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  Bearings              Fall/Winter 2003

                                                                                                                          Mechanical Engineering
                                                                                                                          Department Newsletter

   Fall/Winter 2003

NMSU Engineering Students Take Home First in
Academic Olympiad
      ME senior Jason Corral was one of the              four other teams including last year’s winners            history.
three-member team to take top honors in the              from Kansas State. The range of questions is                   Dr. Donaldson’s training in thermal
Academic Olympiad competition. The event                 not limited to engineering, and may include               sciences provided a valuable edge, Jason said,
is part of the annual Midwest Conference                 topics from Hispanic culture and SHPE
                                                                                                                                        (continued on back page)
sponsored by the Society of
Hispanic Professional
Engineers (SHPE), held this                                                                                                           Garcia
year in Iowa City in early
November.                                                                                                                             Heads
      Joining Jason in the
challenge were seniors Pearl                                                                                                          Graduate
Salazar (ET-C), Jose Martinez
(ET-E), and alternate Sean                                                                                                            Programs
Marquez (ET-E).
      Results of a 50 question                                                                                                              Dr. Gabe Garcia now
written exam qualified the                                                                                                            devotes significant time and
team for the “Jeopardy” style,                                                                                                        focus to ME’s Graduate
fast paced sparring against                                                                                                           Programs. The formal
                                                                                                                                      position of Graduate
                                                                                                                                      Programs Director was
Anderson                                                                                                                              initiated this semester. All
                                                                                                                                      issues concerning the
St. Hilaire                                                                                                                           graduate programs and
                                                                                                                                      students are now addressed
Honored                                                                                                                               by Dr. Garcia, including
                                                                                                                                      information requests, initial
     Graduating ME senior                                                                                                             advising, and recruitment.
Anderson St. Hilaire has                                                                                                                    First priority focused on
earned the honor of                                                                                                                   reviewing, updating and
Outstanding International                                                                                                             organizing existing materials
Senior for the College of                                                                                                             and processes. Garcia has
Engineering. He and                                                                                                                   completely revised the
Outstanding Senior Laurie                                                                                                             program’s web pages to
Epps (CE) will be presented                                                                                                           reflect changes in admission
their awards by the NMSU           ASME & PI TAU SIGMA arranged a tour and demonstration at White Sands Testing Facility.
                                   Participating were: (on rocket) James Sowell and Jady King, (left to right)Steve Kistinger, Daniel and curriculum
Alumni Association at the          Garcia, Scott Dana, Jeremy Shipley, Toby Holden, Josh Tamminga, Miguel Roybal, Mat Hill,           requirements, course
Graduation Banquet on              ZachoryBrown, Kyle Sparks, Joe Whitehead, Justin Hogan, Brian Hogan, Tyler Wood and Jake Harlow.
                                                                                                                                                  (continued on page 7)
December 12.
     Anderson was selected based on his
academic performance and participation in
university activities. A Crimson Scholar, he              Off Campus Learning:
has maintained a near perfect GPA along
with involvement in ASME, the National                    Co-op and Internship Experience
                   Society of Black Engineers,
                   and as a volunteer for                     Praise comes from every direction for                       Engineering Student Services lists four major
                   Keep Las Cruces Clean.               student internships and co-operatives.                            reasons for student interest in these practical
                   Undergraduate research               Students, employers, job recruiters and                           programs: confirmation that it’s the right
                   participation includes               university personnel describe the co-op and                       field; better pay, present and future;
                   bridge stress under Dr.              internship experience as optimum for                              geographic exposure; and influential
                   Garcia and testing the               everyone involved.                                                connections for securing a good position after
                                                              Rosemarie Sanchez of NMSU’s                                                         (continued on page 4)
                          (continued on page 7)
 Anderson St. Hilaire
 page 2                                                                                                                           Fall/Winter 2003    Bearings

Upper Level Courses Added to ME Curriculum
     Elective choices for upper level ME                                                                                required to do more in-depth projects in the
students increased beginning with the Fall                                                                              Robotics Lab.
2003 semester with the addition of two                                                                                       Dr. Ma came to NMSU in Fall 2002 with
introductory courses in special fields.                                                                                 a background in robotics and aerospace
     Dr. Ou Ma is teaching Mechatronics,                                                                                systems engineering. A Ph.D. graduate of
and Dr. Igor Sevostianov is offering                                                                                    McGill University, Ma spent eleven years
Biomechanics.                                                                                                           with Macdonald Dettwiler Space and
               Mechatronics                                                                                             Advanced Robotics, a world leader in space
      ME487 Mechatronics Introduces
modeling and analysis of the basic hardware                                                                                         Biomechanics
and software components of electro-                                                                                           Dr. Sevostianov’s ME484 course in
mechanical systems including sensors,                                                                                   Biomechanics will also challenge
actuators, signal processing, microcontrollers,                                                                         participating students with a design or
mechanisms, and feedback motion controls.                                                                               research project based on course content.
