Signing of MOU

by George Zamora

Right: Dr. Richard Mah of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dr. Daniel H. López of New Mexico Tech, and Dr. John Birely of the University of California signing the MOU on June 28.

SOCORRO, N.M., June 28, 2004 – New Mexico Tech and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have officially entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is designed to strengthen interactions between the two entities by providing additional opportunities for research, education, recruitment, and retention. Tech President Daniel H. López and LANL Associate Director Richard Mah held a signing ceremony at the university on Monday, June 28.

“This MOU provides excellent opportunities for faculty, researchers, and students at New Mexico Tech and scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory to fully develop collaborative efforts in areas of mutually beneficial research and education,” said López.

“The new academic and research interactions created by this initiative will help New Mexico attract and retain top-notch faculty and students, while at the same time introducing them to the varied programs and careers available at Los Alamos,” he added.

Through the framework provided by the MOU, researchers at New Mexico Tech are allowed to use LANL facilities, resources, and intellectual capabilities, while LANL scientists and engineers are encouraged to actively participate in Tech academic and research programs as part of their work with the national lab.

"This is another example of successful partnering with New Mexico's universities," said Los Alamos National Laboratory Director G. Peter Nanos. "This partnership allows New Mexico Tech to participate — along with the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University and New Mexico Highlands University — in the outstanding science for which Los Alamos is known, and this allows the Laboratory to potentially recruit more of its future scientists locally. This is a win-win for the whole state."

Initially, three collaborative programs will be supported through the MOU, specifically a Student and Postdoctoral Scholars Program, a University Faculty and Laboratory Staff Program, and a Collaborative Research Program.

In addition, New Mexico Tech and LANL have identified five research areas of strategic importance to both institutions that will be supported under the MOU as available funds permit, including the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, astronomy and astrophysics, Earth sciences, materials engineering, and energetic materials.

New Mexico Tech academic departments and research divisions are expected to play significant roles in developing interdisciplinary research endeavors with LANL.

Under the new agreement, strategic partnerships will be further established and directed under the management of a newly formed New Mexico Tech/LANL Joint Science and Technology Laboratory.