SOCORRO, N.M., July 16, 2002 -- After garnering unanimous approval at last week's State Board of Finance meeting, a new (MEM) degree program at New Mexico Tech is now set to begin offering classes leading up to the graduate degree via distance education methods at receiving locations in Carlsbad and Farmington, as well as at the university's campus in Socorro.

Based under the New Mexico Tech Department of Management, the new graduate degree program will start up in August with two initial course offerings for the fall semester.

"The Master of Engineering Management program at New Mexico Tech is designed to serve working engineers and applied scientists in New Mexico," says Tech management professor Peter Anselmo, who also is coordinator of the university's MEM program.

"By establishing this new graduate program, we're responding to a demand in the state, since most undergraduate programs in engineering and applied science disciplines do not adequately prepare students for managerial positions," Anselmo explains, "although many of these scientists and engineers later undertake supervisory and/or managerial decision-making roles."

Prior to formally proposing the establishment of the MEM program, New Mexico Tech's management department conducted a statewide survey, soliciting opinions from previously underserved populations of working scientists and engineers about the feasibility of offering a graduate-level engineering management program that would allow students to earn their degrees in one year on a full-time basis, or in two years on a part-time basis.

"We found that many areas of New Mexico do not have access to the continuing education and graduate coursework that working engineers need," Anselmo says. "This need is particularly acute in the southeast and northwest areas of the state; and this program is a direct response to this need."

Anselmo points out that all of the responses New Mexico Tech has received so far about the MEM program "have been positive," with about 75 or 80 respondents from Carlsbad, Farmington, and Socorro expressing interest in beginning the program -- at least on a part-time basis--as soon as it is offered.

The Socorro-based university also is currently negotiating with Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories to offer their engineers and scientists distance-education classes through the MEM program at a proposed New Mexico Tech building in Albuquerque.

"The work we've put in to establish this graduate program has already proved productive for New Mexico Tech, particularly in terms of support from some of the larger corporations and businesses around the state," Anselmo says.

"A lot of these companies are truly excited about the MEM program, mostly because it's an opportunity to 'home-grow' our own executives here in New Mexico, rather than bring management personnel in from out-of-state," he adds.

The MEM program also will help with new business startups in the state, Anselmo says, as well as with ongoing technology transfer projects.

Plans to establish a MEM program at New Mexico Tech began in earnest in August 2001; however, instituting a MEM program at the university was actually not a new idea: efforts mounted by Tech petroleum engineering professor William Lyons preceded the current successful bid to establish such a program at the research university by more than six or seven years.

"But it wasn't until this year, with all of us putting our noses to the grindstone, that we were able to garner the approvals of the [Tech] faculty council, the board of regents, the Association of Graduate Deans of New Mexico, the New Mexico Academic Council of Higher Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and, finally, the New Mexico State Board of Finance," Anselmo says.

Anselmo specifically gives credit to David Johnson, Tech's dean of graduate studies, Peter Gerity, Tech's vice president for academic affairs, W. Dennis Peterson, Tech's vice president for administration and finance, and Tech President Daniel López for being instrumental in supporting and garnering support for the MEM program through all the approval stages.

"Without them, I'm just a guy out here yelling in the middle of nowhere," he says.

The New Mexico Tech MEM program's curriculum, beginning with the two classes offered this fall, is modeled after similar engineering management program offerings -- many of which are also new programs at other leading universities, including MIT, Stanford, Colorado School of Mines, University of Texas at Austin, and Texas Tech.

"However, our program is unique because a lot of our course material will be linked to the management department's association with New Mexico Tech's Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA) and Information Technology (IT) program," Anselmo points out. "And, our department's ongoing working relationships with the computer science department and all the engineering disciplines here at New Mexico Tech can only help us tailor this new graduate program to the specific needs of working engineers in New Mexico."




For a catalog description of the program, see

To apply for this program through Distance Education, see http://www.nmt.edu/~de/admissions.html