It also provides a hands-on training of the                                                                                   The course is open to upper level
design, construction, and programming of                                                                                undergraduates and graduate students.
simple robotic systems. The course is open to                                                                           Prerequisite courses are required for
senior level ME and EE undergraduates.                                                                                  enrollment.
Student response to the course has been very                                                                                  Within the last decade there has been a
                                                               TA Toby Holden completed his robotic machine before
high. Due to limitations on lab equipment,                     the course began in preparation for assisting students
                                                                                                                        shift in direction within Mechanical
the maximum enrollment was initially set at                    with the project.                                        Engineering, Sevostianov explains, to include
15 but it was expanded to 21 with several                                                                               investigation of biomechanical systems,
interested students turned away.                              and test methods. Dr. Ma explained that the               especially as related to health.
      The main course project is to design and                students will be challenged in their designs                    Sevostianov describes the field of
build a robot with special mission                            by the limited mechatronic components                     biomechanics as one of complexity. The
requirements. Dr. Ma has defined the                          available to them and a semester-end contest              course will present the mechanical properties
challenge: design an autonomous robot                         among the robots designed by different                    of living tissue (bone, muscle, blood vessels,
which can locate all the flamed candles in a                  groups. Other course projects include                     etc.). It will explore their microstructure
maze and then extinguish them. The students                   industrial process controls using                         from molecular to microscopic with emphasis
are required to report their design ideas,                    programmable logical controllers. Several                 on the dynamics of the human body.
selection of components, control strategies,                  graduate students registered in the course are            Attention will be directed to elastic
                                                                                                                        properties. Complexity arises because living
                                                                                                                        tissue, both hard and soft, possesses strongly
                                                                                                                        anisotropic properties (i.e. the reaction of
                                                                                                                        material depends on the direction of applied
                                                                                                                              The design option Sevostianov has
                                                                                                                        created for his students is for a “sports
                                                                                                                        machine” to address problems or enhance and
                                                                                                                        maintain potential of a specific muscle or set
                                                                                                                        of muscles. A trip to the campus gym will
                                                                                                                        provide examples of what is currently in use.
                                                                                                                              Sevostianov’s research specialty,
                                                                                                                        micromechanics of materials, led him to
                                                                                                                        involvement with biomechanics beginning
                                                                                                                        with his work at the Max-Plank Institute in
                                                                                                                        Dresden, Germany. This direction has
                                                                                                                        continued through his work in South Africa
                                                                                                                        and Tufts University. He has reported on his
                                                                                                                        research in numerous professional articles,
                                                                                                                        one of which is now used as supplemental
                                                                                                                        material in biomechanics courses at various
                                                                                                                              In addition to his own professional
                                                                                                                        research, Sevostianov is mentoring three
                                                                                                                        doctoral candidates whose theses involve
                                                                                                                        properties of bones or synthetic bone
 Graduate student Madhuri Terli, left, demonstrated equipment in the Bone Lab for Vista Middle School students in
 David Reyes’ math course. Melissa Argullo and Marisa Guzman’s attention was caught by Madhuri’s presentation.
  Bearings        Fall/Winter 2003                                                                                                                        page 3

Thermal-Fluids Lab Enhanced                                                                                                       G R AD S
      Current participants of ME
445, Experimental Methods,
                                                                                                                                   Spring & Summer 2003
might not be impressed with the
facilities in Jett Hall’s Room 18                                                                                                            BSME
but bring back last year’s students
                                                                                                                                     Jedediah Joseph Alderete
and their comments will testify to
improved conditions. The                                                                                                              Marcus Alexander Bluth
physical changes bring other                                                                                                         Christopher Michael Buhl
benefits, too.                                                                                                                       Agustin Francisco Campos
      Dr. Burl Donaldson, his TAs                                                                                                         Jarod Edward Cox
and students were confronted                                                                                                               Jeffrey Zeke Cox
each semester with the challenge                                                                                                       Robert John Dickerson
of completing experiments at lab                                                                                                     Clifford Joseph Donaldson
stations that couldn’t handle the
                                                                                                                                         Scott Thomas Eakle
number of students registered for
                                                                                                                                            Diana Gonzalez
each laboratory section. The
solution of half the class working                                                                                                    Michael Stephen Hogan
on one experiment while               445 students, Anderson St. Hilaire (left) and Mike Owens do some calibrations for use of           Benjamin Kuchinsky
                                      the new wind tunnel set up in JH18, while graduate assistant Andy Johns looks on.
