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Tech, Sandia Renew Graduate Program Partnership

SOCORRO, N.M. June 15, 2010 – New Mexico Tech and Sandia National Laboratories renewed a cooperative agreement allowing participants in Sandia Nuclear Weapon Intern Program to earn graduate level credit in Engineering Mechanics on Wednesday, May 26.

 Tech Vice President of Finance Lonnie Marquez (left) and Paul Shoemaker of Sandia National Laboratory shake hands over a new five-year agreement.

Tech Vice President of Finance Lonnie Marquez said the graduate program is one of many examples of the university’s partnerships with Sandia.

“New Mexico Tech has always had strong relationships with Sandia and its personnel,” Marquez said. “This is one important piece of a larger partnership with an important national laboratory. Tech’s collaborative work with Sandia is one example of how a state-supported institution is accomplishing our mission of expanding academic opportunities and pursuing economic development opportunities.”

Paul Shoemaker, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Sandia’s Nuclear Weapons Strategic Management Unit, said the agreement opens more academic doors to Sandia employees and to others participating in the Weapon Intern Program, giving them the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree or even a doctorate.

This agreement encourages all members of the Sandia workforce, not just those participating in the Weapon Intern Program, to pursue a graduate degree at New Mexico Tech, Shoemaker said. Pursuit of graduate degrees will be facilitated by Tech’s distance learning capabilities, which provide excellent opportunities to acquire professional education unconstrained by any specific completion date.

“New Mexico Tech is well respected at Sandia,” Shoemaker said. “Sandia’s roots are in engineering, so there is a natural connection between Tech and Sandia’s engineering culture.”

Tech maintains a handful of successful joint research projects with Sandia National Laboratories in several different engineering disciplines. Several Sandia engineers and scientists are adjunct professors at Tech and many Tech professors have access to Sandia facilities for ongoing, collaborative research projects.

In addition, Shoemaker said that in 2009 Sandia hired more summer interns from New Mexico Tech than any other university, except the University of New Mexico. Sandia is also a popular career destination for Tech graduates.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech