By signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a Strategic Alliance, then Sandia President and Director Paul Hommert and University of New Mexico Provost Chaouki Abdallah expanded our institutions’ commitment to work together to help redefine the future of science and engineering for national security, partner on research, and jointly recruit top researchers.

“With this MOU, Sandia and UNM commit to a deeper relationship to strengthen both organizations by exchanging personnel, developing innovative joint research programs and educating the next generation of national security leaders,” Hommert said.

UNM_LogoSaid UNM President Robert G. Frank, “In research, as in real estate, location is key! Not many research universities have a national lab as their neighbor, but we do. This agreement with Sandia Labs strengthens that close working partnership and pools our intellectual resources.”

The MOU aims to

  • explore strategies enabling the future of engineering for national security;
  • seek innovative facility partnerships that enable collaborative research; and
  • jointly recruit and hire nationally prominent researchers for UNM faculty and Sandia technical staff.
George Pearl Hall on UNM’s main campus in Albuquerque.

George Pearl Hall on UNM’s main campus in Albuquerque.

Collaborative research will focus initially on quantum computing and information science, nanoscience and microsystems engineering, nuclear engineering, high energy-density science, energy, water, cybersecurity, and bioscience for national security.

About 2,400 UNM graduates work at Sandia, many in technical areas vital to national security. The MOU will encourage exchanges and integration of researchers, faculty, and students—sharing of offices and facilities and an overall increased presence on each others’ campuses. At this time, more than 400 current UNM students are working at the Labs.

Sandia and UNM will build on their historic interactions and create more strategic relationship between the institutions, said Rob Leland, Sandia’s vice president for Science and Technology and Chief Technology Officer. “We wanted to establish a deeper collaborative relationship between Sandia and UNM as part of our new academic alliance with universities that are performing mutually beneficial research focused on science and technology relevant to national security,” Leland said.

In recent years, joint research involving UNM and Sandia led to the development of inorganic nanospheres that act as carriers for cancer-killing chemicals, collaborative work on quantum computing featured in several journals and other innovations across a broad spectrum of science and engineering fields. Overall, Sandia and UNM have undertaken more than 300 joint research projects since 1997. They share the Advanced Materials Laboratory in UNM’s Science and Technology Park, which supports collaboration among Sandia, UNM, and industry in materials research, development, and transfer to private companies for commercialization.

Sandia has also formed academic alliances in the past year with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Read the Sandia news release.