simultaneously the other half                                                                                                              Marcus A. Lucero
worked a different one was more       remodeling as he progressed.                    and modification will continue                        Joe F. Marquez
than a scheduling problem.                  A pipe flow set up was also               through the semester as the new               Matthew Kenneth McMillan
      Many a report ended with        relocated, from the Civil                       arrangement gets its first                             Ariel Melchor
the observation, “This experiment     Engineering facility. Andy was                  practical use.                                   Brandon James Moore
would have turned out better          assisted in this phase by Rondus                      The benefits go beyond the                  Shepherd I. Okamura
without background interference       Chee, a sophomore working                       room itself, positively effecting
                                                                                                                                         Kelli Renee Schmitt
from another experiment going         under the AMP (Alliance for                     the course flow by allowing more
on.” Reports couldn’t be graded                                                                                                     Michael Patrick Schoenfeld
                                      Minority Participation)                         efficient and generous time for
until all groups completed both       program. He contributed his                     the experiments and providing                         Harold T. Seay
experiments, which led to             familiarity with ProE to                        timely feedback. In terms of the                  Lucas Edward Shiver
delayed feedback for preparation      configure the new installation                  lab reports, this enables students                 Ariele Zelda Sparks
of new reports.                       of the pipe flow set up.                        to correct deficiencies and                   Jonathan King Strausbaugh
      Graduate student Andy                 An additional pressure                    strengthen subsequent reports.                    Jose Emanuel Trevizo
Johns spent the summer                tank was purchased which                        The required group selected                    Henry Noriega Valenzuela
transforming the lab to               Andy outfitted with pressure                    experiments will be completed                      Roman Jeffrey Vidal
accommodate a second set of lab       and thermal sensors and a                       earlier in the semester, allowing
                                                                                                                                           Athena Lee Visel
stations for the scheduled            solenoid valve.                                 more time for the final projects
experiments.                                                                                                                              Brian Gabriel Ward
                                            The simplest task was                     developed and performed by
      The first physical chore,       constructing a second                           each group after the proposal is               Sandra Louise Ardis Ward
Andy related, after the planning      Bridgewire Break setup. As                      approved by Dr. Donaldson.                    Matthew Raymond Warren
and budgeting phase, was to           with any construction or                                                                       Christopher Tekseng Woo
make room for the new stations.       renovation project, fine tuning
Years’ accumulation of materials                                                                                                             MSME
had to be sorted, organized or
discarded. First result: tools,                                                                                                          James Issa Harb
equipment, and reference               NMSU Students named to “Who’s Who”                                                              Andrew C. Holguin
materials have been                                                                                                                   Wesley Brook Morgan
systematically rearranged and               MEs David Bolding, Robert                 potential for continued
                                                                                                                                        Paul Steve Portillo
stored in clearly marked cabinets.     Brewer, Mathew W. Hill and                     achievement.
                                       Rafael Anthony Padilla were                                                                      Kody Lynn Sparks
      Andy next faced the most                                                             Nominations are solicited
                                       selected to represent New                      and reviewed by the individual                 Rachmawati Wangsputra
complex and physically
demanding aspect of the                Mexico State University in the                 colleges before submission to the
renovation: moving the 18 foot         2003 edition of “Who’s Who                     Office of Student Services. Here           are notified directly by “Who’s
wind tunnel from the                   Among Students in American                     they are double checked for                Who” early in the year; the
engineering annex. The structure       Universities and Colleges.”                    adherence to guidelines and then           publication is produced and
had to be completely dismantled             They are recognized for                   submitted to the publication.              distributed in the spring.
to allow the pieces to fit through     their participation in the                     Scott Moore, Assistant Dean of                  Deadlines for nominations
doors and hallways. Once in            university through academic                    Student Services, explains that            for the 2004 edition are due by
Room 18 Andy began                     excellence, service to university              each university is allotted a              November 7, according to
reconstruction, refining and           and community, leadership in                   certain number of submissions.             Moore. For more information he
                                       extracurricular activities, and                Students approved and selected             may be reached at 646-4804.
page 4                                                                                                Fall/Winter 2003   Bearings

                   Miguel Roybal           Work & Learn....................
                   Internship:             (continued from page 1)                          gained far more in communication skills
                   Phelps Dodge            graduation. Graduate student Andy Johns          than engineering.
                   Co-op: Eastman          adds another – they’re a break from the                According to Elizabeth Ortega of
                   Chemical                academic routine and pressure.                   Placement and Career Services, she rarely
                                                 Whatever the original motivation, the      gets negative feedback from the co-op
     “I came back from my first
                                           students interviewed echoed each other in        experience. Her office provides the student
internship, with Phelps Dodge in
Arizona exhilarated. It gave me a new      listing benefits. The premier value, expressed   with information and advice about the
perspective, a significant direction. I    in terms of their particular job experiences,    workplace in general in addition to the
learned what applied from here             was the connection made between academic         particular assignment. “I let them know,
(school) to there (job). A recognition     learning and actual professional activity.       too,” she said, “that we are available for
not of the particulars or the practice     Work, the students found, is not a vertical      advice and support during the co-op. I
academic learning involves, but the                                                         encourage them to contact us if there are
                                           progression from the first engineering class.
process of problem solving. More than                                                       concerns or difficulties.”
once I thought ‘this makes sense.’ That
                                                                                                  Employer satisfaction manifests itself
realization went the other way, too,
when I returned to school.
