Reilly Knox.
Courtesy photo

SOCORRO – Three seniors pursuing engineering degrees from New Mexico Tech, including one Rio Rancho High School graduate, are being honored for their outstanding academic careers, activities and contributions.

RRHS alum Reilly Knox, along with his fellow Tech students Brandon McReynolds and Britney Green, recently received recognition from the Albuquerque Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers (NMSPE). Their awards were presented via Zoom during the chapter’s E-Week Conference earlier this year.

All three students are scheduled to graduate May 14 with bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

According to Corey Leclerc, dean of the Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech, three students from the three major technical universities in New Mexico are recommended for the outstanding engineer award by faculty members who are also professional engineers. Leclerc arranged an awards luncheon for the New Mexico Tech students on campus to celebrate their awards.

Knox will soon receive a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering. He plans to attend Pennsylvania State University to pursue a doctorate in materials science and engineering.

Knox said he knew in high school that he wanted to study a science, technology, engineering and math-related field and had a strong interest in chemistry, physics and math.

“Near the end of my junior year of high school, I felt like the odd man out because most of my classmates already knew what they wanted to study and where they wanted to do it,” he said. “There was a senior in one of my classes who was going to the (Colorado) School of Mines on an athletic scholarship. I had not heard of the school before, so I looked it up and started browsing their list of majors, saw materials engineering in the list, read up on it and haven’t so much as thought about doing anything else since then.”

He spent two years at the Colorado School of Mines before transferring to New Mexico Tech.

At Tech, Knox is a member of the Computational Microstructure Physics Group, which does research in the area of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering under Deep Choudhuri, assistant professor of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. Knox has been working on an Army Research Laboratory project studying the structure of melted materials, gathering that can be applied in certain types of manufacturing.

Knox is an officer in the Materials Engineering Society and a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He volunteered weekly as a teacher’s aide for a freshman algebra class at a local high school when he was a member of the society’s Colorado Alpha chapter at the Colorado School of Mines.