Kenneth Armijo, a senior member of technical staff in Sandia’s Concentrating Solar Technologies department, was recently featured in the Spring issue of the University of New Mexico Alumni Association’s Magazine, Mirage.
In the article, Kenneth recounts how his childhood experience working on his parent’s chile farm taught him that farmers “had to engineer to survive.” This became the catalyst that propelled him into the field of engineering. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at UNM, where he was named a 2017 distinguished alumnus. He also has a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Management of Technology Certificate from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a Designated Emphasis in Energy Science and Technology certification.
After contemplating career opportunities that included teaching as a professor or working in the private sector, he concluded that a national laboratory would be an ideal fit. “I realized there was something about a national lab that was great at bridging interests,” he says.
At Sandia, Kenneth specializes in phase-change materials, investigating ways to produce greater efficiency and cleaner power production, with a focus in concentrating solar power. Outside of work, he is involved in community outreach activities that promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers. He also organizes workshops at UNM to help students in various areas of professional development.
Top photo courtesy of UNM Alumni Association.