                                                                                            primarily in the fact that the programs keep
     The co-op experience at Eastman
                                                                 Crystal                    going and growing. Mike Hicks, Engineer
Chemical in Texas was another level of                           Rodriguez                  Group Leader for Dometic Corporation’s El
challenge. I was required to do a                                                           Paso site said his small operation sponsors
professional presentation on my work                                                        one to two co-op students each semester, and
at the end of each session.                                      Internship:
                                                                                            it has worked well for four years now. All of
     The interview for that position was                         General Motors,
                                                                                            the students have been from NMSU though
high-powered. I had been practicing
                                                 “From day two I was involved in
                                                                                            less successful attempts were made with
interviewing skills through the Career
Placement office and thought it would       the preparation of vehicles for                 other regional schools. Hicks himself is an
just be good practice. It was the best      transport to the testing site. One part         NMSU graduate (BSME ’93) who feels
interview I’d gone through. I was           was the installation of the instrument          comparably trained, he said, to engineers
hammered with questions about my            cluster. When no techs were available,          from Stanford and Purdue with whom he has
experience and goals. I must have           I actually installed a parking brake            worked. His support for student involvement
done well; I got the job.”                  cable. My supervisor was impressed.             also derives from his own intern and co-op
                                                 In school the answer is in the back
                                                                                            experiences with Phillips Petroleum and
                                            of the book; there it’s learn to think
                                            and problem solve.
                                                                                            Johnson & Johnson. “I absolutely benefitted.
Sam Belt                                         I felt respected. One of my                I already had a job through those contacts
                                            responsibilities was to work with the           when I graduated.”
                                            executives on setting up a team and
Co-op: NASA’s                               conference about DFSS (Design for Six
Wallops Flight Facility                     Sigmas), a process for anticipating
                                            design problems.                                 Matt Marple
                                                 I didn’t like Michigan. I couldn’t
     “I had some expectation that the       see the sun; it was cold; I missed the
co-op at Wallops would focus on one
                                            desert, the stars – and chili.”
project. It turned out to be a little of                                                     3 with General Motors
everything from CAD work to non-
engineering tasks.                                                                                “The internships kept my interest
                                           For work success, theoretical, academic
     This diversity, I heard from ME                                                         in the automotive field, and validated
alumni, is representative of entry level
                                           learning must be accompanied by analysis          my desire to be a Mechanical Engineer.
(engineering) work.                        skills and problem solving. Add in content        You don’t use pure engineering
     It was about working with people,     not included in textbooks – communication         principles, but the practical
learning the ins and outs of the           skills and willingness to perform all kinds of    applications – the problem solving
workplace; and seeing what engineers       tasks that are part of real world work flow       skills developed in the engineering
do.                                        whether clearly engineering related or not.       program.
     Challenging, in a different way             David Zoller’s experience is an extreme          You’re thrown into a work group
from school, it increases                                                                    with different levels of experience –
                                           example. He arrived at the gate of GM’s
understanding what you may and may                                                           from the blue collar union force to
not need from academic learning.”
                                           Oklahoma City plant, professionally dressed       Master’s level engineers.
     Sam began his career at NMSU as       including tie and briefcase in hand for a              I liked the opportunity to see
a football player majoring in Physical     summer internship taking over for a Data          other parts of the country, to be off by
Therapy. Partially influenced by the       Collection worker on maternity leave, and         myself.”
example and experiences of his older       possibly some welding work. What he found              Matt will finish his M.S. in May,
brother Lincoln (NMSU ’97) he              was a plant almost destroyed by a tornado.        and look to GM for employment. No
switched to Mechanical Engineering, a      He became part of a crisis team, challenged to    promises or guarantees but they have
decision he never regrets. “It has                                                           encouraged him to apply for work with
                                           put things back together for the start up of a
opened doors to options for what I                                                           them.
want to do,” he says.
                                           new vehicle model. A situation inherently
                                           dependent on people working together, he
  Bearings         Fall/Winter 2003                                                                                                       page 5

......Professional Contacts, Travel, Pay
      Employers seeking student co-op              Oklahoma. Miguel Roybal who has done            mandatory,” Andy John believes. Ideally,
workers register through Placement and             two in New Mexico and one in Arizona is         students should start by junior year so there’s
Career Services, detailing the position(s) to be   ready to go further. Three summer sessions      time left for more if one wants. Ortega of
filled and specific application requirements       with GM have exposed Matt Marple to rural       Placement and Career Services reinforces that
such as field of study, college level, GPA and     Kentucky (Corvette/Cadillac plant) and the      ‘think ahead’ consideration. “It’s advisable to
particular skills and experience. This             greater metropolitan Detroit area. He           apply a semester in advance for co-ops,” she
information is also forwarded to the               enjoyed the variety of all there was to do in   said, “nine months ahead for a position that
appropriate department for posting.                the urban environment, while Crystal            requires security clearance.”
