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NMSU electrical engineering professor, Las Cruces native studies acoustics

As an assistant professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New Mexico State University, Steven Sandoval is conducting research that could affect acoustics and signal processing.


Man standing outside
Steven Sandoval, who has two degrees from New Mexico State University, returned in fall 2016 as an assistant professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, thanks to a grant from the Minority Doctoral Assistance Loan for Service Program. (NMSU photo by Tiffany Acosta)

“My research is rather abstract and mathematical, however, the gist of it can be described as how do you describe a signal simultaneously in time and frequency, when frequency is not assumed to be constant. I’ve developed a framework for describing signals in this manner which has many potential applications, such as acoustics, radar signal processing.

“I’ve spent a lot of time doing research in acoustics and speech signal processing and subsequently found that the framework currently in use by most researchers had certain limitations that could be avoided. Thus, I proposed a more general framework for doing these analyses, in which the current framework is a special case of the more general framework I proposed.”

A Las Cruces, New Mexico, native, Sandoval earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in electrical engineering from NMSU.

He returned to NMSU and joined the College of Engineering faculty in fall 2016 after earning a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Arizona State University in May 2016.

While pursuing his master’s degree, the Onate High School graduate was a research assistant for Phillip De Leon, associate dean of research, and Laura Boucheron, associate professor, and worked on advanced technologies in speech processing. Sandoval’s research resulted in a speech coding patent and published journal paper.

Sandoval returned to his alma mater after receiving a grant from the Minority Doctoral Assistance Loan for Service Program, which allots $15,000 per year for up to four years.

Sandoval said he enjoys being a member of the NMSU faculty, “the NMSU community is very welcoming and friendly.”

With his third semester as an assistant professor concluding this month, Sandoval said the biggest challenge as a faculty member is the same as a graduate student – time management.

As someone who was an engineering student at NMSU, Sandoval encourages students interested in following the same path to be aware of deadlines and sources for potential funding. He added it is also important for students to know their department faculty since they may provide assistance and write letters of recommendation or sponsor a scholarship or program.

“Apply to every program you are interested and qualify for – get used to rejection, it doesn’t matter if you are not chosen for every program/scholarship you apply for, the ones you are awarded make it worth the effort,” he said.