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Patricia Sullivan recognized by energy leaders

The New Mexico Association of Energy Engineers has named New Mexico State University Assistant Dean of Engineering Patricia Sullivan its 2010 Executive of the Year.

The New Mexico Association of Energy Executives named Patricia Sullivan, associate dean of NMSU's College of Engineering, 2010 Energy Executive of the Year. Jack McGowan, NMAEE award chairman, presented the award. (Photo courtesy of the New Mexico Association of Energy Engineers)

Each year NMAEE, in conjunction with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, holds an annual awards ceremony to recognize New Mexico professionals for energy excellence and activity. Jack McGowan, NMAEE award chairman, said that Sullivan's revitalization of NMSU's energy programs and her work with NMSU electrical engineering Professor Satish Ranade were important factors in the decision that lead to Sullivan receiving the award.

"Her leadership with the New Mexico Green Grid Initiative and her work with NMSU made us realize that this is someone we want to recognize," McGowan said.

The New Mexico Green Grid project is a statewide advancement effort to implement green grid technologies, such as micro-grid and smart-grid technology, within the state. Sullivan played a significant role in the implementation of this technology at NMSU.

NMSU's Electric Utility Management Program is completely unique; it's the only such program in the country. NMSU is one of only a handful of universities that offer degrees in electric power engineering. In its 40-plus years of existence, the program has graduated nearly 300 students with master's of science degrees in electrical engineering, seven of whom have become CEOs of public utilities.

Sullivan's responsibilities greatly contribute to the continued success of the program. As an assistant dean, her responsibilities include development of external and corporate relations to expand collaborative partnerships that support education, research and outreach within the various engineering disciplines. She is also the primary contact for electricity programs and interfaces with El Paso Electric, the state of New Mexico, New Mexico Green Grid, the Galvan Electricity Initiative and several other groups.

As assistant dean, Sullivan is responsible for corporate relations, development, student career services and administration of the College of Engineering's scholarship awards. In the five years that she has served as assistant dean, the college's endowment has more than doubled to $24 million, endowed chairs and professorships have grown to 14, and scholarship awards have increased from $350,000 to $1.5 million.

Sullivan has worked at NMSU for 26 years. Previous to her current position, she was the assistant director of WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development, based in the College of Engineering. She also held positions at the Border Research Institute as assistant program coordinator, program coordinator, assistant director and associate director.

Sullivan received a bachelor's degree in biology from NMSU with a minor in chemistry. She also holds a master's degree in public utility economics from NMSU and is an industrial engineering doctoral candidate. She is a past board member of the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority and currently serves on the authority's Tax Allocation Committee. She also is a founding board member of the Enchantment Land Certified Development Co., an entity that enhances economic development opportunities in New Mexico by providing Small Business Administration 504 loan programs for new and expanding businesses across the state.