Originally published in the UNM School of Engineering News
by Kendall Tipton
Kenneth Armijo, an alumnus of the School of Engineering, was one of the recipients of the 2018 Zia Award on Sept. 29. Armijo earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2005 and his master’s and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley, where he also earned business credentials.
The Zia Award, given by the UNM Alumni Association, an award which recognizes the achievements of UNM graduates who have chosen to make New Mexico their home.
Armijo was originally inspired to pursue a career in engineering by growing up around his family’s chile farm in Sabinal, N.M. He debated where he was going to work after his academic studies, but finally found his fit at Sandia National Laboratories, where he continues to work today.
At Sandia, Armijo works as a senior member of technical staff, where he mainly focuses his work in phase-change materials, where he researches ways to produce efficiency and cleaner power, with a concentration in solar energy.
In addition to his strides in his field, Armijo’s accomplishments go far beyond his career. Armijo has been monumental in community involvement. One of his involvements, DREAMBuilders, is an annual event that demonstrates advancements in science, technology, mathematics, art and engineering. Also, Armijo works with Noche de Ciencias, a bilingual event that encourages STEM careers among Title I communities.
Armijo will be honored with the Zia Award at the All University Breakfast at 9 a.m. on Sept. 29. The event is $25, and reservations are required. For more information about the event and other Homecoming festivities, visit their website.