March 17, 2008

Sandia, UNM presidents to sign MOU to aid students, improve research opportunities

Presidents Tom Hunter, Sandia National Laboratories, and David J. Schmidly, University of New Mexico, sign an MOU between the two partners. (Photo by Randy Montoya)
Presidents Tom Hunter, Sandia National Laboratories, and David J. Schmidly, University of New Mexico, sign an MOU between the two partners.
(Photo by Randy Montoya)
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —David Schmidly and Tom Hunter, respective presidents of the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories, will sign a memorandum of understanding expected to improve cooperation between their respective institutions in a ceremony to take place Tuesday, March 18, at 9 a.m. at Sandia.

Media will be able to interview both presidents from 9:45 to 10 a.m.

An abstract backdrop will feature clustered data in informatics and cognition.

Interested media people should arrive at 8:45 a.m. at Sandia’s contractor gate, located on Eubank Boulevard just south of the employee gate, itself about a mile south of Central Avenue. Because the ceremony will take place in the visualization center of a computer building located in a classified area at Sandia, only reporters who are U.S. citizens will be admitted. Reporters will be escorted off base at 10 a.m.  Please call Iris Aboytes at (505) 844-2282 to be listed for admittance.

(News media who have never been to Sandia must furnish their date of birth and Social Security numbers, as well as media affiliation.)

Among the intents of the MOU is to enhance opportunities for top students from UNM to find placement at Sandia, and to assure that the university is viewed as one of the most competitive suppliers of top talent to Sandia.

Other goals include securing external funding for research projects in computing and information infrastructure that include LambdaRail — a new, high-speed version of the Internet.

Also highlighted: informatics (an emerging area of information research with a wealth of applications in data-rich fields like biology, ecology, climate science and homeland defense), and cognition (targeting rapid advances in health sciences and national security).

Creation of the Institute for Science and Engineering Studies (ISES) is expected to support these themes through joint recruiting and appointments, as well as shared access to laboratory facilities and intellectual property agreements. 

The cooperative agreement is expected eventually to upgrade the quality of science and technology in the Albuquerque area.

The University of New Mexico is the state’s largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state’s only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico’s only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation.

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: Neal Singer, (505) 845-7078