Applications are filed through Placement and       Rodriguez’s stay in that area increased her           There’s no shortage of applications but
followed up by the company. Duration is            love for the desert.                            demand grows, too. Shelley Walker of
four to seven months, usually a semester,               “Everyone should do it. It should be       Ethicon Endo Surgery in Albuquerque said
which might be preceded or followed by a                                                           their program has gone from approximately
summer segment.                                                                                    seven a couple of years ago to 14 slots for
      Internships are more informally                David Zoller                                  Spring 2004, with more department
arranged, many through the Career Fair and                                                         managers wanting access.
word of mouth. Though a student may also                                                                 Though the pay scale (and benefits)
directly approach a company for a co-op              Internship: General                           vary, the low end beats the average
position, there are benefits to going through        Motors, Oklahoma                              hometown summer job.
Placement and Career Services, according to          City                                                Repeating a quote from the Alumni
Ortega. One can still be considered a full-                                                        Profile, Lincoln Belt (BSME ’97) who does
time student on ‘work phase.’ This, she                   “I am a ‘gearhead,’ will take any        some Career Fair recruiting for his employe,
                                                     opportunity to work on cars. I drove          Intel, offers this observation: “Intel looks for
explains, allows the student to retain his or
                                                     into Oklahoma City under dark skies
her financial aid and scholarship status and                                                       students with direct experience as well as
                                                     and low swirling clouds. It was
still be claimed as a student dependent by the       ominous; I wondered if I were driving         academic standing. Co-ops and internships
parent.                                              into a tornado like the one that had          make them a hot commodity in the work
      For some students, including Matt              struck the area a week before.                market.”
Marple and Crystal Rodriguez, their                       I arrived at the plant the next                For more information about internships
internships with GM strengthened their               morning to find it had been almost            and co-ops contact Placement and Career
primary interest in automotives. In cases            demolished. Only ones there were the          Services (646-1631,
                                                     administrators and the re-building            or Rosemarie Sanchez (646-3545).
such as Thomas Hanson and Andrew
                                                     contractors. The supervisor answered
Holguin, co-ops led to a change in                   my dismay with the prophecy ‘you will
engineering focus. Universally, the                  have a unique experience.’
experience broadens appreciation of the                   It was an intense work situation,         Tom Hanson
applications of engineering and related career       beginning at 6:30 a.m. In the first
options.                                             weeks, without electricity we worked at
      New Mexico companies and agencies              times in the dark.                             Co-op: Dometic
provide many opportunities. Los Alamos,                   What I learned most was                   Corporation, El Paso
                                                     management skills, dealing with
Sandia, White Sands, GE, PNM and Intel are
                                                     people. For example, in overseeing
some. Co-op and internship options,                                                                      “It was great for me in many ways.
                                                     production, I had to talk to union
however, are spread around the country from                                                         I really learned CAD which I’d just had
                                                     workers old enough to be my father.
the northern limits of Michigan to the deep                                                         minor exposure to. They gave me a
                                                     ‘The gentle art of persuasion’ is how I
                                                                                                    tutorial program and a week to learn
south of Mississippi, to the mid-Atlantic            term it.”
                                                                                                    before actually using it in design work.
Wallops Flight Facility site in Virginia, IBM                                                       It was exciting and rewarding to see
in Texas and GM plants in Kentucky and                                                              three or four projects all the way to
                      Andrew Holguin                                                                     Personally, it offered needed work
                                                                                                    as I’d recently gotten married. After
                      Co-op: General Electric, Albuquerque                                          the co-op, Dometic kept me on part-
                                                                                                    time in a flexible schedule through
                        “When I did the co-op during my senior year I knew the                      August of this year when I began as a
                   experience would be an advantage later in the job market. It was                 lab assistant in Dr. Donaldson’s
                   also a good break; I was tired of school. The work refreshed me                  research project on geopolymers.
                   and led to the decision to get a masters degree.                                      Another benefit is it showed me
                        I was already certain I wanted to be an engineer. At GE I                   what I don’t want to do when I finish
                   worked in the ‘cell division,’ which involved studying parts that                the B.S. The experience has led also to
 were defective as a result of some aspect of the manufacturing process. In one case,               offers from Cummins and Johnson &
 we located the problem as a loose platen in one of the planes.                                     Johnson but I am committed now to
     Afterward, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue in manufacturing applications as                 the Master’s program. I want the skill
 much as a theoretical field.”                                                                      and education level for employment in
     Andrew became involved with Dr. Conley’s research grant on pyrovalve                           a bigger organization, one that can
 deformation which led to summer work at NASA (the research sponsor) and now a                      support more independent, flexible
 regualr position with NASA’s Stennis location.                                                     research and work.”
  page 6                                                                                                              Fall/Winter 2003             Bearings

Research Focuses on Geopolymers for
Thermoelectrical Power
      Dr. Burl Donaldson’s continuing                involves the testing of geopolymers as a           high temperatures, is dehydration which
 research for efficient designs for Department       potential component material that might lead       causes deterioration in performance. While
 of Defense power generation currently               to simpler, cheaper and more portable              not destroying the test sample, dehydration
                                                     electric power generation for field use.           produces some deformation. One possible
                                                          Senior Tom Hanson is performing a             solution being tried, according to Tom, is
                                                     variety of tests under Donaldson’s guidance        encasing the polymer in a quartz tube to
                                                     to document the performance and                    block dehydration.
