Sandia Labs and UT institutions in Metroplex announce partnership

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who helped promote an agreement for collaborations between the Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Texas System and three University of Texas institutions, watches as Sandia director and president C. Paul Robinson (seated, left) and UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof (seated, right) and (standing, left to right) UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas president Dr. Kern Wildenthal, UT Arlington president James Spaniolo and UT Dallas president Dr. Franklyn Jenifer sign the memorandum of understanding March 19 on the UT Southwestern campus.

DALLAS - March 19, 2004 - The three University of Texas System institutions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., have formed a partnership aimed at undertaking collaborative research and other joint activities, officials announced today.

The officials gathered at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to sign a memorandum of understanding that outlines potential areas of joint research, education technical training, and exchanges among faculty, staff, and students from UT Southwestern, UT Dallas, and UT Arlington. 

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose office assisted in forming the partnership, helped university and laboratory officials celebrate the agreement.

"This is a great day for the University of Texas System, and for Sandia, which is one of our preeminent national labs," Hutchison told an audience of about 200 people in UT Southwestern's Gooch Auditorium. 

"If America is going to stay at the forefront of technology so that we are its creators, not just its users and consumers, we must support research. We also must show young people that engineering, science, medicine and math are great career opportunities.

"The memorandum of understanding that we are signing today is going to attack both of those two very important components of maintaining U.S. and Texas prowess in research, engineering, science, medicine and math, at the same time that we are ensuring that our young people see the excitement of a career in research."

Several Sandia representatives and researchers were on hand to explain research areas and specific projects to visiting dignitaries, journalists and UT Southwestern faculty and students.

Mark G. Yudof, chancellor of the UT System, said: "In North Texas it is critical that the three UT institutions work closely together to enhance the quality of life, to perform research, to educate students, to produce graduates, and to build a stronger economy for the Metroplex and for Texas."

Sandia National Laboratories director and president C. Paul Robinson (left) chats with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas president Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Sandia’s executive vice president Joan Woodard (left to right) before announcing March 19 an agreement of understanding to collaborate in research with the University of Texas System and UT Southwestern, UT Dallas and UT Arlington.

C. Paul Robinson, president and laboratories director at Sandia, outlined some of the research areas that the institutions will focus on.

"There's no question that one of the most exciting areas of science today is the movement of physics to biology," Robinson said. "We're blending things at that interface with the work we're doing."

Collaborative research areas identified in the memorandum of understanding include nanoscale science, engineering, and technology; homeland security; materials research; chemical, thermal, radiation, and biological sensors; chemical and biological weapons threat reduction; computational science and engineering; energy generation, storage, and conversion; microsystems and engineering applications; electrical engineering; chemistry; cell and molecular biology; bioinformatics; and medical devices and bioinstrumentation.

Sandia has had a similar memorandum of understanding with UT Austin for about two years and had worked with other UT System institutions in various projects. In federal fiscal year 2003, the national laboratory had research contracts totaling $887,000 with UT Austin, UT Arlington, UT Dallas, and UT El Paso. The laboratory provides tuition reimbursement for employees who attend UT Austin undergraduate and graduate programs, and provides graduate student research scholarships at UT Austin and UT El Paso. More than 200 UT System graduates are currently employed at Sandia. In addition, 13 students in the UT System currently work for the laboratory.

 See related story  Advances of UT institutions in the Metroplex

Sandia is a multiprogram national 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 research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.


UT System contact: Monty Jones
Phone: 512-499-4363

UT Southwestern contact: Philip Schoch
Phone: 214-648-3404