Purdue, Sandia Labs plan strategic alliance

April 16, 2015  

Daniels Sandia

At the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic alliance between Sandia National Laboratories and Purdue University are (from left) Paul Hommert, Sandia president and laboratories director; Purdue President Mitch Daniels; and Suresh Garimella, Purdue executive vice president for research and partnerships. (Photo by Robert Severi)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Purdue University and Sandia National Laboratories, one of the nation’s premier research institutions, have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic alliance.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Paul Hommert, president and laboratories director of Sandia National Laboratories, signed the document at Sandia’s Washington, D.C., office Thursday (April 16).

Over the next five years, Purdue and Sandia Labs plan to work collaboratively on research challenges and support increased faculty research partnerships. The memorandum also provides exchange opportunities for Sandia staff and Purdue faculty and students.

Purdue is among a small group of research universities that are entering into strategic alliances with Sandia Labs.

The goals of the alliance are to solve significant problems and accelerate technology adoption while offering new challenges and opportunities for researchers, faculty and students at both Purdue and Sandia.

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 is recognized throughout the world for its groundbreaking research,” Daniels said. “It’s a tribute to the faculty and students of Purdue that a research institution of Sandia’s stature wants to deepen our relationship.”

Hommert said, “This alliance advances our long-standing partnership with Purdue University to a more strategic level and will serve as a model for productive collaborations between Sandia and other national research universities.”

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.

Currently two Sandia fellows are working on graduate degrees at Purdue. More than a dozen Purdue graduate and undergraduate students spent last summer at Sandia and three interns currently are there.

For more than 60 years, Sandia has helped resolve the nation's most challenging security issues. With a foundation in science, technology and engineering, Sandia’s staff works at the forefront of innovation and collaborative research with universities like Purdue and private companies to bring innovative and collaborative research to projects with significant potential impact.

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, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Hommert earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Purdue. He received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the School of Mechanical Engineering in 2003 and a Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering in 2010.

Media contact: Judith Barra Austin, Purdue News Service, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu 

Sources: Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

Suresh Garimella, Purdue executive vice president for research and partnerships, 765-494-9095, sureshg@purdue.edu 

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