International institute brings researchers to UNM for summer

June 14, 2017 - By Kim Delker

Graduate students and early-career researchers from around the world will be gathering this summer at The University of New Mexico for the 2017 Sandia National Laboratories Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute, known as NOMAD.

The institute will be held from June 19 to July 28 at the Manufacturing Training and Technology Center (MTTC) at the UNM Science and Technology Park. It brings together technical researchers from various backgrounds with the goal of developing collaborations and making progress toward solving major challenges.

This year’s theme is “Integration of Test and Analysis.” The goal of this year’s institute is to improve the way that experiments and modeling are done in the engineering sciences. Often, they are performed in isolation from each other, so NOMAD will explore ways in which the processes can be better integrated, improving the outcomes of each, said Robert Kuether, an engineer at Sandia National Laboratories who is organizing this year’s institute.

For this year’s institute, 18 mostly graduate-level students from around the world will be working on one of six technical projects. Each project was organized by two to four mentors from various government, academic, or industrial institutions. Seventeen mentors will be advising the teams over the summer, Kuether said.
 
This program was started in 2014 by Sandia National Laboratories through the vision of Kuether’s predecessor, Matt Brake.

“He had gotten me involved as a technical mentor to some of the past projects, and I quickly realized how unique and special this institute was to the students, mentors and the engineering community,” he said. “Eventually, I took over the lead organizing role in hopes of continuing his progress and making the institute sustainable in years to come.”
 
NOMAD is a collaborative environment that brings together researchers, experts and students alike, to solve challenging problems related to the field of nonlinear mechanics and dynamics.

“By bringing people together for six weeks, we are able to share various perspectives and state-of-the-art techniques to solve these problems and expand our networks in the external research community,” Kuether said.

The institute is open to graduate students and early-career researchers from the United States and international communities. Faculty who would like to get involved or would like more information can contact Kuether at rjkueth@sandia.gov.