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CEMRC, Carlsbad, reorganized under a new leadership structure

CEMRC, Carlsbad, reorganized under a new leadership structure


The U.S. Department of Energy recently renewed a five-year $14.5 million grant to NMSU’s College of Engineering to administer the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. CEMRC is a 26,000-square-foot, internationally recognized research facility that conducts environmental and human health monitoring for4 the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant—the nation’s only deep geologic repository for defense-related transuranic nuclear waste. WIPP is the world’s third deep geological repository and is licensed to store radioactive waste for 10,000 years. The WIPP facility is located some 40 miles outside of Carlsbad.   

With the start of this new funding cycle, I am pleased to announce new leadership to meet the diverse needs of CEMRC.

Dr. Punam Thakur will serve as technical director to supervise and provide technical guidance to all CEMRC programs, ensuring that all projects and tasks are on schedule and meet the performance objectives of CEMRC’s funding sponsors. James E. Monk will serve as the facilities director with oversight of all facility activities, while supervising facility personnel, enforcing internal procedures and controls, and problem resolution. He will continue as field program lead and radiation safety specialist.

I extend my sincere appreciation to Dr. Lambis Papelis who served as interim director for the past seven months. During this time, he maintained responsibilities as a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering while achieving significant improvements in the CEMRC organization and supporting the relationships with funding agencies, positioning the research center for an upward trajectory.

CEMRC is an internationally recognized facility and is a very important and valuable asset to the mission of the college providing unique research and educational opportunities at one of the world’s leading facilities of its kind.