Sandia LabNews

Cargo-security partnership wins national tech transfer award


Team lead John Dillinger (5628) tests the security of a cargo container. He says the national FLC partnership award reflected the efforts of more than 100 Sandians from nine centers.        (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Sandia and two collaborators won the national Federal Laboratory Consortium’s 2014 Interagency Partnership Award.

The award recognizes agency and/or laboratory employees from at least two organizations who together did outstanding work in transferring technology. The winning partnership included Sandia, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the development of cargo container security technologies.

The team developed, tested, evaluated, and transitioned new cargo security technologies to meet specific DHS and Department of the Navy requirements. Since 2001, DHS has been required to secure the storage and transportation of cargo entering and traveling through the United States against terror attack, introduction of contraband cargo, and pilferage. And the Navy must ensure the security of high-value cargo, such as munitions, that it stores and transports around the world on a 24-hour basis.

The research done under the partnership resulted in five invention disclosures and four US patent applications.

John Dillinger (5628) and Steve Morrison (6531) led the project for Sandia. The same partnership was also recognized last fall with an FLC Outstanding Regional Partnership Award, one of five Far West/Mid-Continent regional awards received by Sandia.

“Congratulations to John, Steve, and their entire team for winning both regional and national FLC awards for this important work to secure our borders,” says Jackie Kerby Moore, manager of Technology and Economic Development Dept. 7933 and Sandia’s representative to the FLC. “It’s very exciting when Sandia is recognized alongside our partners for successful technology development and commercialization.”

John says the project started in late 2004 and that more than 100 Sandians from centers 1500, 1800, 5300, 5600, 6400, 6800, 8000, 9000, and 10000 worked on it. “All their efforts contributed to this award,” he says. “Steve and I believe the award represents the character this project has had since its inception. We see it as years of contribution by a large number of Sandia staff and their collaboration with vendors, DOE laboratories, SPAWAR, and sponsor DHS Science and Technology Borders and Maritime Division.

“The goal was to enhance US air, land, and maritime border security through the transition of scientific and technical knowledge, ultimately providing standards and solutions for the global supply chain industry.  The team’s challenge from day one was to enhance security and improve the flow of commerce.”

The FLC is a nationwide network of more than 300 members that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.

The FLC Awards Program annually recognizes federal laboratories and their industry partners for outstanding technology transfer efforts and has become one of the most prestigious honors in technology transfer. Since its establishment in 1984, the FLC has presented awards to nearly 200 federal laboratories.

“We are thrilled to have won this partnership award with SPAWAR SSC Pacific and DHS,” Jackie says. “Partnerships with government, academia, and industry are crucial to Sandia’s efforts to deploy technology for the public good.”