Sandia Labs to advance Purdue alliance with campus presence

August 24, 2015  


Bill Hart

Bill Hart 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Sandia National Laboratories is beginning efforts to establish a permanent presence at Purdue University to spearhead a strategic alliance signed by the two institutions in April.

Bill Hart, a Sandia manager, is planning to have office space in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Suresh Garimella, Purdue’s executive vice president for research and partnerships, said Hart’s presence will be crucial in maintaining and growing collaborative initiatives between the two research powerhouses.

“Our strategic alliance with Sandia lays out a vision to work together on research challenges, build faculty research collaborations and offer exchange opportunities for Purdue faculty and students,” Garimella said. “Bill’s presence on campus shows Sandia’s commitment to making this vision a reality.”

Hart and Marcey Hoover, deputy director of Sandia’s Energy and Climate Program Management Unit, will be on campus Aug. 24-26 to begin introducing Hart to campus and kick start exploratory meetings with faculty. Hoover earned her doctorate in statistics from Purdue in 1995 and joined Sandia initially as an applied statistician.

“I’m excited to get on the Purdue campus,” Hart said. “This strategic alliance is so full of promise to develop meaningful educational exchanges and research collaborations. It’s just another extension of the relationship between Purdue and Sandia.”

The ties between Purdue and Sandia reach all the way to the top of the national research lab. Jill M. Hruby, who in June was appointed as Sandia’s president and director, earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue.

In July, Sandia hosted a meeting to begin advancing the alliance in several areas such as technology transfer and how to combine both institutions’ strengths in modeling and simulation tools to provide critical analytic capabilities. Sandia also has reestablished its participation in the Purdue-based Cooling Technologies Research Center (CTRC).

The memorandum of understanding to establish the strategic alliance was signed by Purdue and Sandia National Laboratories on April 16. Purdue is among five research universities that have such strategic alliances with Sandia Labs.

The alliance will provide opportunities for students and faculty to experience research work at a national lab; enable joint recruiting of top graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty; increase transfer of technology from Sandia and the university to the private and federal sectors; and build collaborations that address nationally significant problems.

Sandia Labs has identified a number of research areas it is pursuing in which Purdue is poised to provide expertise. These include trusted systems and communications to deal with security vulnerabilities and detect and address malicious activities; detection at the limit, which focuses on developing innovative sensing technologies and capabilities; and science and engineering quantum information to boost the processing speed and reliability of those systems.

Purdue and Sandia’s current relationship includes work on next-generation memory systems, exascale computing and improving wind turbines.

Hart served as a manager in the Center for Computing Research at Sandia National Laboratories from 2010-2015. He led lab initiatives supporting research in data science and cybersecurity and provided early leadership for open-source software at Sandia. His research has focused on optimization techniques, which he has used in many real-world applications, including computational biology applications, engineering design, logistics planning and infrastructure security. His research on sensor placement solvers for large-scale water security applications was a finalist for the 2008 INFORMS Edelman Prize. He earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude in mathematics from the University of Michigan and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of California, San Diego.

In her current role, Hoover is responsible for all operations of Sandia’s energy and climate program, including strategic planning, financial, business development and communications. In her previous position as senior manager for 
surety engineering, Hoover led efforts to ensure that quality attributes were incorporated into new product development and improvement programs. In prior positions, she managed organizations responsible for the research and development of advanced computational techniques in the engineering sciences, and for the development and execution of nuclear weapon testing and evaluation programs. Purdue’s Department of Statistics recognized her in 2009 as an outstanding alumna. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematical statistics from Purdue.

Sandia 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, New Mexico, and Livermore, California, Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness. 

Sources: Suresh Garimella, 765-494-9095, sureshg@purdue.edu

Bill Hart, wehart@sandia.gov

Marcey Hoover, mlhoove@sandia.gov

Related news release:

Purdue, Sandia Labs plan strategic alliance 

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