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Rockstraw elected to leadership positions in national engineering group

David A. Rockstraw, chemical engineering department head at New Mexico State University, was recently nominated, elected and seated to the following positions in the National Society of Professional Engineers: Board of Directors (Interest Groups representative), House of Delegates (Professional Engineers in Higher Education representative) and Education Foundation Trustee.


This is a head-and-shoulders photo of David Rockstraw.
NMSU Chemical Engineering Department Head David A. Rockstraw has been elected to two leadership positions in a national organization committed to addressing the professional concerns of licensed professional engineers across all disciplines. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Rockstraw served as chair of the Professional Engineers in Higher Education interest group within the National Society of Professional Engineers in 2010-2011 academic year. The NSPE is a national organization committed to addressing the professional concerns of licensed professional engineers across all disciplines. PEHE is one of six interest groups within the organization, representing professional engineers in academia.

Rockstraw served as chair-elect during the 2009-2010 academic year, following two years as Southwest Region vice chair. In 2009, Rockstraw received an Engineering Education Excellence award from the same interest group.

Rockstraw was appointed chemical engineering department head in 2012. He joined the NMSU chemical engineering faculty in 1995 with more than eight years of industrial experience with E.I. duPont de Nemours Co., Conoco Corp., Ethyl Corp., and Kraft Inc. Rockstraw's research program is as diverse as his industrial background, and includes research in the areas of materials, separations and reaction kinetics. Rockstraw, a licensed professional engineer in the state of New Mexico, consults for numerous clientele, and works as an expert witness on litigation involving chemical reactor explosions, patent and trade secret assessment, and spontaneous combustion fires.

Rockstraw serves as the adviser to NMSU's student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, which has been recognized as Outstanding Student Chapter for three consecutive years and was honored for Outstanding Student Chapter Website in 2009. The group boasts 100 percent student membership for the past several years.

Rockstraw received a bachelor's degree from Purdue University and a doctoral degree from Oklahoma University, both in chemical engineering. He holds three patents.