Sensors Mag

September Sensors Workshop

July 27, 2012 By: Peter Littlewood, Argonne National Laboratory

E-mail Peter Littlewood

When it comes to next-generation technologies, sensors are one of the few areas of research that offer so much potential for development and that will find as broad a range of applications. From networks to the environment, transportation to biomedicine, sensor technology will provide an essential key to the growth of many different industries.

As part of a series of workshops designed by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to enhance collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and industry, Argonne National Laboratory will host a workshop on September 24 and 25, 2012 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago, IL.

Large industries, small companies, academic researchers, and the national laboratories each have a role to play in the development of new sensors, and the conference will provide an exceptional opportunity for small companies to assess opportunities for collaboration both with the national labs and with larger companies that will be also be in attendance.

The national laboratories have a wide range of capabilities and expertise that small companies, time and again, have translated into market-ready technologies. Perhaps most notably, Argonne and the other national labs provide user facilities that are free at point-of-use to help small companies to get their technologies off the ground.

Sometimes, companies might be reluctant to work with the national laboratories or other government agencies because they believe bureaucratic or administrative challenges will hamper their efforts to bring new technologies to market. This doesn't have to be the case. We plan for the workshop to provide a toolkit that will help small companies work with DOE to achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.

The workshop seeks to identify ways to more effectively meet contemporary challenges in sensor technology. Secretary Chu will deliver the keynote address. The workshop will be co-chaired by representatives from Argonne, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Honeywell Corp. Representatives from John Deere, Chevron, Raytheon, and Monsanto will also attend. These companies represent just a small slice of the diversity of commercial interest in this symposium.

The national laboratories have long been hotbeds of sensor research, and they offer an abundance of expertise as well as some of the best facilities in the world for developing and testing new sensor technologies. In particular, the workshop will include representatives from the DOE nanotechnology research centers. Tours of Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab will also be offered on September 25.

Registration for the conference costs $260. In order to register, please visit the following Web site: Any questions should be addressed to the author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Peter Littlewood is the associate laboratory director for physical sciences and engineering at Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont, IL. He can be reached at 630-252-5858 or at

About the Author: Peter Littlewood

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