August 15, 2007

Sandia spearheads the formation of the National Institute for Nano-Engineering

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Sandia National Laboratories has entered into a relationship with universities and industries around the country to establish the National Institute for Nano-Engineering (NINE).

The partnership has been driven by concerns over the health of America’s science and engineering education and innovation engine, as highlighted in the 2005 report ‘Rising Above the Gathering Storm’ from the National Academies.

The initial NINE members include Intel Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., IBM, Lockheed Martin Corp., Corning Inc., Goodyear Tire and Rubber, University of Wisconsin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of California at Davis, University of Florida, Yale University, Harvard University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Illinois, Rice, Notre Dame, University of New Mexico, and Harvey Mudd College. The partnership was recently made official through a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

“This group came together based on a sense of urgency and recognition that academia, American industry, and government need to work together to develop a new partnering model that will lay the foundation for the nation’s future in science and engineering,” says Richard Stulen, Sandia Vice President of Science and Technology.

NINE brings together the strong science and engineering capabilities of Sandia, the hub for NINE, leading research and teaching universities, and industrial companies that are among the world’s technology leaders.

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

NINE could be a prototype of a national innovation hub for engineering education and innovation analogous to what is going on around the globe in other countries. The recently enacted America COMPETES Act supports the establishment of Innovation Institutes to address science and engineering discovery and education.

The goal of NINE is to broaden students' education through a unique team research experience by engaging in multi-disciplinary teams working on pre-competitive research in leading-edge technical areas. Breakthrough discoveries in nano-engineering are anticipated and students will gain rich technical experience and breadth by collaborating with top institutions around the country. NINE will also expose students to other key aspects of science and engineering, including business, legal, political, and social issues.

“NINE will help develop the next generation innovations and innovators,” says Duane Dimos, Sandia Director of Materials Science and Engineering and lead for NINE.

This summer marked the beginning of the NINE technical projects and an initial education program at Sandia. The program spans the range from freshman engineering students to senior graduate students. Outreach to teachers and pre-college students will also be part of the NINE program.

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Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a 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: Michael Padilla,, (505) 284-5325