ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sandra Begay-Campbell, a Sandia National Laboratories engineer and a member of the Navajo Nation, was selected for the prestigious Ely S. Parker Award by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society at an honors banquet Oct. 31 in Portland, Ore.
Begay-Campbell, who has worked at Sandia for 17 years and is a principal member of the technical staff, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, AISES’s highest honor, which recognizes American Indians who have “made significant long-term contributions in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, technology, health, or related fields.” Additionally, the award honors those who have served their American Indian community “in an exemplary manner.”
Begay-Campbell received her bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico, where she also recently served as a member of the Board of Regents and currently serves on the UNM Foundation Board. She earned her master’s of science degree in structural engineering from Stanford University. Before joining Sandia in 1992, Begay-Campbell worked at both Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
For the past nine years, Begay-Campbell has led Sandia’s Tribal Energy Program, which operates as part of the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program. She has facilitated not only educational efforts in renewable energy — specifically solar electricity and wind — but has also provided technical assistance for the installation of numerous alternative energy units. Much of the Navajo Nation lacks electricity, and living in remote locations both on the Navajo Nation and elsewhere in American Indian country benefit greatly from the energy that solar and wind can bring them.
The DOE’s Tribal Energy Program technical assistance work is but one of Begay-Campbell’s achievements. Another major achievement is her work with the TEP student intern program. To date, she has mentored 18 college students from 13 different tribes as they work toward careers in the renewable energy field. Begay-Campbell is frequently called upon to participate on panels and as a guest speaker at functions throughout the U.S. In past years, she has been the recipient of the Stanford University 2000 Alumni of the Year Award, the 2005 UNM School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award, UNM 2007 Zia Alumnus Award and the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Women from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women.
Begay-Campbell is included in the book “Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers,” in the chapter “Women in Power.” The book describes her effort to provide electricity through solar panels and other alternative energy solutions to hundreds of remote tribal members on the Navajo Reservation. PBS’s DragonFlyTV highlighted some of her current work in 2008.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
Sandia media relations contact: Darrick Hurst, email@example.com (505) 844-8009