Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia wins three R&D 100 awards

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researchers — competing in an international pool of universities, corporations and government labs — captured three R&D 100 Awards in this year’s contest.

R&D Magazine presents the awards each year to researchers whom its editors and independent judging panels determine have developed the year’s 100 most outstanding advances in applied technologies.

The awards, with their focus on practical impact rather than pure research, reward entrants for the design, development, testing and production of their innovations. The sole criterion for winning, according to the magazine, is “demonstrable technological significance compared with competing products and technologies.” Properties noted by judges include smaller size, faster speed, greater efficiency and higher environmental consciousness.

The winners of the awards, sometimes referred to “the Oscars of invention,” will receive plaques at a formal banquet this fall.

The Sandia winners are:

  • Membrane Projection Lithography, submitted by Bruce Burckel. This fabrication technique enables the creation of a diverse array of microscopic 3D structures with macroscopic impact. For instance, the technique can be used to create 3-dimensional integrated circuits, the next step in the evolution of 2-dimensional microprocessors. It is also capable of creating structured electromagnetic materials. Currently, the technique is being used to make thermal antennas which can control the direction of heat emitted from an object, potentially easing cooling and heating needs for satellites or perhaps even buildings and cars.
  • Mantevo Suite 1.0, submitted by Mike Heroux, is an integrated collection of small software programs (miniapps) that model the performance of full-scale applications, yet  require code only a fraction of the size of the full application. The Mantevo project pioneered the miniapp concept, and Mantevo Suite 1.0 is the first integrated collection of full-featured miniapps. Miniapps have emerged as central components of computer system co-design in an era of rapid architectural changes. Major companies like Intel, IBM, NVIDIA, AMD, Cray, along with universities and national laboratories, use miniapps for rapid design-space exploration in the development of the next generation of high-performance computers. The work was done in collaboration with, among others, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories,  and Santa Clara-based NVIDIA Corp.
  • Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT), submitted by Cliff Ho. As alternative energies spread, many agencies are raising concerns over glare from solar energy installations and their impacts on pilots, air traffic controllers, and motorists.  SGHAT addresses new federal guidelines requiring quantified assessments of glare from proposed solar installations.  The web-based tool can quickly locate a site, outline the proposed array, and identify glare throughout the year, calculating the glare’s intensity and size to predict potential ocular hazards. The tool also can predict annual energy production of proposed arrays and evaluate alternative designs, layouts, and locations to identify those configurations that maximize energy production while mitigating glare impact.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, 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 news media contact: Neal Singer,, 505-845-7078.