Published: May 2, 2022 By

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A new initiative between the College of Engineering and Applied Science and Sandia National Laboratories aims to develop areas of mutual research interest and support broader STEM workforce development among graduate students.

Announced in April by then Associate Dean for Research Massimo Ruzzene, this university-government research partnership includes a commitment by the college of $250,000 of internal seed grant funds to support collaboration with lab researchers. That money was matched by the lab to fund five faculty-led projects selected based on a set of their specific research topics and priorities.

Ruzzene said Sandia National Laboratories is a natural partner for the college for many reasons. 

“Not only because they are geographically close to us, but because our research interests, strengths and long-term goals as institutions are closely aligned,” Ruzzene said. “I am confident this new partnership framework will result in both important and applicable research findings and help develop the STEM workforce of tomorrow by broadening exposure among graduate students to national lab activities, priorities, and culture.”

Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Faculty leads for this initiative come from the civil, mechanical, aerospace, and the electrical, computer and energy departments. Together, the seed grant funded project represent research into several key topics including materials and cyber-security.

The $500,000 combined funding from the new initiative nearly doubles the overall shared research portfolio between the college and lab – bringing the total to about $1 million. Ruzzene said the college was planning new in-person events and community building activities to celebrate the seed grant projects as well the other ongoing research partnerships with the lab in the college.

“This is another chapter in an already long and productive partnership between our college and Sandia,” he said.