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NMSU engineering research ranked high in impact

New Mexico State University ranked second among U.S. universities in the impact of its engineering research published between 1993 and 1997, according to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).

The institute's rankings are based on the relative impact of an institution's research, determined by the number of references to papers written by NMSU faculty, divided by the number of papers published by the faculty. The ISI study found that NMSU faculty published 338 engineering papers between 1993 and 1997, and during that time 892 other engineering authors cited NMSU publications in their work. This ranked NMSU second behind Indiana University for engineering citations.

"This is an impressive achievement and important recognition for the university," said Charles Townley, dean of the University Library.

"Scientific papers, such as those cited for this study, are the primary means of transmission and retention of knowledge in the sciences," he said. "It is essential that scholars have access to this information as they seek to build on previous progress and achieve research goals."

J. Derald Morgan, dean of the NMSU College of Engineering, said the prestigious ranking reflects the success of the college's research vision, which was developed and implemented by NMSU engineering faculty and staff.

"This national recognition is a tribute to the hard work by faculty and our commitment to developing effective engineering programs," Morgan said. "I want to extend my congratulations and thanks to the university's research community for their efforts."

Within the engineering fields, the highest impact for papers by NMSU was in civil engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, environmental engineering and instrumentation, all of which exceeded average impact rates in their field.

In the overall rankings of 21 physical and social science fields, Harvard University took top honors, appearing in 17 of the 21 rankings. Other universities that placed in the top 10 most frequently were Stanford University, Caltech, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Washington, University of California Santa Barbara and Cornell University.

NMSU is one of only five institutions in the Rocky Mountain-Southwest area to rank in the top 10. The University of Texas at Austin appeared in two lists, while the University of Arizona, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Utah each appeared on one.

The rankings were announced in the latest issue of Science Watch, a newsletter published by the ISI. The newsletter quantitatively analyzes scientific journal literature and provides science policy makers, research administrators, science journalists and others with overviews of key developments in scientific research.