Mr. Hightower is a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico in the Center for Water and the Environment, and Program Director of the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium, a joint effort by the NM Environment Department and New Mexico State University. Mike is a technical consultant to Sandia National Laboratories in the areas of water treatment, desalination, and energy and infrastructure resiliency research where he worked for 38 years. Mike holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from New Mexico State University and has experience in aerospace, weapons, energy, and natural resources research, analysis, and engineering. His focus in the past two decades has been in the development of innovative distributed energy and water technologies to improve critical infrastructure and natural resource security, resiliency, and sustainability.
The Evaluation Panel members have been carefully chosen for their knowledge and experience. Each member scores and comments on the submissions assigned to them. Each valid submission will receive five sets of reviews that have been statistically normalized. Informed by the resulting ranking of submissions with consideration to diversity of solutions, up to five Finalists will be named.