NMT Alum Receives Outstanding Young Professional Award

April 10, 2023

American Institute of Steel Construction To Honor Cristopher Montalvo ‘18

Cristopher Montalvo
Cristopher Montalvo, PE, a 2018 New Mexico Tech alum

SOCORRO, N.M. – Faculty members at New Mexico Tech who went above and beyond and always kept an open door made a difference for a young alum who will be honored as a rising star at a national conference this week. Cristopher Montalvo, PE, a 2018 NMT alum, will receive the inaugural Reidar Bjorhovde Outstanding Young Professional Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Education Foundation at a national conference in Charlotte, North Carolina April 12 to 14.

Montalvo, a Panama City, Panama, native who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a structural engineer at Dekker Perich Sabatini, an architecture firm in Albuquerque. After earning a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from NMT, Montalvo earned a master’s in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He served as president of his local American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapters at both institutions.   

Montalvo’s award is named for the late Reidar Bjorhovde, PE, Ph.D., a researcher, educator, and steel consultant who mentored young professionals. The award goes to a graduate student who is within one year of graduating or within five years of graduation. After attending NASCC: The Steel Conference, the premier educational and networking event for the structural steel industry, Montalvo will participate in steel mill and fabrication shop tours over the summer before joining the AISC Committee on Specifications meeting in Chicago in the fall.

Montalvo formed and currently chairs the Structural Engineers Association of New Mexico's Young Member's Group, which provides networking opportunities with construction industry members, technical sessions for current university students, technical sessions to learn soft skills and to assist in learning common industry standards, community outreach opportunities, and review courses for the professional engineer (PE) exam.

Montalvo credits for his success NMT’s outstanding engineering programs and their faculty members and research opportunities he had as an undergraduate. 

“The faculty in the Civil Engineering Department – Dr. Wesley Cook, Dr. Claudia Wilson, and Dr. Clinton Richardson – went above and beyond to be sure that we received a high-quality education,” he said. “They always had an open door for us to ask questions and wanted to ensure everyone understood the material. Additionally, I was allowed to research as an undergraduate student and worked with Dr. Cook studying hydraulic bridge collapse. As a result, we published a paper titled ‘Retrospective Analysis of Hydraulic Bridge Collapse’ on ASCE’s Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. This allowed me to earn a fellowship and attend Virginia Tech for my master's.”