New Mexico Tech has jokingly been called a research institution that happens to have a university. In reality, it’s not far from the truth. However, the vast majority of research projects have a strong student component.
Nearly all professors in every academic department maintain active research projects that involve undergraduate students. Also, more than 400 graduate students are conducting research – along with their academic advisors and committees – to finish their master’s and doctorate degrees.
New Mexico Tech recognizes the importance of research projects to prepare all students for their career. Therefore, all researchers, even those who are not tenure-tracked faculty members, are strongly encouraged to hire students and give them active roles in projects.
In all the engineering departments, seniors finish their undergraduate careers with a “capstone” project. In Senior Design Clinic, students often work with off-campus sponsors who present a challenging project to Tech students. These sponsors often become active partners, mentoring and advising seniors. Senior Design truly gives students a taste of what they will experience once they enter the workforce.
Some of the partners include General Electric, Yates Petroleum, NASA, the national laboratories and numerous other high-tech companies – both in New Mexico and beyond.
New Mexico Tech has more than a dozen research divisions that work with private industry, government agencies and other universities.
These divisions employ undergraduate students, offer research opportunities for graduate students and contribute ground-breaking research to the scientific canon and the world of industry, science and engineering.
The research divisions include:
Petroleum Research and Recovery Center
The PRRC works with funding from numerous state and federal government agencies on projects that maximize and revolutionize oil and gas exploration and production.
Students from petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, materials engineering, math and management conduct research through the PRRC.
Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA)
ICASA is a computer security and forensics division that develops and implements software and hardware to combat cyberterrorism and computer-based crimes.
Computer science students find ample opportunities to work and research at ICASA
Energetic Materials Research Testing Center (EMRTC)
New Mexico Tech’s largest research division, EMRTC conducts numerous research projects involving explosives. EMRTC also hosts terrorism-response training classes for first responders from around the nation and the world.
With more than 200 employees, EMRTC has ample work and research opportunities for students in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering and other fields.
In addition to maintaining the world’s largest lending library of seismology equipment, the IRIS-PASSCAL group conducts seismology and Earth science research on every continent.
Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO)
This facility includes a 2.4 meter optical telescope and will soon be home to a world-class interferometer. Along with partner University of Cambridge, New Mexico Tech is developing and designing a 10-unit optical interferometer set to see “first light” in 2010.
Students in physics – both graduates and undergraduates – will have the opportunity to use this phenomenal facility to conduct astronomical research.
National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR)
Based in Santa Fe, the NGCR has cutting-edge DNA sequencer machines that are periodically available for use by biology students conducting genetic research.
National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI)
Based in Carlsbad, the NCKRI is a fledgling organization that sponsors student research in biology and Earth sciences. The Institute is a strong resource for students interested in the study of geology and hydrology.
Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research
The nation’s first lab devoted to lightning research, Langmuir hosts researchers from around nation every year. Physics students have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects in a variety of atmospheric studies.