SDL opens N.M. office

By Emilie H. Wheeler
The Herald Journal
February 7, 2008

Calling it a result of a growing and successful company, the Space Dynamics Laboratory announced they have opened another office outside Logan.

An Albuquerque, N.M., satellite office will continue to serve major clients SDL already has worked with, such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

The facility will better allow it to do so, the location’s operations manager John Santacroce said.

“To establish a permanent office here is really to ... make it easier for (clients) to work with SDL,” he said.

It also creates more of an impression that SDL is serious about operating in that area, Santacroce said.

The non-profit organization, owned by Utah State University, designs and develops infrared and visible sensor systems and is a major leader in the characterization and calibration of electro-optical instrumentation. Much of the work is done for complex science and military sensing needs.

SDL has locations in several areas outside Logan, said Karen Wolfe, the company’s public communications manager.

There is a representative working out of Colorado Springs, a fairly large office in Bedford, Mass., and a smaller office in Washington, D.C.

Every time another satellite location opens, it helps the entire company, Wolfe said.

“Our presence there is making us very available to our customers,” she said. “It makes it, we think, easier to continue getting business and growing business in those areas.”

Santacroce, who retired from the U.S. military, knew of the Space Dynamics Laboratory through military connections. He has degrees in aerospace engineering and astronautical engineering, and was approached by the research foundation to oversee New Mexico operations.

In April of 2007, when he first started working for SDL, the work was mainly done out of his home or within the buildings of the organizations it works for. Now, Santacroce and two other employees occupy an office in that city.

However, the office is meant to allow for business growth throughout the state, he said.

Santacroce said earlier in 2007 he approached the University of New Mexico, indicating he was going to head up an office in Albuquerque and asked if there was interest in being involved.

“They were very open to that,” he said.

In July, Santacroce hired the first undergraduate student to work with the systems engineer on projects.

There are 96 current students working at the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Wolfe said, some of whom are later hired permanently.

“We do hire, whenever we can, the best and brightest of those,” she said.

This New Mexico office opens opportunities for SDL employees in Logan as well, Wolfe said.

“It will give us some potential opportunities for people from here to actually go work on site there,” she said.

© 2008 The Herald Journal