                                                     characteristics of the material. Three areas of          Tom will also test the thermal energy
                                                     study are being investigated: synthesis, or        transfer when the sample is subjected to
                                                     optimization of the composition of the             external current. Here, a refrigeration effect
                                                     inorganic polymers which promotes                  can be produced which compares to portable
                                                     performance and conversion efficiency;             coolers which plug into the cigarette lighter
                                                     fundamental properties including Seebeck           of your car. Other factors that will be
                                                     coefficient, thermal conductivity, electrical      studied are cross-sectional area and thickness
                                                     resistivity and figure of merit; and device        of the specimen, aluminum to silicon ratio in
                                                     design, a projection of the material as a          the composition; operation temperature
                                                     component in a power generation system,            range, temperature difference across the
                                                     coupled to a heat source (combustor or solar       specimen, and thermal to electrical
                                                     energy) and heat sink (surroundings).              conversion efficiency.
                                                          Tom has produced cylinders for testing              Tom is currently working on the project
                                                     that are then subjected to a temperature           as a research assistant while finishing his last
                                                     gradient which, according to the Seebeck           undergraduate semester. Already accepted
                                                     effect, produces a flow of electrons or            into the Master’s program and taking two
                                                     current.                                           graduate courses, he will continue with the
                                                          One problem with the geopolymer               Donaldson project when he becomes a full-
                                                     (which is an inorganic polymer), occurring at      time grad student in January.
 Tom Hanson at the testing set up for geopolymers.


Lincoln Belt, Class of 1997
     “Here’s a twist: almost until graduation,       family car, a’68 Dodge Dart. His father was
I didn’t really want to be a Mechanical              gone as a military professional, for extended
Engineer. That was to be study and career en         periods, providing Linc with ample
route to being a fighter pilot. But my bride         opportunity to develop his mechanical skill.
didn’t want to be a military wife.”                       His current position at Intel is not design
                                                     oriented as much as oversight of the robotic
     (Lincoln) Linc and his wife Jody                equipment process, analyzing and
Hernandez-Belt (who received her BS and              troubleshooting towards the goal of “better,       Linc Belt at the Intel lab in Rio Rancho

MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from              faster, less costly.” Linc’s role allows design    were the best thing that ever happened to me
NMSU) have been employed at Intel, leading           involvement linked to problem solving. He          during college,” he claims. One provided
producer of semi-conductor computer chips,           has experienced the excitement and reward          experience in CTF programs involving
in Rio Rancho since 1997. A great place to           of his modifications adapted company-wide.         heating and air-conditioning systems for
work, he said, a really positive environment              With his first two years at another           shuttle missions. Another investigated fuel
with good recompense. It’s an intense                college as a basis of comparison, Linc credits     delivery system involvement in the failure of
workplace suited for Type A personalities.           NMSU’s Mechanical Engineering Department           the Mars Observer. The remaining co-op was
Intel offers great latitude and diverse              with an “awesome program,” training that           the “fun” one – in NASA’s manufacturing
opportunities.                                       prepares one for 95 percent of jobs in the         facility – the work and play of the machine
     Linc, a confirmed ‘gearhead,’                   market.                                            shop - how to produce the products designed,
demonstrated his interest in “all things                  Periodically, he returns to campus for        similar to the pinnacle extracurricular
mechanical, cars in particular” by the age of        Career Fairs as a recruiter for Intel. Intel       activity, the Mini Baja. “It doesn’t lose its
six when he took the broken family lawn              looks for students who have direct experience      excitement.”
mower apart, fixed it, and put it back               as well as academic standing, he advises. Co-            The best testament to the successful role
together. After watching his father, an              ops and internships make them a “hot               of NMSU in Linc’s life is having two brothers
electrical/telecommunications technician, for        commodity” in the work market.                     following his example. Sam is an upper-level
a couple more years he could fix the ailing               Three semester-long co-ops with NASA          ME student; Chris is in his freshman year.
