Livermore's talented staff is its key asset. The Laboratory’s many scientists and engineers bring their knowledge, expertise, and experience to bear on the difficult challenges of its national security mission. They do so with an extreme curiosity, and a drive to uncover knowledge and better understand how things work. Here are some examples of Livermore’s gifted staff, and their work.


Using biology and isotope biogeochemistry to understand environmental microbial communities

Although tiny, the microbes that live in soil have a huge impact on the world around us.

Using synthetic biology to harness rare earth elements domestically

Rare earth elements (REE) help power the electronics we use every day: smart phones, televisions, computers, cars, and more. REE are a small subset of 16 elements on the periodic table but have an outsized impact on high-technology and clean-energy applications.

Developing a framework for transformative, scalable climate technologies to support CO2 removal

When tackling a multigenerational, multifaceted scientific challenge like climate change mitigation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the scale of the problem. For Dr.

Designing 3D-printed chemical reactors and merging science with community service

To his younger cousins, Jeremy’s description of his job as a chemical engineer sounded a lot like being a magician. That’s a bit of a stretch, but it can seem pretty magical to transform the air we breathe into everyday substances.

U.S. Naval Academy Brigade Commander advanced her education as Livermore summer intern

The U.S. Naval Academy’s first African American female brigade commander, Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, was an intern at Livermore during the summer of 2019, where she gained some of her first experience doing practical, lab-based science and contributed to ongoing research.

Protecting our borders with next-generation radiation detectors

Livermore helps protect our borders by developing technology to detect the entry of illicit special nuclear materials (uranium and plutonium isotopes). Rebecca Nikolic recently led a team that developed miniaturized solid-state neutron detectors that are far more efficient and compact than existing devices.

Developing technologies to detect radiological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction

Not all Livermore scientists remain at the Laboratory their whole careers. Some accept temporary assignments elsewhere, for example, when an opportunity arises to advance work they started at the Laboratory.

Assuring the continued safety, security, and effectiveness of America’s nuclear arsenal

One of the most formidable scientific challenges is assuring the continued safety, security, and effectiveness of America’s nuclear arsenal in the absence of underground nuclear testing.

Leverages the power of simulation

It’s estimated there are more possible moves in a game of chess than atoms in the universe, making accurate predictions of players’ moves impossible.

Leads an optics revolution

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world’s largest and most energetic laser—and the biggest optical instrument.

Applies machine learning and artificial intelligence to security applications

Among the large amounts of data available to security analysts, there may be clues to an adversary’s attempt to acquire technologies for weapons of mass destruction.

Building a quantum computer

One of the most intriguing—and extraordinarily difficult—challenges in scientific research is building a practical quantum computer.

Simulates natural phenomena using high-performance computers

The simulation of natural phenomena using high-performance computers (HPC) is essential to Livermore’s work and touches on almost all of its science, from high-energy-density research for stockpile stewardship to basic science.

Studies how rocks fracture for energy security

Understanding the behavior of energy in the subsurface—how rocks fracture, how energy travels through the solid earth, and what its signature can tell scientists—is the key to several of Livermore’s security missions.

Advances high-energy-density science

High-energy-density science (HED) is an integral component of the Laboratory’s national security mission.

Advances cybersecurity technologies

Celeste Matarazzo leads a project in cybersecurity situational awareness designed to address the national security threats to networks and information technology, and founded the Laboratory’s Cyber Defenders summer internship program for undergraduates, graduates, and others to train future cybersecurity experts.

Revolutionizes rocket engine designs with supercomputer simulations

Using high-performance computing, Greg Burton directs work to develop lower-cost rocket engines and space-launch vehicles for national security and scientific exploration. Virtual design, prototyping, and testing of these components and systems helps provide cost-effective access to space.

Develops 3D printing techniques for manufacturing human-like tissues

Monica Moya is developing three-dimensional printing techniques for manufacturing vascularized tissue (containing blood vessels) using bioink—a fluid with biological components. Researchers can use these tissues to study exposures to chemical and biological agents, and assess medical treatments.

Conducts nuclear fusion experiments

At the National Ignition Facility, Tammy Ma leads experiments aimed at achieving fusion ignition by using it’s 192 laser beams to compress fuel capsules containing isotopes of hydrogen in a process called inertial confinement fusion. These experiments are laying the groundwork to demonstrate fusion's feasibility as a clean source of energy.

Transforms U.S. manufacturing with 3D printing

Lawrence Livermore has been at the forefront of developing revolutionary new methods to make materials and parts faster, cheaper, lighter, and with entirely new properties.