TEXAS TECH SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH SANDIA LABORATORIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 8, 2005
CONTACT: Sally Logue Post, sally.post@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University has signed a letter of agreement with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., that could open the door for future research collaboration, funding opportunities and new job possibilities for Texas Tech graduates.

The agreement brings Texas Tech closer to achieving preferred status with Sandia, said Robert Sweazy, Texas Tech vice president for research, technology transfer and economic development.

“Sandia has working relations with only about two dozen universities nationwide,” said Sweazy. “This agreement is a first step in Texas Tech joining that elite group of universities.”

“Sandia National Laboratories conducts some of the best engineering and science research in the world,” said Pamela Eibeck, dean of the Texas Tech College of Engineering. “We anticipate excellent research collaborations to result from this agreement given our similar interests, the outstanding faculty and student talent we bring to the table, and our close geographic proximity.”

The agreement focuses on areas where Texas Tech has strong research programs already in place. Those areas include: pulsed power research which involves using high-power microwaves to disable electronic devices at a distance; water desalination; wind energy; polymer science, which involves developing new materials for unique applications; nanotechnology in which researchers are developing very small electrical circuits for sensors, computers and telecommunications; and also micro-electro mechanical systems, which involves creating miniature machines with moving parts.

The agreement also offers potential new job opportunities for Texas Tech graduates.

“Sandia only hires scientists and engineers from the universities with which it does business,” said Sweazy.

It also is important for Texas Tech to have a formal agreement with Sandia because of the large amount of federal funding, about – $2.3 billion – that Sandia receives for research and development, said Sweazy. Sandia typically funds about $50 million per year in research at their preferred universities.

Sandia National Laboratories are operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies.

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CONTACT: Robert Sweazy, Ph.D., Texas Tech vice president for research, technology transfer and economic development, (806) 742-3905.