The Many Facets of Brookhaven National Laboratory

Summer intern Lee Barfield writes about her experience to date working in the Strategic Partnership Program office

Brookhaven National Laboratory is quite an impressive place to be interning at, especially since I was born and raised on Long Island. Summer 2021 is when I started my internship through the Lab’s Office of Educational Programs (OEP). My internship is in the Lab’s Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) Office, under the mentorship of SPP Director Erick Hunt.

I was very intimidated at the mere thought of this whole thing. I kept saying to myself, “What in the world have I gotten myself into?” Well, it turns out that I am having the time of my life! I’m learning how much more of a science lover I really am than what I previously thought of myself.  I could have never imagined being in touch with so many brilliant minds at one time. The level of knowledge running through this place is really something to see. I know, I know, I should not have ever contemplated that the scientists from Brookhaven might be snobbish because of their intellectual capabilities. Or not snobbish, but at least unapproachable. I was so far off with my assumption that I’m actually ashamed of myself. Every person that I’ve come into contact with has been nothing but friendly, patient, and very helpful. I feel like they all want to see me succeed. I should’ve known better than to formulate a hypothesis without scientific facts. Just a little joke - I couldn’t resist.

What I want to write about today is the Technology Transfer Office, which is part of SPP.  There are many scientists here at Brookhaven that are busy creating and developing new technologies every day. These technologies will need to be patent protected and made available for licensing. The Lab is a federally funded facility that is not in the business of industry; therefore, Technology Transfer helps to advance Brookhaven’s technology by developing industrial partnerships with companies that are able to further develop the technology for specific customer groups for whom it may be useful. Technology Transfer grants licensing to existing and start-up companies who are able to take Brookhaven Lab-developed intellectual properties and turn them into commercial products. This department is the support system needed by BNL researchers. Researchers can find there the assistance and training that’s necessary to move products from discovery to commercialization. A researcher’s vision is realized in the laboratory, protected by the patents, and licensed for the market, all with the aid of the Technology Transfer Office.

As I thought about what I wanted to write in this blog, I once again panicked. What did I do to ease my nerves? I contacted Poornima Upadhya, who is none other than the manager of the Technology Transfer Office! I asked for clarity on what the department does and she responded, giving me just the information I needed.

I am honestly enjoying my internship at Brookhaven Lab. I actually never want it to end!

2021-19012  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom