Board of Directors

Tito Busani, President, Chair

Dr. Busani is a Research Associate Professor, and Nanofab manager at the University of New Mexico.
Tito Busani worked as process engineer at STMicroelectronics and as research engineer at IMEC prior to earning a doctoral degree in Physics and Nano Materials at the University of Grenoble in France with distinction. His topic of study was on high k materials and gate oxides. He continued to work on MOSFETs transistors reliability and memories during his postdoc funded by the AFRL. He joined the University of New Mexico in 2013 as research faculty, and he is also the Nano Fab Manager at the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). In the past 5 years his research has focused on energy materials and wide bandgap materials. Particularly he has worked on tip metrology and tip lithography and imaging as well as on photovoltaic and thermoelectric. His current research interest is 1D nanostructured materials, near field spectroscopy, nano lasers and nano membranes, and their integration into multi-functional devices.

Ganesh Balakrishnan

Dr. Ganesh Balakrishnan is an Associate Professor and Regents’ Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He is also the Associate director for the Center for High Technology Materials and the Chair of the Optical Science and Engineering graduate program at UNM. His area of expertise is in the development of semiconductor electronic and optoelectronic devices, and semiconductor crystal growth using molecular beam epitaxy.  Dr. Balakrishnan has published 98 peer reviewed journal articles, 56 conference proceedings and has given over 40 conference presentations (five invited). He is on the program committee for several conferences including the electronics materials conference (MRS-EMC), IEEE Photonics Society Conference, the North American MBE conference (NAMBE), the International MBE conference, the Rio Grande Symposium for Advanced Materials (RGSAM) and the Indium Phosphide and related materials conference (IPRM). He was the program chair for NAMBE in 2012 and 2017.

Robert Balch

Dr. Robert Balch is the Director of the Petroleum Recovery Research Center located on the campus of New Mexico Tech. He also holds Adjunct Professor positions in Petroleum Engineering and Geophysics and has been research advisor to more than 45 graduate students. During his 22 years at the PRRC he has been principal Investigator on a range of enhanced oil recovery, intelligent systems, and environmental projects. Dr. Balch is the Principal Investigator of the Southwest Partnership on Carbon Sequestration, which is currently performing a DOE funded demonstration project where 1,000,000 metric tonnes of anthropogenic CO2 is being injected for combined storage and enhanced oil recovery into a mature waterflood in North Texas. Dr. Blach has published more than 48 papers and has presented his research at more than 100  events. In 2017 he was selected as a  Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers on the topic of CO2 storage during enhanced oil recovery. Dr. Balch held an appointment as an Oil Conservation Commissioner for the State of New Mexico between June of 2011 and December of 2018.

Patricia A. Sullivan

Dr. Sullivan serves as Director for Strategic Initiatives and Associate Dean for Outreach and Recruitment in the College of Engineering.  With over 34 years’ experience at NMSU, Dr. Sullivan provides direction for advancing system-wide strategic initiatives as well as directing statewide engineering extension and outreach and recruitment programs. Dr. Sullivan serves as Co-PI for a NSF INCLUDES pilot grant to broaden participation in STEM, and is PI for EPA and USDA grants to advance adoption of energy efficiency and pollution prevention best practices by business and industry statewide. She is a member of the board of directors for Enchantment Land Certified Development Company and serves on the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority’s Tax Allocation Committee. She has received the NM Distinguished Public Service Award, the Outstanding MAESstro Bravo Award from the national MAES organization, was named a Women of Influence by Albuquerque Business First, was named Energy Executive of the Year by the NM Association of Energy Engineers, and is a graduate of the Leadership New Mexico program. Most recently, she was elected to the Board of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) College Industry Partnership Division.

Olivia D. Underwood

Dr. Olivia D. Underwood is a native of Brent, Alabama. She is an R&D S&E Systems Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, where she is also a Principal Member of the Technical Staff. Her work has been recognized internationally. In 2017, she was selected as one of the two USA Early Career Scholars to attend the European Microbeam Analysis Society & International Union of Microbeam Analysis Society 2017 Conference to present her research on abnormal grain growth in a nickel alloy. Underwood received her B.S. and M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2008 and 2009. In 2015, she became the first African-American to receive her Ph.D. from the Materials Science program at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.  Dr. Underwood has had the opportunity to broaden her engineering mindset and approach through a breadth of work experiences with Honda, Chevron Oil Refinery, American Cast Iron & Pipe Co. Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Underwood is an active member of The Minerals, Metal & Materials Society, and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She serves on the Sandia Women’s Action Network, and is an alumna of the Gates Millennium Scholars program. She has published several technical journal articles in her field. Recently, she was selected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for New Mexico Voices for Children. In 2019, she was awarded the following: Black Engineer of the Year – Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award, Dr. Frank Crossley Diversity Award, and she was also selected to be a part of the 2019 Forty under Forty Class by Albuquerque Business First. 

Daren Zigich

Mr. Zigich is currently the Engineering Technology Program Manager at the NM Energy Conservation and Management Division at the NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and is the principal investigator for the, DOE grant funded, NM Energy Roadmap Project. Zigich is a licensed professional engineer and has more than 30 years of professional work experience in both the public and private sector. His work history includes a range of experiences from being an engineer in the manned space program to an environmental regulator and multiple years as an engineer in the private energy sector including the fuel ethanol and nuclear power industries. Zigich holds a Bachelor’s of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Degree from the University of Minnesota and a Masters of Mechanical Engineering Degree from New Mexico State University. 

Advisors to the Consortium

Diane Burke

Diane Burke is CEO of Burke & Associates LLC providing consulting, coaching and facilitation in strategic analysis, workforce/economic development and leadership development. In her previous positions at Central New Mexico Community College she was the Dean of Applied Technologies for programs in transportation, manufacturing, construction and mechanical trades, design and apprenticeships; she also served as the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development and as the Executive Director of Global Education which established a global education office to provide local students with global education competencies and attracted new international students to the college. Ms. Burke has worked with Sun Microsystems facilitating marketing boot camps for their marketing teams in the US, Europe and Asia. She directed a network of 80 US offices of the U.S. Commercial Service to help businesses enter new markets. Ms. Burke has an MBA and a BA Psychology from Rutgers University. 

Jim Crimmins

Mr. Crimmins is the General Manager of CFV Solar Test Laboratory, Inc., a leading Photovoltaic product development and test lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  CFV helps clients bring their PV products to market and provides performance and reliability validation and certification services for PV modules, racking and tracking systemsPrior to his involvement in the solar business, Mr. Crimmins held executive positions in finance with Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley.  He has also done advisory work for several Cleantech companies in Southwestern Colorado, including an electric car rental company, a biodegradable water bottle company, and a global clean water drinking foundation. Mr. Crimmins received a B.A. in Economics from Yale College in 1983, and an M.S. in Physics from Harvard University in 1987.  Read more at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-crimmins-934a8625/