UNM’s partnerships with National Laboratories are integral to supporting our research, education, and service mission. To foster these relationships and increase our research capacity, the College of Arts & Sciences has partnered with Sandia National Laboratories to pilot a new speaker series called, “Sandia@UNM.”

As part of the series, Sandia employees will share their research with the campus community to showcase the important work taking place at Sandia to the broader UNM Community and help foster partnerships with faculty.

Sandia  UNM Series 1

The event is free and takes place on April 25 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Physics & Astronomy Interdisciplinary Science (PAÍS) building, room 1100. All members of the UNM community and beyond are encouraged to attend. The link to register is here.

“The range of basic and applied science taking place at Sandia National Laboratory is truly breathtaking, but often takes place under the RADAR," said Chris Lippitt, associate dean for research at the College of Arts & Sciences. "I hope that these presentations make the incredible work taking place there more visible to the UNM and the greater Albuquerque community, and lead to new collaborations, innovations, and economic opportunities.”

UNM Department of Psychology alumnus, Aaron Jones, Ph.D., will kick off this new series with his presentation, “Using Extended Reality to Study Human Behavior – WAIT – Sandia Does That?”

A common misconception is that Sandia’s work is solely focused on the engineering of defense technologies, but their research covers a broad range of application areas and draws expertise from an equally broad range of disciplines.

Jones will present how extended reality (XR) can be applied within cognitive science. The presentation will explore how “XR tools can help improve training and create a testbed for research scientists to study human performance under more realistic conditions.”

His presentation will also include his involvement in work with Sandia and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the impacts of this XR work, and where it may be going in the future. Finally, Jones will discuss a new laboratory at Sandia called the Virtual Intelligence Performance Engineering Research (VIPER) lab that he is involved with.

Jones is a senior member of Technical Staff in Applied Cognitive Science at Sandia National Laboratories and a UNM alumnus, having obtained his Ph.D. in 2021 studying under Professor Vince Clark.