Sandia National Laboratories

July 11, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Sandia National Laboratories researcher Patrick Feng (l), holds a trans-stilbene scintillator and organic chemist Joey Carlson holds a scintillator made of organic glass.

Sandia National Laboratory researchers have discovered a cost-effective and simpler way to detect nuclear material. Their research makes use of organic glass scintillators that, when employed, could make it harder to smuggle nuclear materials though U.S. ports and borders. 

The team of researchers created a scintillator—a device used to detect nuclear threats—out of an organic glass material instead of relying on the standard material called trans-stilbene, crystalline in the form of a molecule, according to a Sandra Lab press release.

May 18, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
2015 Robot Rodeo: Bomb squads from across the country saddled up their robots and duked it out at the ninth annual Western National Robot Rodeo at Sandia National Laboratories. Photo by Randy Montoya

This isn’t their first rodeo.

Sandia National Laboratories hosts its 11th annual Western National Robot Rodeo next week, an event where police and military bomb squads can practice using robots to defuse dangerous situations. 

Ten teams from around New Mexico will compete in 10 events testing robots’ speed and security in simulated yet realistic scenarios, according to a laboratory news release. While the top three teams will receive trophies, participants mainly are vying for bragging rights, says Jake Deuel, Sandia’s robotics manager and rodeo coordinator.

May 17, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Amanda Kohler and Ken Sale study the bacteria they used to produce LigM. Photo by Dino Vournas

There is good waste and there is bad waste. Sandia National Laboratories found some very good waste.

Recently, scientists discovered the potential of biofuel waste and the competition it could bring for petroleum.

While fuel made from plants can cost more than petroleum-based fuel, using a product called lignin offers a cost-saving benefit. Lignin is plant waste left over from biofuel production. While it can be burned to produce electricity, often it is left unused due to lack of knowledge on how to convert it into useful products, such as renewable plastics, fabrics, nylon and adhesives.

April 20, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paula Austin, a Sandia systems engineer within International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction group, stands outside an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone. (Image courtesy Sandia National Laboratories)

Nearly 60 employees of Sandia National Laboratories have been recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE) for their work during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Dmitri Kusnezov, chief scientist and senior adviser to the secretary of energy, visited Sandia earlier this month to honor the lifesaving efforts of the Sandians and the work of the Technology Convergence Working Group.

The working group was established in 2015 to provide technical insight and assess the nation’s emerging biological technologies. It is made up of representatives from DOE headquarters and Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.

March 27, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Researchers from Sandia and Lewis Rhodes labs examine the Neuromorphic Cyber Microscope, a small processor that can replace multiple racks of traditional systems used for cybersecurity. Photo by Randy Montoya

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories helped develop a potentially game-changing cybersecurity system that mimics the human brain’s ability to analyze data, and they are now testing the technology on the labs’ highly targeted networks.

February 13, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Sandia scientists Marlene and George Bachand show off their new method for encrypting and storing sensitive information in DNA. Digital data storage degrades and can become obsolete, and old-school books and paper require lots of space. (Photo by Lonnie Anderson)

Behind the Science is an occasional series of blogs focusing on the people advancing science and technology.

George and Marlene Bachand, a married couple working at Sandia National Laboratories, have partnered on more science projects than they can recall.

February 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Researchers have developed a technique for encoding text within synthetic DNA that they say would take an infinite number of random, brute-force attacks to break.

Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are searching for partners to apply technology for encrypting text within synthetic DNA. The encryption is far stronger than conventional technology and practically impossible to break, researchers say.

In September, the Sandia team wrapped up a three-year effort titled Synthetic DNA for Highly Secure Information Storage and Transmission. The project developed a new way of storing and encrypting information using DNA. The work was funded through Sandia’s internal Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. 

February 14, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Tam Le (l) and Todd Noel, computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, demonstrate how augmented reality assists in nuclear material protection training.

Sandia National Laboratories scientists have adapted serious gaming technology and methods to enhance nuclear materials physical security training. Using prerelease stand-alone augmented reality headsets, the approach could revolutionize nuclear security engineering training.

November 2, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain-replication work of three teams who aim to map, understand and mathematically recreate visual processing in the brain.

Over the next five years, Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain replication work of three university-led teams who aim to close the computer-human gap in object recognition. An advanced computer may beat experts in chess, but a computer algorithm trained only on pictures of red apples cannot recognize that a green apple is still an apple.

November 4, 2015

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has appointed James M. Chavez vice president of its Energy, Nonproliferation and High Consequence Security Division and its International, Homeland and Nuclear Security Program Management Unit.

September 22, 2015

Jill M. Hruby has been named president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

May 19, 2015

Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, has appointed Marianne Walck vice president of Sandia’s California laboratory. 

May 19, 2015

James Peery has been appointed vice president for defense research at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

May 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
A bomb disposal robot removes a suspicious package during a training operation at Sandia National Laboratories. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Giddy up! Military and civilian bomb squad operators are taking to a capabilities exercise robot rodeo to showcase proficiencies and uses of robotics in the field. For the first time in nearly a decade, organizers included unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the competition.

March 20, 2015

General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, will provide strategic support for the design and development of a "Cloud-of-Clouds" information technology (IT) transformation initiative at Sandia National Laboratories, a federally funded research and development center for the National Nuclear Security Administration. General Dynamics will assist in modernizing Sandia’s IT environment by developing the foundation for sustainable, cost-effective cloud computing capabilities for the lab. The company also will develop the business framework, processes, service models, technical architecture and implementation plans that will guide Sandia’s staff as it deploys the new IT model.

December 11, 2014

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has appointed Rob Leland as vice president of science and technology and chief technology officer. 

February 14, 2013
George I. Seffers

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., has issued three information technology contracts totaling $353 million over a potential term of seven years. The awards streamline IT contracting at the labs, replace expiring contracts and integrate multiple service contracts to create efficiencies and long-term cost savings. Award A, an estimated $44.4 million contract for telecommunications, went to Mutual Telecom Services, Needham, Mass.

Steve Rottler has been named as vice president of Sandia National Laboratories’ California laboratory, leading the Energy, Climate, and Infrastructure Security Strategic Management Unit, Livermore, California.

August 17, 2012

A new robotic hand, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, mimics the capabilities of a human hand and could help disarm improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Sandia Hand project aimed to create a cost-effective product for wide distribution to the troops with the flexibility and durability necessary to save lives in the field.

August 9, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

Bonnie Apodaca has been named vice president of Business Operations and chief financial officer at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico.