People You Know - July to September 2013

Dr. Alan Cheetham (Bachelor’s in Geology, 1950) received a President's Medal in July from the International Bryozoology Asssociation for his “significant role in the founding and history of the IBA.”

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 Dr. Alan Cheetham in 1962 at LSU.    Dr. Cheetham in 2002

Dr. Cheetham co-founded the society while serving as a visiting professor at the University of Stockholm in Sweden in 1965. He served as the organization's first president from 1965 to 1968, and then served on its council until 1974. The association presently has 200 members in 40 countries who study all aspects of living and fossil bryozoa, which are small aquatic invertebrates distributed widely throughout the world's oceans and in fresh water on all the continents but Antarctica. 

Alan earned his master’s at Louisiana State University in 1952 and his doctorate at Columbia University in 1959. In 1966, he accepted a position with the Paleobiology Department at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., which is part of the Smithsonian Institution.  

Over the course of his career with the Smithsonian, Alan authored and edited a number of book-length publications, including the textbookFossil Invertebrates, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. He served as advisor to doctoral and post-doctoral students, both at the Smithsonian and at universities.

Alan's previous awards include the Paleontological Society's highest award, the PS Medal (2001), the Society for Sedimentary Geology's Moore Medal (1997), and the Distinguished Achievement Award from NMT Alumni Association (1990).

Dr. Cheetham was born in El Paso and he grew up in Taos. Since retiring in 2002, he and his wife, Marjorie, have lived in Santa Fe, where their daughter Susan and her husband, Alex Heard, also live and work as editors and writers. Their other three children are Christopher Cheetham (and wife Patricia) of Washington, D.C., Dr. Jan Cheetham of Madison, Wisc.,, and Hilary (and husband Frank Lantz) of Hoboken, N.J.


gonzalez-igorCanadian mining company Hudbay Minerals announced that Tech graduate Igor Gonzalez (Master’s in Metallurgy, 1984) has been named to the company’s board of directors.

Gonzalez retired earlier this year from Barrick Gold, where he worked from 2006 to 2013. His last position was executive vice president and chief operating officer.  Between 1980 and 1996, Mr. Gonzales served in various roles with Southern Peru Copper Corporation.

He earned his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of San Antonio Abad in Cusco, Peru. He came to New Mexico Tech as a Fulbright Scholar and earned his master’s in metallurgy in 1984.


Caption: Igor Gonzalez, Tech graduate, and recent Barrick Gold retiree



Dr. Peter D. Milewski, (bachelor's in materials engineering, 1991) started a new job in July 2013 as the R&D Manager of Decorations and Coating Technology at World Kitchen LLC in Corning, N.Y. Previously, Milewski worked for 14 years as a Senior Lamp Development Engineer at Philips Lighting in Bath, N.Y. After earning his bachelor's at Tech, Milewski earned his doctorate at North Carolina State and completed post-docs at both N.C. State and the University of Colorado-Boulder.


Frank A. Ortega, 64, of Los Alamos, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 11, 2012.

Mr. Ortega was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, sportsman, and avid weight lifter. He was a lifetime member of the NRA.

Mr. Ortega graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1970 with a bachelor's in mathematics. He retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in April 2012. Upon retirement he spent his time with his grandchildren, the loves of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Pedro and Siprianita Ortega. Mr. Ortega is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Lillian Ortega; daughters Emily Schmidt and her husband, Matthew, and Terri Cannon and husband, Matthew; grandchildren Sophie, Olivia and Adam Schmidt, Jason and Ian Cannon; sisters Edwina Weathersby and husband, Tommy, Patricia Oliver and husband Jerry, and Diana Contreras; brother Richard Ortega; and numerous other loving relatives and friends.

A rosary was Dec. 14, 2012, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos with the funeral services following. Burial was at Guaje Pine Cemetery in Los Alamos. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Los Alamos YMCA or to Los Alamos Sportsman's Club. The family of Frank A. Ortega have entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477 or devargasfuneral.com

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