SOCORRO, N.M., May 19, 1999 -- Julie Ann Wiens, a native of Moriarty who is now a senior majoring in electrical engineering at New Mexico Tech, recently was named the recipient of the New Mexico Engineering Foundation's Helen Zimmermann Memorial Scholarship.
Wiens, a 1995 graduate of Moriarty High School, is the daughter of Keith and Chris Neel and Jay Johnson.
She was selected for the prestigious honor from a field of several top engineering students at New Mexico Tech.
Wiens currently attends the state-supported research university on a New Mexico Tech Presidential Scholarship, an American Association of University Women Scholarship, and the Manuel Lujan Scholarship. In addition, she has been designated a "Tech Scholar" at the university.
Wiens' senior design project involved designing and constructing a fiber-optic data acquisition device. Last year, she also contributed to the development of a "fire-fighting" robot, a team effort which garnered her and three other Tech electrical engineering students a fifth-place finish at the Trinity College Fire-Fighting Robot International Competition in Hartford, Conn.
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.
She currently serves as chapter treasurer of the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society and also is a member of the Student-Produced Leisure Activities at Tech (SPLAT) group. She also is the captain of the New Mexico Tech Women's Volleyball Club and is active in several other intramural sports activities on campus, including basketball and Ultimate Frisbee.
"The electrical engineering professors at New Mexico Tech are friendly," Wiens relates.
"However, the curriculum is tough," she adds, "but, it's well worth all the time you put into it. . . . New Mexico Tech is a great school for a great education."