Category Archives: Alumni News

Retired Las Cruces rocket engineer recalls mission

“While the rest of the world was glued to their television sets watching as Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon, all of us at NASA were breathing a sigh of relief,” retired Las Cruces NASA engineer Ray Melton said. A 1966 graduate of New Mexico State University, Melton was part of the NASA and contractor team at White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) working on the spacecraft propulsion systems that landed the Apollo 11 lunar module (LM) on the Moon July 20, 1969 – 50 years ago this week.

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A Giant Leap for Española Chile, the First to be Grown in Space

For Española native Jacob Torres, what he sees on his daily commute to work is something that just never seems to get old. The goosebumps resurface nearly every day. “Almost every day — even this morning — I wake up and on the way here, I can’t believe it,” Torres said in a June 26 interview. “You drive past the space shuttles and see the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building), which you see on the Discovery Channel and stuff. Every day my hair stands up and I can’t believe I get to work here.”

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Jim Chavez to lead NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory

Jim Chavez, a former vice president at Sandia National Laboratories, has been named director of New Mexico State University’s Physical Science Laboratory. He begins this week. As director, Chavez will manage PSL’s strategic direction, establish national defense and security policies and the staffing and compensation practices necessary to effectively compete for and deliver products and services in the areas of research and technology.

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In Memoriam: Hassell “Kingman” Nix

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In Memoriam: John M. “Jack” Ewing

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Engineering professor awarded over $300k NSF grant for advanced water treatment

With limited water resources posing a challenge for citizens around the globe, Reza Foudazi, a chemical and materials engineering assistant professor at New Mexico State University, is working on a project involving new methods for advanced water treatment. He has received a three-year, nearly $315,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Stimuli-responsive membranes from mesophase templating.”

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In Memoriam: James Glenn Kilcrease

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Asmar earns prestigious academic All-American award

NM State men’s tennis senior Enrique Asmar joined an elite group of student-athletes, earning Google Cloud Academic All-America ® honors presented by CoSIDA.

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National Senior Games: Djang of Las Cruces a swimming star

Philipp Djang, a 65-year-old from Las Cruces, was among a group of 36 swimmers who broke records as the events in the pool concluded Wednesday at the National Senior Games. He was also one of 14 who now hold multiple National Senior Games records. Djang is the record-holder in the 50-yard backstroke, 100 back and 200 back for the 65-69 age division.

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In Memoriam: James Walter Cleveland

James Walter (Jim) Cleveland, longtime resident of Rio Rancho, passed away on Friday, May 24, 2019 due to circumstances arising from a long period of ill health.  Jim was born on Tuesday, April 17, 1945 in Pittsburgh, PA.  He grew up in Vandergrift, PA and graduated from Kiski High School.  Upon graduation, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM, where he met and married his wife Sue.  He then enrolled at New Mexico State University, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree

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