New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently appointed New Mexico State University Professor Ahmed Elaksher to serve on the New Mexico Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors, a position that will draw on his expertise and give him new insight and opportunities to further engineering education.
Practitioners of engineering and surveying engineering in New Mexico must be licensed, requiring an approved four-year degree in the profession, completion of at least a four-year internship and have passed relevant exams.
Elaksher, program coordinator for the geomatics program in the Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering Department, has been involved in research and teaching surveying and geomatics since 1995. He is a licensed professional engineer and a licensed professional surveyor in the state of New Mexico. He serves as secretary to the board.
Elaksher led a recent curricular revamp of NMSU’s surveying engineering program, the only four-year degree program in geomatics/surveying engineering in New Mexico. The new geomatics degree features studies of advanced technologies such as satellites, drones and high-resolution scanners. The program has agreements with two-year institutions for students to complete the four-year degree and offers all courses through distance education to enable flexible ways for degree completion. It was developed with substantial direction and support from industry, state and national professional societies, resulting in a doubling of enrollment and continued growth. NMSU geomatics graduates have 100% employment and earn very competitive salaries.
Under his tutelage, the bachelor’s degree program in geomatics was accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of ABET this past year. ABET is the global accreditor of college and university programs in engineering and engineering technology and assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.
NMSU’s geomatics program has gained national recognition receiving awards and funds for program support and scholarships amounting to about $500,000 over the past several years. These came from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Education, New Mexico Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors, Public Service Company of New Mexico, New Mexico Gas Company, New Mexico Professional Surveyors and others.
“This recognition is particularly meaningful, indicating that the recent redesign of the NMSU geomatic curriculum program has been very successful,” said College of Engineering Dean Lakshmi N. Reddi. “Dr. Elaksher has been very instrumental in growing a program that is important and needed by our state and nation. Surveying engineers will be in even more demand with the new infrastructure funding that is now in place.”