND Inst; Susan Rachel Atlas, Physics and Astronomy; Stephen Thomas Boyd, Physics and Astronomy; Vasudevan A. Nampoothiri, Physics and Astronomy; Suzanne Ortega, Public Administration

First Place winners from the Central NM Science and Engineering Research Challenge were honored at the Explora Children's Museum on Thursday, April 15, 2010. The honorees' teachers and families joined with the chapter Board in honoring these talented kids, who then enjoyed the Explora facilities.

Thursday, 16 April 2009, 4:00 p.m.
Central NM Science & Engineering Fair finalists to be recognized at the Explora (near the Natural History Museum.) All Sigma Xi/ IEEE members (with family) are cordially invited to attend.

Monday, 18 May 2009, 5-9:00 p.m.
Annual IEEE/ Sigma Xi Annual Banquet to be held in Rm. C, UNM Conference Center. Speaker: TBA

The UNM Chapter recognized winners of the Central NM Regional Science Fair with a Ceremony and a special planetarium show at the Lodestar planetarium on Thursday, April 17th, 2008.

UNM Chapter Young Investigator awardee for 2007 Mahmoud Reda Taha, Department of Civil Engineering, presented his Young Investigator lecture on Friday, October 19, 3:00 PM at Tapy Hall. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) at UNM: From Machine Maintenance to Machine Intelligence. Lecture Details

The UNM Chapter honored members at its annual awards banquet on April 30, 2007, held in conjunction with the Albuquerque Section of IEEE. UNM Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Prof. Reed Dasenbrock spoke to approximately 90 people on "Creating the Future: The Role of the University in the 21st Century." Attendees were entertained at a pre-banquet reception and during dinner by the group "Swing Grass." 18 new initiates were inducted.

The following persons received awards:

Superior Undergraduate Student
Tom Pohl, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Tom came to biology a bit late, after first pursing a degree in engineering. Tom has presented his work at two national meetings. Tom is first author on a paper which has been submitted to the high-impact journal, Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Excellence in Graduate Research
Jian Wang, Department of Chemistry, UNM

Jian Wang is a doctoral student in the Chemistry Department. He has 29 publications in print or in press already. He will earn his doctorate in May, 2007. He has a postdoctoral research position at the prestigious Scripps Institute in La Jolla.

Outstanding High School Math Teacher
Julio Vargas, Los Lunas High School, Mathematics

Mr. Vargas, from Los Lunas High School, is totally dedicated to his students. His knowledge of math, coupled with his advanced degree, would easily qualify him to teach at the college level, but he prefers to remain a high school teacher, to insure that his students are adequately prepared for college.

Outstanding High School Science Teacher
Christina Trueba, Los Lunas High School, Biology

Ms. Trueba is a Biology teacher at Los Lunas High School. Ms. Trueba deserves this award, not only because shes good at what she does, but because she cares about the futures of her students.

Sigma Xi Chapter 2007 Young Investigator Award
Mahmoud Reda Taha, Department of Civil Engineering

Mahmoud Taha has one patent, 36 Refereed Journal Publications, 65 conference papers, and has generated over 1 million dollars in research funding since joining UNM in December 2003. He has a large number of graduate students, and is well-known for his excellent teaching and mentoring skills. His research is in the areas of structural health monitoring and biomechanics.

Noteworthy Technical Support Person
John DeMoss, Department of Physics & Astronomy, UNM

John DeMoss is a Prototype Machinist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Over the years he has made numerous significant contributions to the research mission, but also to the educational mission by designing and then fabricating devices, apparati, and "gizmos" for the demo area in Regener Hall. His insights into what can and can't be done, and how to do it are great, and his machining skills are simply fabulous.

Science & Engineering Fair finalists were recognized at the Lodestar Astronomy Center, the Museum of Natural History & Science on Thursday, 19 April, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. A FREE Planetarium show followed. Sigma Xi/ IEEE members (with family) were invited to attend.

In April, 2005, the UNM Chapter honored graduating high school student and new Sigma Xi member Susannah Clary, a winner at the NM Science and Engineering Fair. Susannah's project developed a new non-lethal, non-invasive method for determining the sex of salmon. Here are pictures of Susannah continuing her research on Chinook salmon in British Columbia this summer.

The UNM Chapter held a reception for potential members on Friday, September 8, 5-7 p.m. at the UNM Faculty Club, 1923 Las Lomas.

The annual Sigma Xi/IEEE awards banquet was held in Room C, UNM Conference Center, on Monday, 15 May 2006, 5-9 p.m. Dr. Gerold Yonas, Sandia National Laboratories, spoke on Wicked Engineering.

Science & Engineering Fair finalists will be recognized at the Lodestar Astronomy Center, Museum of Natural History & Science, on Thursday, 20 April at 4:00 p.m.; a FREE Planetarium show will follow. Sigma Xi/IEEE members' families invited.

Northwest Regional Science Fair winners will be recognized at the Lodestar Astronomy Center, Museum of Natural History and Science on Thursday, 21 April at 4:00 PM. A free planetarium show will follow. Sigma Xi and IEEE members and their families are invited.

The Annual Sigma Xi/IEEE awards banquet will be held Monday, 15 May in Room C, UNM Conference Center, 5 to 9 PM. Banquet speaker to be announced.

The UNM Chapter has been awarded the Sigma Xi Certificate of Excellence for outstanding chapter activity during the year ending June 30, 2002. Certificates are awarded for exceptional chapter activity and innovative chapter programs, particularly those that address the four major issues at the foundation of the Society's mission: honor in science and engineering, science education, science policy, and the public understanding of science. The award was presented at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in Galveston, November 15-17,2002, and was accepted by Chapter delegate Walter Gerstle.

The UNM Chapter was awarded a Chapter Program Award at the 2000 annual meeting for our Science and Society Public Lecture Series.

The UNM Chapter hosted a gala reception for the delegates and staff of the 2000 Annual Meeting at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.