Dr. Gabriel Lopez, Vice President for Research at UNM and Selena Connealy, Education and Outreach Coordinator for NM EPSCoR Visit Northern
Dr. Gabriel Lopez, Vice President for Research at the University of New Mexico, visited the Northern campus on Friday, October 19 in a meet and greet event hosted by Northern’s Grants Office. The life-long Peñasco resident and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UNM met with a group of STEM faculty to learn about their research interests with the idea of working to foster potential collaborative opportunities with UNM faculty and research projects. Professor Lopez has devoted a significant amount of his professional service to the outreach and advancement of underrepresented groups in research. Dr. Lopez’ visit to Northern is anticipated to be the first among future meetings organized by the Grants Office in support of enabling research, education and outreach collaborations with UNM faculty.
Earlier Friday morning, Selena Connealy, Education and Outreach Coordinator for New Mexico EPSCoR, met with Northern faculty to discuss the newly funded $20 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to create a New Mexico SMART Grid Center. The Center will serve as an integrated research and education program that will support development of a modern electric grid in New Mexico.
The research program seeks to transform existing electricity distribution feeders into interconnected microgrids, and will utilize multiple testbeds across New Mexico. This project will also fund education and workforce development activities intended to increase research competitiveness, engage and retain diverse students, train next-generation electricity sector professionals, provide students and faculty with competitive data management and software skills, and communicate important results to the public. NM EPSCoR provides several funding opportunities, including a $50,000 Infrastructure Seed Award that seeks to increase the access of underrepresented students to research. Selena came to meet Northern faculty and to express EPSCoR’s interest in ensuring that Northern faculty and students participate in the multi-year project.