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Nano-Engineer Group Formed

Photonics.com
Aug 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Aug. 21, 2007 -- Sandia National Laboratories has entered into a relationship with universities and industries around the country to establish the National Institute for Nano-Engineering (NINE).

The partnership was driven by concerns over the health of America’s science and engineering education and innovation engine, as highlighted in the 2005 report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" from the National Academies, Sandia said in a statement. The report advocates creating high-quality jobs and focusing new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation's needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy. (See also: NSB to Award RPI's Jackson and MIT's Vest Tapped to Replace Wulf at NAE)

The initial NINE members include Intel Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., IBM, Lockheed Martin Corp., Corning Inc., Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Proctor and Gamble, University of Wisconsin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of California at Davis, University of Florida, Yale University, Harvard University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Illinois, Rice, Notre Dame, University of New Mexico and Harvey Mudd College.

“This group came together based on a sense of urgency and recognition that academia, American industry and government need to work together to develop a new partnering model that will lay the foundation for the nation’s future in science and engineering,” said Richard Stulen, Sandia vice president of science and technology.

NINE brings together the strong science and engineering capabilities of Sandia -- the hub for NINE -- leading research and teaching universities, and industrial companies that are among the world’s technology leaders. Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

“NINE will help develop the next generation innovations and innovators,” said Duane Dimos, Sandia director of materials science and engineering, who is heading NINE.

"NINE could be a prototype of a national innovation hub for engineering education and innovation analogous to what is going on around the globe in other countries," Sandia said. "The recently enacted America Competes Act supports the establishment of Innovation Institutes to address science and engineering discovery and education." (See also: SPIE Urges R&D Funding, and Optics Industry Sponsors Capitol Hill Day)

"The goal of NINE is to broaden students' education through a unique team research experience by engaging in multidisciplinary teams working on precompetitive research in leading-edge technical areas," Sandia said. "Breakthrough discoveries in nano-engineering are anticipated, and students will gain rich technical experience and breadth by collaborating with top institutions around the country. NINE will also expose students to other key aspects of science and engineering, including business, legal, political and social issues."

This summer marked the beginning of the NINE technical projects and an initial education program at Sandia. The program spans the range from freshman engineering students to senior graduate students. Outreach to teachers and pre-college students will also be part of the NINE program.

For more information, visit: www.sandia.gov


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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