The UNM School of Engineering hosted its annual Distinguished Alumni Award event on Nov. 17 to recognize the achievements of some of its outstanding graduates. The award ceremony was held at Sandia Resort and Casino and was hosted by Donna Riley, Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Clark Dickson, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He is owner of Dickson Process Systems LLC in Odessa, Texas, and received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1970.
  • Jennifer Toth, Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. She earned her master’s degree from the department in 1997 and is the director of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
  • Derek Smith, Department of Computer Science. He earned both a master’s and Ph.D. in computer science in 1994 and 1997, respectively. He is a professor infectious disease informatics in the U.K. in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge and the director of the Center for Pathogen Evolution, studying vaccines for flu and COVID-19.
  • Casey Anglada DeRaad and John Conover, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is founder and CEO of NewSpace Nexus, receiving her bachelor’s degree from 1985 and master’s in 1992, both in electrical engineering. Conover earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1973 and is founder of NdustriX in Silicon Valley.
  • Steven Renfro, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Renfro, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from UNM, is retired from several executive positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • Nicholas Morley, Department of Nuclear Engineering. He received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering. Morley is the Air Force senior scientist for high-power photonics and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base.
  • George Cathey, Young Alumni Award. He received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and is founder of Oxbow Ecological Engineering in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Featured image: The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award class (from left): George Cathey, Nicholas Morley, Steven Renfro, Casey DeRaad, Dean Donna Riley, John Conover, Clark Dickson, Jennifer Toth and Derek Smith. (Photo by Kate Rodriguez Duran)