New Mexico lab innovations honored with top industry awards

Created: 07/14/2014 7:01 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

They call them the Oscars of inventions and inventors – and New Mexico’s national laboratories have won a handful of them this year.

It’s R&D Magazine’s annual top 100 competition, and Sandia and Los Alamos labs combined to take home 5 of the awards.

Most of us have never heard of these winners.

Take GOMA for example.

It’s a Sandia invention, software that simulates manufacturing processes.

“GOMA 6.0 is the first general purpose finite element multi physics code with production capabilities that is open-sourced and freely available,” the narrator says in a Sandia video news release.


Sandia also wins for a portable anthrax detector and something called a “triple harvesting plastic scintillator that screens cargo for radiological materials that could be used to make a nuclear weapon.

“This is really at the heart of what we’ve been talking about,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, who is one of many state leaders pushing for commercialization of New Mexico’s famous research and development achievements at the labs and the universities.

“We need to change the trajectory of our local economy. The way we are going to do that is through entrepreneurship and through commercialization of research. We do billions of dollars of research in New Mexico each and every year.”

Los Alamos National Laboratory is a winner too, for the “SAFIRE” oil well monitoring system and the Acoustic wavenumber Spectrometer, which is a high-speed laser-based system for inspecting the structural integrity of civilian and military aircraft and wind turbines and other energy producing technologies.

Willthis all lead to a healthier economy for our long-suffering state?

That’s the big challenge for the months and years ahead.

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