Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tech Management To Pair Students With Socorro Businesses

Mountain Mail reports

SOCORRO - The Management Department at New Mexico Tech and the national laboratories are partnering on a new project to pair management and engineering students with Socorro small businesses.
Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories are providing funding through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program so that students can assess the technology needs of small business firms and provide input for solving specific problems.
Divided into two teams, the senior level students are working with veterinary clinic Animal Haven, and Intor Inc., a thin-film optics manufacturer in Socorro.
The Animal Haven project, funded by Los Alamos National Laboratory, is focused on developing an inexpensive technology solution to a manual recordkeeping problem. The project team’s task is to devise a stream-lined method of digitally tracking medications at the veterinary clinic.
To comply with federal regulations, veterinary clinics must keep copious records of their medications. The students are tasked with developing a fully automated and cost-effective technique of tracking medications.
The Intor project is funded by Sandia labs. The 15-year-old company on the north side of Socorro manufactures optical thin films that filter all light except for certain wavelengths. These thin films are used in a variety of devices, including blood scanners, spectrometers, other biomedical devices and range finders.
The project team’s challenge is twofold: first, they will assess the company’s thin film technology to identify opportunities for improvement, and then the students will conduct a market analysis with an eye towards finding areas of potential growth.
Winclechter said they learned as much as they can about Intor’s niche within the optics industry so they can narrow down their focus for a marketing development plan.
Intor co-owner Scott Botko said he jumped at the opportunity to partner with management students at New Mexico Tech.
“These students are all studying business and management and I don’t have any background in that,” Botko said.
Management Department chair Peter Anselmo, said these partnerships should be the first of many projects under this program that will showcase the capabilities of Tech students.
“Tech provides a uniquely rigorous and stimulating student environment,” Anselmo said.

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