Donna Riley, Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing at The University of New Mexico, will be among eight recognized by the New Mexico Technology Council as a Women in Tech Award recipient. The honorees will be celebrated at the 2024 Women in Tech Awards on March 13 at Hotel Albuquerque.

Riley became dean of the School of Engineering on April 1, the first female to lead the School since its founding in 1906. She came to UNM from Purdue University, where she was the Kamyar Haghighi Head and Professor in the School of Engineering Education since 2017. She also holds the rank of professor in the Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at UNM.

Riley previously was professor and interim head in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, and from 2013 to 2015, served as program director for engineering education at the National Science Foundation. She spent 13 years as a founding faculty member of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a U.S. women’s college. She is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and also is vice president of scholarship for ASEE as well as an ASEE Hall of Fame member.

The Women in Tech celebration is New Mexico Technology Council’s event to honor outstanding women in STEM. Nominations are submitted by the public and reviewed by an independent panel of judges.

Several previous winners of the Women in Tech Award are members of the School of Engineering community, including Lydia Tapia, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science; Trilce Estrada, associate professor of computer science; Melanie Moses, professor of computer science and special assistant to the dean for educational initiatives; Christina Salas, UNM Engineering alumna, School of Medicine faculty and director of the Biomedical Engineering Program; former faculty member Stephanie Forrest; and alumnae Carol Adkins, Sandra Begay, Samantha Lapin and Barbara Lopez.