  Bearings         Fall/Winter 2003                                                                                                                        page 7

Jed Alderete Awarded GEM Fellowship                                                                                                    GEM Facts
                                                                                                                                    GEM is the only privately
     Jed Alderete has a lot going
                                                                                                                                 funded non-profit graduate
for him right now. He is living
                                                                                                                                 education organization of its
where he wants; he is doing what
                                                                                                                                 kind. Its mission is to
he wants; he is supported in his
                                                                                                                                 “enhance the value of the
                                                                                                                                 nation’s human capital by
     As a recipient of a GEM
                                                                                                                                 increasing the participation
fellowship Jed is working on a
                                                                                                                                 of under-represented
MS in Mechanical Engineering at
                                                                                                                                 minorities at the master’s
NMSU. Interested in a career
                                                                                                                                 and doctoral level in
with one of New Mexico’s
                                                                                                                                 engineering and science. “
agencies involved in aerospace or
                                                                                                                                    Since its inception, 2,250
defense department work, the
                                                                                                                                 M.S. and Ph.D. prepared
GEM program also requires
                                                                                                                                 engineers have entered the
summer work which they
                                                                                                                                 work place after
arranged for him at Los Alamos
                                                                                                                                 participation in GEM; this
National Laboratory.
                                                                                                                                 represents a statistically high
     Though he applied and was
                                                                                                                                 completion rate of 87
accepted to a number of
                                                                                                                                 percent. According to the
university engineering programs,
                                                                                                                                 2002 Annual Report, 146
Jed wanted to remain at NMSU
                                                                                                                                 fellowships were awarded to
where he received his BS last
                                                                                                                                 an applicant pool of more
spring. His wife, Tara, is also
                                                                                                                                 than 600, approximately 25
working towards a Master’s here.
                                                                                                                                 percent. In the field of
     GEM fellowships are open to
                                                                                                                                 Mechanical Engineering, 24
minority students accepted to a
                                       Jed Alderete prepares the valve under investigation in his graduate research project.     of 81 applicants were
graduate program who have
                                                                                                                                 selected, a rate of almost 30
maintained a 3.0 or above GPA.         corporations during the summers                in the second year of a three              percent.
The fellowship program is not          of their graduate program.                     year grant period, the goal for               For information on the
linked to a particular university.           For further alignment with               this phase involves description of         program and application
Recipients may apply to over 100       his long range goal, Jed’s                     the valve deformation through              process, contact Rosemarie
participating programs around          graduate research project is the               the application of high speed              Melon-Sanchez, Engineering
the country. In addition to            NASA sponsored research on                     laser photography. He is teamed            Student Services (646-3534),
providing financial support for        pyrovalves described in the                    with Jose Tafoya who is in his             or the GEM office (574-631-
tuition, fees and a living stipend,    Spring ’03 issue of Bearings. Now              second year on the project.                7771) or visit their web site
participants work in member                                                                                                      (

St. Hilaire                            the program. It is rewarding, he               Graduate Programs
(continued from page 1)                said, to meet some of them now                                                          member.
                                                                                      (continued from page 1)
                                       on campus as NMSU students.                                                                   There are currently 40
strength of artificial bone with                                                      offerings and descriptions, and          participants in the ME Graduate
Dr. Conley. He is currently                  Graduate school is the next              listing of faculty with their            Programs, 28 working towards the
assisting in the NASA Pyrovalve        goal on Anderson’s agenda, with a              respective specialties.                  Master’s degree and 12 doctoral
project. A co-op with Cummins          focus in mechatronics. He has                        This effort reinforces a           candidates.
Natural Gas Engines contributed        been accepted at one university                university goal to expand and                  “Traditionally, international
practical learning experience.         and is awaiting response from                  strengthen graduate programs.            students are a major presence in
                                       several others.                                The Graduate School provides             the program,” Garcia stated, “but
      International students are
                                             Dominica, his birth country,             workshops to assist departments          since 9-11 their enrollment has
limited in eligibility for financial
                                       is a small Caribbean island with a             with handing the application and         decreased due to stricter
assistance, scholarships, and                                                         admission process; Garcia has
                                       population of about 75,000. A                                                           regulations for entry into the U.S..
participation in support programs.                                                    attended two of these.                   He works with the Center for
Anderson said he is grateful for the   large portion of those, Anderson
                                       said, are young people.                        Applications are initially               International Programs (CIP) on
opportunities Crimson Scholars                                                        submitted to and reviewed by the         issues dealing with international
provided in terms of work projects,    Traditionally the economy has
                                                                                      graduate office for forwarding to        applicants. (CIP handles all
particularly with PREP, a pre-         been agriculture, with bananas as              individual departments where             international applicants.)
engineering summer program for         primary cash crop. Tourism is                  graduate screening committees                  Once the internal structure
area middle and high school            increasing, but there are limited              select successful applicants.            and processes of the program are
students. Mentoring the young          opportunities for higher education                   The ME Graduate Programs           satisfactorily organized, Garcia’s
students was appropriate for           and professional employment.                   Director is the first point of           goal is to expand its potential by
Anderson as a former teacher, and      Son of an agricultural consultant,             contact for new graduate students.       increasing industrial support,
                                       Anderson is the fourth of nine                 He acts as a resource for                particularly for assistantships. In
he derived personal satisfaction
                                       siblings to go outside the country             information and questions and as         turn this will increase recruitment
from seeing them develop over the                                                     advisor until the student is paired
                                       for educational and professional                                                        and retention of both graduate
three years he was involved with                                                      with an appropriate faculty
                                       enrichment.                                                                             students and faculty.
 page 8                                                                                                          Fall/Winter 2003       Bearings
Olympiad                                                    Student Engineering Societies
(continued from page 1)
                                                       American Society of  James Sowell (            Every other Wednesday
                          as many of the               Mechanical Engineers Miguel Roybal (VP)                                   5:30 p.m.
