Two Sandians Honored With 2024 Women In Tech Award


Mary Monson, senior manager of

Technology Partnerships and Business Development at Sandia National Laboratories, accepts an award from the New Mexico Technology Council on March 13 for her immense impact on tech transfer at Sandia. (Photo by DeAnna Vincent) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Two Sandia National Laboratories employees have been honored with the 2024 New Mexico Women in Tech Award from the New Mexico Technology Council. The award recognizes remarkable women who drive innovation and excellence in their tech field and inspire and empower others to pursue careers in the tech industry.

Mary Monson

If an invention or project created at Sandia has the potential to make it into the real world, you can bet Mary Monson knows all about it. You can also bet that Monson and her team will do all they can to make it happen.

“I’ve never met anyone with her level of passion and drive,” said Technology Partnership Manager Joel Sikora, who’s reported to Monson for 19 years. “She constantly challenges herself and others to make a greater impact.”

As the Senior Manager for Technology Partnerships and Business Development, Monson holds the reins for the tech transfer division and is always trying to steer Sandia to the best partnerships.

Her start at Sandia was not a traditional one.

“I moved to Albuquerque and sent my resume to Sandia,” Monson said. “There was no specific job posting. Sandia was looking to engage beyond the National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy programs, so they hired a handful of marketing people. I was one of them.”

After legislation passed that enabled national labs to do tech transfer, Monson changed roles. Now more than 25 years later, she helps lead and amplify Sandia’s efforts to move technology out of the labs. Her team says her work has turned the program into what it is today.

“Under her, I’ve watched us grow from one department of a dozen people doing business development, to six departments with more than 130 people doing business development, economic development, business intelligence, licensing and partnership agreements,” Sikora said.

Monson’s entire career has been in tech. Her first job was at a tech company called Unisys, a leader in computing at the time.

“That is where I fell in love with tech,” Monson said.

She continued to work for tech companies, including Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment Corp, before coming to Sandia.

Being a woman in the tech industry isn’t always easy. Monson says her career has been fascinating and fun.

“I get to work with smart people and am constantly learning,” she said. “That has always been present in my career.”

She is especially proud of how far Sandia has come since it started its tech transfer efforts.

“We started with just Cooperative Research and Development Agreements and licenses but have creatively established new programs along the way like the Entrepreneurial Separation to Transfer Technology program,” Monson said. “We’ve established new capabilities like Business Development and Business and Competitive Intelligence. We had nothing like that before.”

Monson is one of eight honorees this year for the New Mexico Tech Council Women in Tech Award. The organization highlights her 25 years of management experience and her work getting lab technology to the marketplace.

She said she is honored to receive this award: “I appreciate the New Mexico Technology Council’s recognition of the importance of leadership in deploying and commercializing technology. It’s a privilege to be part of such an impressive group of women leaders.”

Those who work with Monson couldn’t say enough positive things about her, including Sandia Technology and Economic Development Manager, David Kistin.

“Mary is a pioneering force, not just in navigating the complex field of federal technology transfer but in forging pathways for others to follow,” Kistin said.

Mara Schindelholz, principal research and development staff member at Sandia National Laboratories, was honored with a 2024 New Mexico Women in Tech Award from the New Mexico Technology Council. (Photo by DeAnna Vincent) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Mara Schindelholz

Mara Schindelholz, principal research and development staff member at Sandia, is also one of this year’s honorees. Mara has 15 years of experience in creating and commercializing new technologies.

Schindelholz came to Sandia with experience developing corrosion sensors and materials aging models for the Department of Defense. Since starting at Sandia, she has, among other things, worked in surveillance of nuclear weapons, led the development of new technologies such as sensors and digital technologies that could be beneficial throughout a nuclear weapon’s lifecycle, and worked to commercialize some of these technologies through the DOE’s Energy I-Corps program and the National Lab Accelerator Pitch Competition.

Schindelholz is currently on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment to the National Science Foundation as a program director for their Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program. The program is part of the Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships directorate, which was established through the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act.

Schindelholz’s love for tech started at an early age.

“My mom was a math teacher, and my dad was a biology professor at an all-female college,” Schindelholz said. “They instilled in me a love for math and science and that women were just as capable as men in these fields.”

Schindelholz has been working to prove that point her entire career. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and her master’s degree in materials science and engineering. She worked at two small businesses early in her career where she says she recognized the disparity of women in the tech field.

“When I started, I was one of only two female principal investigators in my group of 15 at Sandia,” she said. “I’ve had some incredible female mentors but there is always room for improvement, especially in the area of entrepreneurship and tech transfer.”

Schindelholz said she’s encouraged by the programs Sandia has started to change that, including the ones spearheaded by fellow honoree Mary Monson.

As part of her role at the National Science Foundation, Schindelholz is working to recruit more female startup founders, recognizing that fewer than 3% of venture capital funding in the United States goes to them.

Schindelholz says she is honored to be recognized by the New Mexico Technology Council for her efforts and to be on this accomplished list. When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, Schindelholz said:”I love seeing new technologies created for the betterment of society; be that to enhance national security, increase economic competitiveness or tackle environmental challenges.”

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.


Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *