Yu-Lin Shen, professor and chair of The University of New Mexico Department of Mechanical Engineering, is the recipient of the PNM Chair for Renewable Energy Research.


The endowment, first established at UNM in 1985 thanks to a gift from the PNM Resources Foundation and matching funds from the state of New Mexico, had resided in the College of Education, but under the terms of the agreement, it was decided to move it to the Department of Mechanical Engineering for the next several years.

The holder of the PNM chair is responsible for allocating the funds in the account. Shen said that funding from the PNM endowment will be used toward renewable energy-related research, such as the mechanics and reliability of photovoltaic devices and packages. The mechanical engineering department also has a variety of research activities on all major forms of renewable energy — including wind and solar — as well as student capstone design programs involving alternative power systems, such as the solar boat and the electric car.

Shen said he is extremely grateful for being selected as the endowed chair.

“Aside from the funding support, it is very exciting to gain this prestigious affiliation with a great community partner,” he said. “The recognition is also a testament to the devotion and quality work demonstrated by the faculty, staff and students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering over the years.”

Shen said he is very appreciative of the support from the university administration and the dean of the School of Engineering, Christos Christodoulou.

PNM Resources Foundation Executive Director Laurie Roach said their foundation is driven by the needs in the community, and clean energy is of great interest to all.

“The PNM Resources Foundation congratulates the entire UNM Department of Mechanical Engineering and especially those working on renewable energy solutions,” Roach said. “New Mexico communities can truly be leaders in mitigating climate change through partnerships like these. We are happy to support programs for students who will help keep our environment green and clean for future generations.”