Writer: Linda Fresques
Martha Mitchell has been named associate dean of research in the NMSU College of Engineering and director of the Engineering Research Center. She will be responsible for the administration of the college research program with expenditures exceeding $16 million per year.
“Dr. Mitchell is well qualified from three important perspectives: her experience in developing an externally funded research program for herself and assisting her faculty to aspire to the same accomplishment, her experience in administrative responsibilities, and her experience in graduate education. All are important qualifications for assuming the position of associate dean for research. I believe she will provide excellent leadership for advancing our research agenda in a forward thinking manner,” said Ricardo B. Jacquez, dean of the College of Engineering.
Mitchell earned her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. She has been a member of the NMSU faculty since 1996. She served as interim department head since August 2004 and was appointed department head in 2005—then the first woman to become a department head in the NMSU College of Engineering.
While serving as chemical engineering department head, Mitchell, with funding from the Nuclear Regulatory Administration, developed a nuclear education minor for undergraduate students pursuing bachelor’s degree in engineering or science. She was the first recipient of the Robert W. Davis Chemical Engineering Professorship.
Mitchell’s research involves molecular-scale computer modeling of processes important to chemical industries such as hydrogen separation using membranes. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of New Mexico.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to take on this new responsibility for fostering research within the college, as well as to facilitate collaborations for our outstanding faculty. I look forward to supporting all aspects of research,” said Mitchell.
Kenneth R. White, who formerly was civil engineering department head and twice served as interim dean of engineering, will be interim chemical engineering department head. He will lead the search committee for Mitchell’s successor in that post.