Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia, University of Illinois sign research agreement

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have signed an extensive, five-year agreement that aims to solve science and technology problems of national importance.

The enhanced partnership has three principal goals: solve big problems, sustain and engage human capital and accelerate technology adoption.

The agreement will augment connections between national research universities and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, such as Sandia.

Goals include providing opportunities for students and faculty to experience research work at a national lab; joint recruiting of top graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty; increasing transfer of technology from Sandia and the university to the private and federal sectors; and collaborating to address nationally significant problems.

Said Sandia President and Labs Director Paul Hommert, “This agreement advances the long-standing partnership that we have with the University of Illinois to a more strategic level and will serve as a model for productive collaborations between Sandia and other national research universities.”

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Chancellor Phyllis Wise said, “We are excited by the potential this partnership presents. With a greater Sandia presence here in Champaign-Urbana and an Illinois presence at the Sandia campus, there will be a two-way street of innovation that fosters the development and actualization of radical new technologies that support future research relationships.”

Said Russ Skocypec, Sandia’s campus executive for the University of Illinois, “As this relationship unfolds, the guiding ideology will be that of a culture of collaboration that propels this country’s research agenda forward.”

Jeffrey Binder, director of UIUC’s Applied Research Institute, which will host Sandia at its facility in UIUC’s Research Park, said, “This partnership will help the University of Illinois establish a firm foothold in emerging technical arenas such as digital manufacturing and data science, and it provides Sandia a clear conduit to the technical and human capabilities on this campus. We’re enthusiastically setting a program in motion that will help improve national security and commercial opportunities over the coming years.”

By fostering collaboration between a national lab and a prominent national research university, the partnership will take a multidisciplinary approach to solving big national problems and to introducing new technologies into the industrial and federal marketplace. A key goal is to engage early-career researchers at both institutions to work on complex problems of practical importance.

The partners plan to significantly increase interactions between the two campuses by spring. In the future, opportunities for joint faculty appointments and for research sabbaticals are expected to further intensify collaborations. To accommodate vital national needs, UIUC also expects to establish a classified research program.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., 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