Buildings, classrooms, electrical, high-speed internet, optical fiber, research laboratories – the importance of education infrastructure cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that high-quality academic and research infrastructure leads to better instruction and research, better student outcomes and increased graduation rates. 

During this year’s general election, voters statewide have the opportunity to help The University of New Mexico upgrade old and outdated technology in many key areas across campus with the passage of GO Bond C, which includes a $2 million research infrastructure upgrade project critical to research and student success. Passage of the GO Bond C will NOT increase taxes and will help generate more than 1,500 jobs across New Mexico.

Part of the funds for the Center for High Tech Materials (CHTM) will be used to address critical facility needs including an upgrade to existing facilities infrastructure, repurpose several laboratories and to acquire high-performance equipment to develop advanced capabilities for a quantum materials and technology laboratory, a field with huge growth potential following the National Quantum Initiative Act signed into law in December 2018. Quantum materials are used in high-speed communications, ultrafast computers, space explorations, defense industries and medicine.

“Quantum materials is a way for us to connect our past success to our future growth and to establish CHTM as the place to do materials research in the coming decades,” said Arash Mafi, director of the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) and physics professor. “We understand that we’ve asked the voters for a lot of support over the years for technology and for research. This additional investment will allow us to attract even more great faculty and provide more opportunities for students that will enhance greatly our mission at The University of New Mexico.”

This project was developed due to the critical need for long-neglected facility and infrastructure renewal and improvements, which will renew and upgrade critical campus-wide academic and research infrastructure on UNM’s main campus. Research is a fundamental aspect of UNM’s mission. As the only Carnegie R1 Flagship Institution in New Mexico, the development and maintenance of high-quality research infrastructure is a priority.

“Our charge is to foster a culture of excellence in research and education. This bond is very important to us because it will allow us to continue performing cutting edge research,” said Mafi. “Over the past 37 years, the CHTM has given back over $400 million to the state economy while the research at CHTM has resulted in over 600 graduate degrees many of those (graduates) are working in the state of New Mexico in the high tech industry.”

Other projects included as part of the $2 million research infrastructure project include Castetter Hall to upgrade a cage wash facility to meet laboratory standards and upgrade 40+ year-old cage/bottle washer; a 4,500 square feet of shelled space in Farris Engineering to upgrade UNM’s Innovation Plaza with inter/multi/transdisciplinary laboratory space; refurbishment of a Mechanical Engineering Lab to accommodate the operation of a hydrogen furnace and a Biology Lab Renovation to renew HVAC, casework/sinks, upgrade power and lab utilities to best support bioinformatics/genomics research in support of UNM’s interdisciplinary Data to Knowledge initiative.

For more information, visit UNM Bonds.