SOCORRO, N.M., April 24, 2003 -- New Mexico Tech Regent Sidney M. Gutierrez, director of the Monitoring Systems and Technology Center at Sandia National Laboratories, has been named one of the nation's 50 most important Hispanic executives in business and technology by "Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology."

Gutierrez was selected for inclusion in the celebrated list featured in the May issue of Hispanic Engineer from thousands of nominees submitted by government agencies, national corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and educational institutions from throughout the United States.

"The 50 Most Important Hispanics in Business and Technology list is one of the most prestigious honors in the Hispanic professional community," said Tyrone D. Taborn, publisher of Hispanic Engineer, the nation's premier Hispanic technology
magazine. "Thousands of candidates are reviewed, and those that are selected stand out in areas such as professional achievement, technological innovation, and community leadership."

The annual top 50 list, now in its fifth year, demonstrates the new direction of the U.S.A. in embracing diversity and creating a more inclusive work force, Taborn added.

Gutierrez, who has served on the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents since 1997, is an Albuquerque native and a graduate of Valley High School. He also graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and went on to a distinguished career in the Air Force as a test pilot.

In 1984, NASA selected Gutierrez to enter its astronaut training program. He served as pilot of the space shuttle Columbia on STS-40 in 1991 and as commander of the space shuttle Endeavour on STS-59 in 1994.

After achieving the rank of colonel, Gutierrez retired from the Air Force and NASA in September 1994, and shortly thereafter joined the ranks of management at Sandia National Laboratories.

In 1995, Gutierrez received "Hispanic" magazine's renowned 'Hispanic Achievement Award in Science.