DOMENICI: N.M. TECH FOCUS ON SECURITY RESEARCH CREATES ECONOMIC, EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNTIES
Senator Reviews Anti-Terrorism Demonstrations, School Names Endowment for Lawmaker
by Matt Letourneau, Deputy Press Secretary, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici
[Photo, right: David F. Williams, Jr., senior vice president of Science Applications International Corporation (pictured left), recently presented a $150,000 check to New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López to fund the newly established “Senator Pete V. Domenici Endowed Faculty Professorship in Science and Technology for National Security.” Senator Domenici (pictured seated on right) was on hand for the event at a luncheon and ceremony announcing the new endowment named in his honor at New Mexico Tech.]
SOCORRO, N.M., April 13, 2004 -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today credited the “can do” attitude demonstrated by New Mexico Tech for giving the school a leading role in homeland security, antiterrorism efforts, and bringing new job opportunities to the central New Mexico region.
Domenici reviewed several demonstrations of ongoing research to give American defense and homeland security planners better technology to protect military personnel and civilians from attack. In addition, Domenici toured several facilities which he has supported in the U.S. Senate as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.
“New Mexico Tech’s growing influence in the field of national security and antiterrorism activities is clearly attributable to a can-do attitude from its administration, researchers and staff. They are clearly eager to jump into the fray to show that they have the ideas and wherewithal to find new and better ways to help our military and to meet homeland security needs,” Domenici said.
“The school’s hard work and record of success has made it easy for me to convince my colleagues that New Mexico Tech is a good investment. In turn, the school is becoming a bigger economic force for Socorro County, meaning more jobs and opportunity for the area,” he said. “I am very pleased with the dynamic coming out of this wonderful school.”
While in Socorro, Domenici was honored with the dedication of an endowment in his name to allow the school to attract leading educators in the field of national security technology. The “Senator Pete V. Domenici Endowed Faculty Professorship in Sciences and Technology for National Security” was created through contributions from the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and New Mexico Tech’s Commitment to Excellence campaign.
“The most important factor in job creation is the education of the new work force. I hope this chair is a contribution to that education,” Domenici said.
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Domenici secured $5 million for the new Micro Engineering Laboratory, which will be used to test military and commercial electronics. He has requested another $3 million this year for the lab that will also provide extensive on-the-job training and educational opportunities for students. The school hosted a unique ribbon cutting for the lab during Domenici’s visit.
“The task of maintaining up-to-date electronics is very expensive. This lab will produce engineering solutions to reduce the problem of parts becoming obsolete. It is a good example of privatizing a federal program. It provides expanded capabilities to the military and it benefits the commercial sector. This program will be a self-supporting effort once it is completely functional,” Domenici said.
Tech researchers at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) demonstrated, among other things, bombs used by suicide bombers and improved means for protecting personnel and vehicles from such attacks. EMRTC findings are then related to the ongoing First Responder Training program that Domenici helped establish after the attack on the federal building in Oklahoma City and before the 9-11 attacks.
Domenici has indicated his strong intention to seek additional federal funding in FY2005 to support New Mexico Tech activities related to homeland security, including the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium/First Responders training program, collaboration on the Anti-terrorism Training Assistance Program (ATAP), the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, and the PASSCAL/IRIS seismology program.
Domenici, as a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, has also requested a $2 million appropriation to conduct an environmental assessment at Playas, N.M., as part of the New Mexico Tech plan to establish a National Emergency Response Training, Research and Development Center there.
New Mexico Tech is leading a collaborative effort to establish a center that would provide DHS and other federal agencies a facility that offers, among other things, standardized emergency operations training for first responders, and advanced training for emergency operations and medical personnel.
Deputy Press Secretary
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici