Report spotlights Sandia’s increasing economic impact

Click here to open a PDF version of Sandia's 2013 Economic Impact Report.

by Nancy Salem

Sandia spent roughly $975 million on goods and services in fiscal year 2013 and New Mexico businesses were awarded more than $420 million, or 43 percent, of the total, according to the Labs’ latest economic impact report.

US small businesses received nearly $500 million in Sandia contracts, with the New Mexico share totaling $287 million, or 57 percent.

Compared with the previous fiscal year, total spending was up $79 million and New Mexico spending was up $19 million. Total small business contracts were up $27 million and the New Mexico share up $31 million.

“There is no question that 2013 was a very challenging year for the US economy and in particular for small businesses in New Mexico, California, and the entire country. Yet through it all, Sandia’s overall spending increased $79 million,” says Don Devoti, manager of Small Business Utilization Dept. 10222. “The economic impact of this increased spending has benefited small businesses in New Mexico and across our nation. Sandia’s partnership with small and diverse business suppliers is key to the economic prosperity of New Mexico.”

While Sandia spends a large portion of its funding in New Mexico, its economic footprint is thought to be much larger than the actual dollars it spends. Economic impact models suggest the effect Sandia has on New Mexico’s economy could be about three times the total amount it spends on purchases and salaries.

Seeking small and diverse suppliers

Sandia reaches out to local businesses through a variety of programs. It holds public forums with suppliers and civic leaders to discuss contracting opportunities, and lists contracts on its Business Opportunities website. It supplies small and diverse business owners with information on doing business with Sandia and seeks qualified suppliers.

The 2013 Sandia National Laboratories Economic Impact report breaks down Sandia’s spending and spotlights its role in the economy. The 2013 data reflecting actual payments made is based on Sandia’s fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2012, to Sept. 30, 2013. The report demonstrates Sandia’s continued commitment to small business.

Here are some numbers showing Sandia’s overall economic impact in 2013:

•          $1.5 billion was spent on labor and non-contract-related payments.

•          $974.6 million went to contract-related payments.

•          $59.3 million went to the state of New Mexico for gross receipts taxes.

•          $70.1 million was spent through procurement card purchases.

The Small Business Act mandates that federal contractors use small businesses, including those that are small disadvantaged, owned by women or veterans and service-disabled veterans, and small businesses in impoverished areas — called Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) zones. The Small Business Utilization Department oversees the mandate and negotiates small business subcontracting goals with NNSA.

“Sandia continues to have very aggressive goals for small business and supplier diversity this year,” Don says. “My small business team and our entire procurement organization are committed to meet and/or exceed these goals and to continue making a difference to New Mexico’s economy. We will continue to engage, value, and partner with our supplier community.”

Partnerships promote national security 

Sandia President and Laboratories Director Paul Hommert echoes the Labs’ full support of the Small Business Act. “Sandia National Laboratories has a long and distinguished record of encouraging and partnering with highly qualified, diverse small business suppliers who assist us in achieving our national security mission,” he says. “We are fully committed to continuing this track record.”

Sandia also helps the state’s economy through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program, established by the state Legislature in 2000 to help companies receive technical support from the Labs. In 2012, the Sandia NMSBA provided nearly $2.4 million in technical assistance to 196 New Mexico small businesses in 27 counties. Since 2000, it has provided more than $24 million in assistance.

Sandia employees gave more than $5.6 million in 2012-2013 to the United Way of Central New Mexico as the largest corporate contributor to the agency. That number topped $6 million in the 2013-2014 Employee Caring Program campaign, and will be reflected in the 2014 economic impact report.

Sandians also logged more than 115,000 volunteer hours in 2012. They supported STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education through a variety of community programs, such as family science and math nights and engineering challenges, that reached thousands of students.


-- Nancy Salem

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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)

by Nancy salem

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.”


-- Nancy salem

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Marlene Brown is a 2014 Woman of Influence

Marlene Brown has been named by Albuquerque Business First as a 2014 New Mexico Woman of Influence

by Bill Murphy

Marlene Brown (2958), who started at Sandia as an intern in 1995 and became a member of the technical staff in 1999 working in photovoltaics, has been selected as one of Albuquerque Business First’s 2014 Women of Influence.

Marlene is a recognized leader in the solar power community in New Mexico and around the country. She was named a “Solar Hero” in Solar Today magazine in 2009, was the recipient of the Women in Solar Energy Award from the American Solar Energy Association in 2009, and was listed as one of the top 10 women in renewable energy in Petroleum World magazine in 2010. She is a sought-after speaker on photovoltaic applications for organizations in New Mexico and around the country.

 In a career marked by notable professional success and proactive involvement in the community as mentor, teacher, and volunteer, Marlene cites her work empowering women — for example, through her women-only classes in photovoltaic systems installation — to be her proudest accomplishment. Her Facebook username — “mbwildwoman” — says it all: She is fiercely determined to help women succeed. In her Women of Influence nomination package, Marlene responded to the question “What needs to happen in order for more American women to reach the top levels of leadership in business?” this way: “Women need to believe in themselves and not give in to their own fears. Our fears stop us from doing so many things. We are raised differently and still have to get past what stops us. We need to start mentoring women when they are young and encourage them to pursue their dreams.” Marlene has organized her life to live by those words.

Selected from among 400 nominees

Marlene is one of 30 women recognized by Albuquerque Business First, formerly called the New Mexico Business Weekly, a newspaper and companion digital edition that focus on business and economic issues. According to the publication’s website, the 30 honorees were selected by a panel of judges from among more than 400 nominees. The award recognizes New Mexico’s most dynamic women of diverse professional backgrounds who stand out as role models for their peers and are leaving a lasting and positive mark on the state.

In her 15-plus years at Sandia, Marlene has worked in the Labs’ satellite programs and nuclear weapons programs as well as in photovoltaics.

Currently a component evaluation surveillance engineer in Integrated Stockpile Evaluation Group 2950, she has also worked as a quality engineer for subsystems and components in the W76 and B61 programs, project lead for workforce development for DOE, and Tiger Team lead for the Solar America Cities Project.

She provided on-orbit analysis for NNSA Nuclear Detonation System satellite payloads and has served as a subject matter expert for renewable energy for Sandia’s Facilities organization.

Marlene holds a BA in environmental and natural sciences from The Evergreen State College, Olympia Washington, and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and systems engineering. She holds professional certificates in a diverse range of disciplines, from electrical trades and energy-efficient building technology, to systems engineering and architecting.

When she’s not on the job, Marlene’s work doesn’t stop. She volunteers her time as a consultant for the Boko Bed Net Project. The project seeks to reduce malaria in Ghana through use of simple technologies. By building a bed net with a light and a fan powered by PV panels, people are encouraged to use bed nets, which lead to a reduction in malaria.

Marlene learned to build the PV panels and is helping teach local people to build them themselves. She also found an Albuquerque company to provide LEDs to the project.

The do-it-yourself panels Marlene introduced to the project are increasing efficiency, reducing the cost, and creating local jobs.

In a testimonial written in support of her Women of Influence nomination, a longtime colleague from the private sector said, “Marlene is an incredible leader, and has helped bring a lot of women into the renewable energy field. I have known Marlene for almost 20 years, and taught numerous solar classes with her, and she not only really knows the technology, but can convey it in a way to make it understandable and exciting to people at all levels.

“Working with Marlene has been a pleasure, because she always gets things done and forges ahead even when things get difficult and others might give up. I know that a lot of women in the solar field really look up to Marlene as a mentor and role model.”

-- Bill Murphy

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Download Lab News February 21, 2014 (PDF, 2MB)