by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., April 1, 2006 – A design team comprised of three to four New Mexico Tech undergraduates will soon be formed to participate in a cross-border technology development program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, which seeks to develop an interdisciplinary approach to educating scientists and technology managers in New Mexico and the neighboring Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Through the “New Mexico – Chihuahua Partnership for Innovation,” a development program being administered by New Mexico State University, a select group of New Mexico Tech students will pool together their knowledge and skills to complete the testing phase of the technology development program, working with actual companies and, possibly, maquiladoras to get new products and technology to commercial markets.

Similar teams of students also are being formed at the partnership’s other participating universities, besides New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State, such as Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez and Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey-Chihuahua.

Other participating members of the New Mexico- Chihuahua Partnership for Innovation include Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, the Chihuahua Trade Office, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, and various other industry and economic development organizations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Any New Mexico Tech student who is interested in becoming a member of the university’s design team for this cross-border economic development project is asked to submit a letter of interest and a current résumé to the New Mexico Tech Department of Management, via e-mail to:mjduke@admin.nmt.edu.

Through the NSF-funded program, Tech students chosen to make up the design team will be paid to work up to ten hours a week on their project, all the while gaining first-hand knowledge of the unique challenges associated with economic development and technology transfer in the New Mexico-Chihuahua border region.

Since the duration of the program is scheduled to last at least two years, preference will be given to New Mexico Tech sophomores and juniors who apply.

University students participating in the New Mexico-Chihuahua Partnership for Innovation, which gets underway this summer, will also be eligible to apply for internships with some of the industries, organizations, universities, and national laboratories involved with the program.

“This is a great opportunity for an interdisciplinary team of Tech students to get a real feel for the process of getting technologies to industrial markets,” said Peter Anselmo, chair of New Mexico Tech’s management department and director of the university’s role in the partnership.

“I think that the students who participate in this program will have a huge advantage when they start their professional careers after they graduate from New Mexico Tech,” Anselmo added.

In addition to forming and supporting the student design teams, New Mexico Tech and the other partner universities will each host technical seminars, workshops, and conventions throughout the course of the multi-year economic development program.

-NMT-