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Hightower earns “Salt of the Earth" Award

  • By MarComm Staff
  • May 06, 2022

The Multi-State Salinity Commission Board of Directors recognize industry leaders that demonstrate outstanding commitment, leadership, vision and dedication to our water industry by promoting advancements in technologies for desalination, reuse, salinity control strategies, water/energy efficiencies and related public policies that assist communities in meeting water needs. Among those recognized at the 2022 Summit was Michael Hightower who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from NMSU. Hightower was recently appointed to serve as program manager for the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium led by NMSU.


Michael Hightower is a civil and environmental engineer with 40 years of experience in research and development. His current efforts include research and evaluation of innovative environmental and energy technologies and the reliability, security, and protection of critical water and energy infrastructures. He has led programs supporting the U.S. in improving the safety, security, and reliability of energy and water infrastructures; managed and coordinated Sandia’s marine energy transport safety and security program; managed environmental research and development programs for DOE; has coordinated Sandia’s energy water interdependency research program since 2005; and has conducted civil and structural modeling, analysis, and design of penetrating weapons systems, missiles and rockets, and energy generation, mining, and transportation facilities and infrastructure. Michael’s background also includes extensive work with public-private partnerships involving water quality, desalination, and water policy.