UC Davis and Sandia National Laboratory Partner to Advance Research for National Security

UC Davis and Sandia National Laboratory Partner to Advance Research for National Security

The University of California, Davis and Sandia National Laboratory have entered into an agreement to collaborate on research and education related to the future of science and engineering for national security.   By advancing the synergies between the institutions, this new partnership will create engagement at multiple levels and share strategic objectives that foster mutually beneficial research, develop a sustainable workforce and accelerate technology adoption.

A signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was held during the 2023 Sandia-UC Davis Research Partnership Symposium on March 8th at Putah Creek Lodge, with Cristina Davis (Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research & Strategic Initiatives at UC Davis) and Mike Hardwick (Sandia UC Davis Campus Executive) representing their respective institutions.

As the challenges facing the economy and security of the nation become increasingly complex, researchers must come together in new and creative ways to proactively protect the public from current and future threats. This alliance will lead to impactful ideas and technologies achieved through collaborations between Sandia staff and UC Davis researchers, the exchange of competitive and strategic intelligence, shared use of unique and/or specialized research equipment and facilities and access to funding sources not normally available to either party independently.

“UC Davis and Sandia have a great history partnering together,” conveyed Ken Patel, Bay Area Campus Partnership Manager at Sandia National Laboratories.  “This agreement reflects each institution’s commitment to further collaborate on solving national challenges through research and workforce development in ways that no one institution can do alone.”

The two institutions have identified a dozen areas of mutual interest that may lead to the development of funded programs.  Those areas include, but are not limited to, bioscience and biomedical sciences, engineering sciences, nanodevices and microsystems, climate research, sustainable food systems and emerging health threats.  Research collaborations will benefit UC Davis’s role in furthering the UC missions of teaching, research, and public service by fostering student success and creating solutions to society’s most pressing issues.  Some of Sandia’s missions include homeland security, energy, deterrence of attack with nuclear weapons and the fostering of science and engineering education.

The March 8th symposium brought together researchers around emerging technologies for national security and resilient systems, showcasing innovative research such as Assistant Professor Christina Harvey’s talk on “Biological insights and machine intelligence inform resilient flight” and Sandia’s R&D Manager Pulak Nath addressing “Biological threat reduction with global scientific engagement”.

The joint research supported by this partnership will also afford faculty, research staff, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with opportunities to develop new skills and research paths.  Under the agreement, Sandia and UC Davis researchers will have visible and substantive presences on each other’s campuses for both research collaborations and unique educational opportunities.  There may be opportunities for Sandia staff to get involved in instruction and mentoring at UC Davis, summer research opportunities for UC Davis faculty at Sandia’s facilities and accessibility to technical training and continuing education for Sandia staff.  The Strategic Initiatives team is exploring potential mechanisms for these activities, and will provide an update to the campus community after the start of the new academic year.

“UC Davis is thrilled to continue our partnership with Sandia across many different research areas,” expressed Cristina Davis, Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives.  “This enduring partnership helps to enhance our research and provide training opportunities for our students, we are grateful to partner with them.”

The evolving makeup of the national research landscape is driving enhanced and creative partnerships between research institutions and both UC Davis and Sandia National Laboratory look forward to the benefits both entities can bring to each other, and to the opportunity to increase the scale of technology dissemination for the public good.