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Space Dynamics Lab Leader to Receive Utah Governor's Medal

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2015

Niel Holt, director of the USU Research Foundation's Space Dynamics Laboratory

Niel Holt, director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory, has been honored with the Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology. He will be honored in Salt Lake City at an April 15 award ceremony.

Niel Holt, director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory, has been honored with the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Holt will receive the honor during an awards ceremony April 15 in Salt Lake City.

One of eight individuals and organizations in Utah to receive the medal, Holt was recognized by Gov. Gary R. Herbert as an industry leader who has made a significant contribution to Utah’s advanced scientific and technological knowledge, education and industry.

“Under the direction of Niel, SDL has enjoyed consistent growth — both in terms of revenue and in the technologies that our customers require,” said H. Scott Hinton, president of the Utah State University Research Foundation. “Niel’s contribution to our industry reaches far beyond the quantifiable dollars and program milestones. He and his team provide valuable STEM opportunities to strengthen the future of our workforce by hiring students from USU to participate on some of the nation’s most important programs, enabling them to graduate with real-world experience.”

Holt has been with SDL since 1989 when he began work on space flight hardware for the Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope. He has since worked hardware and software for space, tactical and ground based instruments. Although he still enjoys getting his hands on hardware and making a system work the way it was designed, his responsibilities have changed over the years to project and program managerial responsibilities.

Immediately prior to being named director of SDL in 2009, Holt served as the lab’s director of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Division where he was responsible for new and innovative technology in the areas of image compression and airborne reconnaissance, securing $20M in revenue annually and overseeing 85 employees.

A unit of the Utah State University Research Foundation, the Space Dynamics Laboratory is one of 14 University Affiliated Research Centers in the nation. Charged with applying basic research to the technology challenges presented in the military and science arenas, SDL has developed revolutionary solutions that are changing the way the world collects and uses data. SDL's core competencies are electro-optical sensor systems, calibration, thermal management, reconnaissance systems, and small satellite technologies.  Headquartered in North Logan, Utah, SDL has operations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Bedford, Mass.; Washington; Los Angeles; Huntsville, Ala.; and Houston. 

More information about the Space Dynamics Laboratory is online.

Related link:

Utah Governor’s Office press release

Contact: Eric Warren, USU Research Foundation, (435) 713-3054,

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