Sandia Labs News Releases

Labs Director to make historic visit to Navajo Nation

Building research, recruitment partnership with Navajo Technical University

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On March 17, Sandia National Laboratories Director Dr. James Peery will make an historic visit to Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, New Mexico, marking the first time a sitting national lab director has visited a tribal college or university. The event is designed to build on the growing partnership Sandia has started with NTU.

Lab Director James Peery

Sandia National Laboratories Director Dr. James Peery. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

What: Labs Director visits Navajo Technical University
Friday, March 17, 8:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; visual highlights 10:30 a.m. – noon
Navajo Technical University, Lowerpoint Rd. State Hwy 371, Crownpoint, NM, 87313
Contact Kim Vallez Quintana at or 505-537-3294 to confirm attendance.
NTU media contact: Dale Morgan,

The partnership is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Minority Serving Institution Partnership Plan, which helps national labs partner with tribal colleges and universities that prepare students for technical careers in NNSA’s laboratories and production plants.

Navajo Technical University is a tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institution with a main campus in Crownpoint and two smaller campuses in Chinle and Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. NTU offers programs focusing on advanced manufactured metal parts, certification of 3D-printed metal parts, inspection methodologies and techniques, including equipment operation, and optical metrology, including testing and characterization of materials; all skills that can be beneficial to Sandia’s mission.

In August 2018, with the help of Sandia, NTU obtained accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology for its industrial engineering and electrical engineering programs. Having an ABET accreditation allows Sandia to hire NTU graduates. Prior to this, area students who wanted to pursue a career at the national labs would have to attend another ABET accredited university, such as the University of New Mexico, first.

Over the next five years, Sandia will be working with NTU on an initiative to dramatically increase the number of Native American researchers in advanced manufacturing, power and energy engineering and other technology disciplines. The partnership will work to build the first electrical engineering masters and doctoral program at NTU. Sandia will provide internship opportunities to Native American engineering students at NTU, subject matter experts in electrical engineering disciplines in power and energy and technical assistance in power system dynamics and optimization.

Sandia is also working with NTU to expand programs in other disciplines, including chemical and mechanical engineering.

During the visit, Peery will meet with NTU leadership and get a firsthand look at its programs and how the partnership has helped NTU grow. He will also tour the advanced manufacturing and energy systems labs.

Media is invited to attend the visit, see NTU facilities and speak with NTU and Sandia leadership.

    • 9:00 a.m.: Welcome, by NTU President Dr. Elmer Guy
    • 9:15 a.m.: Welcome by NTU provost Dr. Colleen Bowman
    • 9:45 a.m.: Sandia National Laboratories Director address – Dr. James Peery
    • 10:50 a.m.: Advanced Manufacturing tour
    • 11:30 a.m.: Energy Systems Lab tour
    • 12:00 p.m.: Tour ends/Lunch
    • 1:30 p.m.: Visit ends

The tour of the facilities will be the most visual portion of the visit.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and 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. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.

Sandia news media contact: Kim Vallez Quintana,, 505-537-3294