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Three Standouts Named Engineering Students of the Year

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. February 24, 2017 - Three engineering standouts were honored at the Society of Professional Engineers annual meeting in Albuquerque on Friday, Feb. 24.

Joachim Lohn-Jaramillo was named the winner of the Student Engineer of the Year. The first runner-up was Danielle Richards. Christopher Sain was the second runner-up.

The 2017 SPE winners are (from left) Danielle Richards, Joachim Lohn-Jaramillo and Christopher Sain. At right is Dean of Engineering Dr. Kevin Wedeward.

Dr. Kevin Wedeward, Dean of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering, presented the awards. New Mexico Tech, solicited nominations from all of the engineering programs. He said the field of nominees this year featured a host of exceptional students. Other nominees for the awards were Jesse Adamczyk (Materials Engineering), Samantha Bixler (Petroleum Engineering), Elliot Mark Esquivel (Civil Engineering) and Kevin Schmittle (Computer Science and Engineering).

Of the three winners, Lohn-Jaramillo came the furthest to study at New Mexico Tech, all the way from Las Cruces. He will complete his degree in mechanical engineering in May.

Lohn-Jaramillo has worked on White Sands Missile Range for both TRAX International and White Sands Research and Developers, and led student design teams for a rocket and sonde return vehicle. As a member of New Mexico Tech's investment club, he helped craft a scholarship for students using proceeds from the club's own investments.

After graduation Lohn-Jaramillo will pursue a Ph.D. in an aerospace-related field, and is currently weighing his acceptances at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Notre Dame and Dartmouth.

Lohn-Jaramillo was nominated by Drs. Jamie Kimberley and Michael Hargather (both members of the faculty in mechanical engineering).

The New Mexico Tech contingent at the SPE luncheon are (from left) Dr. Keith Miller, Joachim Lohn-Jaramillo, Dr. Kevin Wedeward, Dr. Tom Engler, Dr. Corey Leclerc, Danielle Richards, Christopher Sain, and Dr. Aly El-Osery.

The first runner-up for outstanding engineering student is Danielle Richards. She grew up on the west side of Albuquerque, and will be completing her degree in chemical engineering this May with a minor in chemistry.

Danielle has worked as a an undergraduate researcher at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Northwestern University. She has also served as a teaching assistant in the chemical engineering department, and a learning coach and tutor for the Office for Student Learning at New Mexico Tech. She is active in the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for which she serves as president.

After graduation Richards will pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, and although she hasn't made a final decision, although she is leaning towards Northwestern University.

Richards is a current Macey Scholar, Tech's top scholastic award. She was nominated for the SPE award by Dr. Corey Leclerc (the chair of chemical engineering).

The second runner-up for outstanding engineering student is Christopher Sain, a native of Albuquerque. Chris will be completing his degree in electrical engineering this May with minors in mathematics and optics.

Chris has worked as a student intern at Sandia National Laboratories and served as a teaching assistant, tutor and mentor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He has been active in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society since his induction, and currently serves as the chapter's president. He was also a founding member of New Mexico Tech's chapter of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

After graduation Chris will pursue a master's with focus on "energy systems" at either the University of Texas at Austin or University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, both of which have accepted his application. Chris was nominated for the award by Dr. Aly El-Osery, the chair of electrical engineering.

- NMT -