                          questions came
                                                                                Jesus Apodaca(        Every other Wednesday
                          from that area of            Pi Tau Sigma
                                                                                Daniel Felix (VP) Office: 646-6532
                                                       Society of Women         Felicia Guerrero (      1st & 3rd Tuesday
                               The team’s                                                                                        6:00 p.m.
                                                       Engineers                Audrey Wallace (VP)
                          win guarantees                                                                                  Thomas Brown Room 104
                          inclusion in the             Society of Hispanic    Veronica Bunn (646-2510)(P)                  2nd & 4th Wednesday
                          national                     Professional Engineers Jason Corral (VP)                                  5:00 p.m.
                                                                                                                            Jett Hall Room 209
                          scheduled as part         The American Society of Mechanical            Tony’s Shop (AMSE & Pi Tau Sigma) to
ME senior Jason Corral is
a member of the winning of the annual          Engineers (ASME) and Pi Tau Sigma, the             helping at the annual Renaissance Craft Faire
NMSU Olympiad team        National Technical   international honor society for Mechanical         (SHPE) to a Thanksgiving Food Drive (SWE),
and Career Conference in Chicago in            Engineers, are the main societies dedicated to     and welcoming area youth at Aggie
early January 2004. The first place                                                               Experience days (all).
                                               Mechanical Engineering students. ASME’s
award covers the team’s registration
                                               vision is to be the premier organization for             NMSU’s chapters are part of national
fees for that event, as well as a team
trophy and a plaque passed along to            promoting the art, science and practice of         and international organizations offering
each year’s winner.                            mechanical engineering. ME students of             opportunities to interact with other students
     Jason, who is presently vice-             junior and senior level who are in the top         and professionals. Sponsored conferences
president of NMSU’s chapter, has been          quarter of their class are also eligible for       include competitions, presentations, career
an active member of SHPE for the past          membership in Pi Tau Sigma. The groups             fairs and a venue for establishing
two years. He has availed himself of           work closely, especially under the current         connections.
the many opportunities the                     leadership.                                              Leadership training is an option current
organization offers, including other                A trip to White Sands Testing Facility        officers of the four groups interviewed have
conferences and competitions. At last          was a highlight this semester. Officers            taken advantage of by participating in
year’s Olympiad, he also competed with         arranged for a tour and viewing of the test        regional workshops. Felicia Guerrero of SWE
the NMSU team, coming within 4                                                                    and Miguel Roybal of ASME remarked on the
                                               launch of a C-Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM).
points of winning.
                                               Seventeen students witnessed the impressive        valuable advice from other college groups as
     Earlier this semester, again
                                               demonstration, and arrangements are                they endeavor to enliven and expand their
through SHPE participation, Jason
competed in the College Bowl                   underway for follow up visits.                     societies’ presence on campus.
Competition in Austin TX. Teams                     General engineering organizations also              Membership requirements and benefits
selected in a highly competitive draft         open to MEs include: Society for Hispanic          vary but the groups share the basic mission of
by industry mentors are challenged to          Professional Engineers (SHPE), Society of          student involvement and awareness.
put on a series of improvisational skits       Women Engineers (SPE), American Indian             Meetings are held twice a month, food and
based on questions or themes related to        Science & Engineering Society (AISES),             drink provided. In addition to planning
work scenarios. Jason’s Boeing-                Mexican American Engineers & Scientists            events, the meetings are a forum for
sponsored team took third place.               (MAES), National Society of Black Engineers,       discussing issues and concerns of being an
     The various conferences he has            and Tau Beta Pi.                                   (engineering) student at NMSU.
attended are fun and provide excellent              Service to the university and community             Activities are partially coordinated and
opportunities, he said, for meeting                                                               supported by the Engineering Council, made
                                               are top priority for student engineering
industry representatives and
                                               organizations. Activities range from cleaning      up of two representatives from each eligible
networking with other students and
professionals from around the region                                                              engineering society.
and country.

                    Department of Mechanical Engineering
                    New Mexico State University
                    1040 S. Horshoe, Jett hall Rm. 17
                                                                                 Organization                     Bearings
                                                                               U.S. Postage Paid             Bearings is a publication of the
                    Las Cruces NM 88003-8001                                    Las Cruces, NM
                                                                                                           Mechanical Engineering Department
                                                                                  Permit # 162
                                                                                                             New Mexico State University.
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                                                                                                          Editor-at-Large: Dr. Ronald Pederson
                                                                                                          Editor: Helen Stork
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