Image of Ken Armijo at the ceremony holding the SHPE STAR award.

Sandia CSP researcher awarded 2021 SHPE STAR Award

November 24, 2021 10:00 am Published by

Sandia National Laboratories’ concentrating solar power researcher Ken Armijo was recently awarded a 2021 SHPE Technical Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Award during the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers’ (SHPE) 2021 National Convention held Nov. 10-14, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.

For almost 50 years, SHPE has recognized professional excellence, honoring Hispanics whose efforts advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. One of the awards bestowed at the event is the Innovator Award, which recognizes individuals who have made innovative contributions to the fields of science and engineering and hold at least one patent. Ken was recognized for his patents, copyrights, and publications, which are primarily focused in energy, thermal hydraulics, and engineering.

Ken first made a difference working with his local SHPE academic chapter. He became involved while pursuing his mechanical engineering undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2000. At UNM, he served in multiple officer roles and actively participated in regional and national SHPE conferences, where he presented papers and posters annually.

Since then, Ken has helped make the local SHPE professional chapter thrive. It is currently composed of professionals from as many as 21 different industry, government, and academic entities. Over 3,000 students, parents, and teachers have participated in Noche de Ciencias, DreamBuilders and Sandia’s Manos program events at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC), professional development seminars both in university and public spaces, and mentorship events around Albuquerque and in rural areas in Central New Mexico. New Mexico SHPE has hosted events such as the Résumé Workshop, which is held annually at the University of New Mexico, and has attracted over 200 students, from college freshman to PhDs, every year.

Ken was also recognized for his educational outreach performed over the last two decades. From organizing tutoring and mentorship events such as Hermanitos and Saturday Science Academy for 5th – 12th graders in Albuquerque, to promoting mentorship between the graduate and undergraduate students, Ken has given back to his community, taking a special interest in the challenges facing Hispanic students and those from low-income and immigrant populations.

“This experience was moving not only for me, but for my family, who worked so hard to attain the American dream,” Ken said. “Since I was young, they have always encouraged my sister and I to get an education and go after our dreams. This award is also a testament to all of the hard work my Sandia Team and I are doing, not just in energy and climate security, but for all the lives we are impacting through our important work and education outreach.”

To learn more about the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, visit SHPE. To see the complete list of STAR winners, visit the 2021 STAR Awards. Learn more about Concentrating Solar Power at the NSTTF.

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