SOCORRO -- Michael Davis, a senior majoring in electrical engineering at New Mexico Tech, recently was named the university's "Engineering Student of the Year."
Recent Tech graduate Julie Ann Wiens and current Tech senior Timothy Sande were named runnerups for the prestigious award.
Davis, Wiens, and Sande were chosen to be honored this year from a field of several top-notch New Mexico Tech engineering students by engineering faculty members at the state-supported research university. The decisions were based on their superior academic performances, engineering work experiences, and involvement in other engineering activities.
Michael Davis, who is a 1995 graduate of Gallup High School, is the son of Fred and Toni Davis of Gallup.
In addition to his regular classwork at New Mexico Tech, Davis worked this past summer as an engineering intern for the Hewlett-Packard Company.
Davis currently serves as corresponding secretary of the New Mexico Tech chapter of the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society.
Julie Ann Wiens, a native of Moriarty, is a December 1999 graduate of New Mexico Tech.
Wiens, who also is a 1995 graduate of Moriarty High School, is the daughter of Keith and Chris Neel and Jay Johnson.
She currently works on a full-time basis at the university as a teaching assistant with New Mexico Tech's electrical engineering department and as a robotics research assistant.
"I've been putting together autonomous robots, which are then marketed to high schools so that younger students can begin their education in robotics," Wiens says.
In 1997, Wiens was selected to participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and worked that summer as a "storm chaser," collecting rain and hail data for Colorado State University.
While an undergraduate at New Mexico Tech, she served as chapter treasurer of Tau Beta Pi.
She also was the captain of the New Mexico Tech Women's Volleyball Club and still remains active in Tech intramural and City of Socorro volleyball leagues.
Wiens also continues to be an active member of the university's Student-Produced Leisure Activities at Tech (SPLAT) group.
"New Mexico Tech is a great place to be if you are serious about your education," Wiens relates. "It can be tough at times, but the education you receive is well worth the effort."
Before coming to New Mexico Tech, Timothy Sande, a senior majoring in petroleum engineering at New Mexico Tech, was home-schooled in his hometown of Kalama, Wash.
Sande is the son of Jack and Debbie Sande of Kalama.
In addition to attending classes at New Mexico Tech, Sande currently is working for Tech's petroleum engineering department on a U. S. Department of Energy research project which is
investigating natural fractures present in gas formations throughout northwest New Mexico's San Juan Basin, the nation's second largest gas-producing area.
Last semester, he worked as an instructor in a reservoir engineering laboratory at the university.
Sande serves as a vice president for both the New Mexico Tech student chapters of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Tau Beta Pi. He also is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
When he is not pursuing his studies or working on his various research projects, the Kalama native teaches juggling classes, plays table tennis and Ultimate Frisbee, enjoys backpacking, and picks out a tune or two on his guitar.
"New Mexico Tech is a challenging school," Sande says, "and I have learned the basic engineering skills that I will need in the petroleum industry. . . . I have made a lot of friends, and have really enjoyed my three years here."