An Inspiring Week

By Chancellor Dan E. Arvizu | Published October 26, 2018

It’s been another busy yet inspiring week in the NMSU Chancellor’s Office. I had an opportunity to visit Sandia National Labs with a team from NMSU, including Vice President for Research Luis Cifuentes, Dean Lakshmi Reddi, Assoc. Dean Jim Murphy, and Chief of Staff Lenny Martinez. We toured Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility – a project I led 40 years ago. The facility was developed as a research tool to test the viability of a full-scale solar thermal energy project. Today, after four decades of research, market development, investment and work in public policy, the 392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is now operating outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is seen by many as they fly in and out of Las Vegas. There is now over 300 GW of installed solar power worldwide, almost 1000x more than this Generating Station. It was truly something to see your life’s work unfold in front of you. It makes me excited for what we can accomplish here at NMSU.


In the past week, I also took part in the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Conference in California, part of the Great Minds in STEM initiative. I presented the Engineer of the Year Award to Rafael Reif, the President of MIT. We were fortunate to have a number of students, Dean Enrico Pontelli, and other NMSU representatives in attendance. I am convinced that STEM education is the great differentiator that can help us unlock the human capital potential in many of our underserved. STEM education allows us to touch those who have traditionally not had a voice or have been left behind, and it allows them to be participants in the future economic development and growth of this nation. As I have said, this is an area where NMSU can and will lead the way. I look forward to working with everyone to make this a reality.