National Laboratories

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Science & technology on a mission Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a premier research facility that conducts some of the nation’s most innovative science. Lawrence Livermore’s primary focus is national security, whether it’s ensuring the safety and security of the nation’s nuclear stockpile, developing capabilities to strengthen U.S. military forces and homeland security or preventing the worldwide spread and use of weapons of mass destruction. Research efforts extend to other areas that address pressing national needs – such as development of alternative energy, cleaning up and protecting the environment, medical advances, exploring the universe and studying global warming.

To conduct science on a grand scale, Lawrence Livermore requires cutting-edge computational and experimental tools and state-of-the-art research facilities. The National Ignition Facility is the world’s largest and highest energy laser, used in support of fusion energy research for national security, energy and basic science. Lawrence Livermore’s supercomputers are among the most powerful in the world. A wide range of administrative and operational functions, from efficient business practices to high-tech computer security to the safe use and disposal of hazardous materials, also support Lawrence Livermore’s research.

The laboratory’s annual budget is approximately $1.7 billion. Lawrence Livermore has approximately 6,500 employees. Its annual payroll is more than $787 million, making it the largest employer in the city of Livermore and the fourth largest in Alameda County. The lab is managed by the Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Lawrence Livermore’s Discovery Center (open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.) has numerous science and technology displays. Community tours also are available. Call (925) 422-4599 or visit for more information.

Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore was established in 1956 and, combined with its Albuquerque, New Mexico, location, is the largest Department of Energy national security research facility. Sandia/California employs some 1,400 staff members and contractors, post-doctoral fellows and students who share the goal of applying science and technology to create a more peaceful and secure world.

Sandia grew out of the Manhattan Project, and maintaining the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile remains the foundation of their work. They provide crucial systems engineering capabilities to their sister laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Building on this core scientific knowledge, Sandia/California cultivates multiple capabilities in biosciences, cyber security, energy, materials science, engineering and systems analysis to anticipate and respond to the evolving national security landscape, accelerating innovation in all that they do. Today, their mission spans many national security needs, including areas such as homeland security, transportation energy and bioscience.

Examples of current Sandia/California projects or programs include:

  • Sandia researchers have developed a lab-on-a-disk platform, SpinDx, that they believe will be faster, less expensive and more versatile than similar medical diagnostic tools. The portable instrument can determine a patient’s white blood cell count, analyze important protein markers and process up to 64 assays from a single small sample, all in a matter of minutes, saving time and money for doctor’s offices and emergency rooms.
  • The conceptual models for partially premixed low-temperature diesel combustion, developed at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, provide the necessary science base for auto and engine manufacturers to build the next generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient diesel engines. The increased efficiency also translates into lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are a major driver of global climate change.
  • The homogeneous charge compression ignition engine, developed at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, which has caught the attention of automotive and diesel engine manufacturers worldwide. This engine has demonstrated the potential to rival the high efficiency of diesel engines while keeping emissions low.
  • A cyber security project known as “MegaDroid” is part of ongoing research at Sandia to help prevent and mitigate disruptions to computer networks on the internet, including smartphones and other hand-held computing devices. Sandia cyber researchers linked together 300,000 virtual hand-held computing devices running the Android operating system so they can study large networks of smart phones and find ways to make them more reliable and secure.

Although Sandia is a government research and development laboratory directed to meet the nation’s security needs, Sandia also welcomes commercial and business partnership opportunities. Sandia actively seeks to partner with private companies, universities and state and government agencies. The Livermore Valley Open Campus, a partnership between Sandia National Labs and Lawrence Livermore National Lab, is expanding opportunities for researchers and external partners to collaborate on some of the toughest technical challenges facing our nation and the world.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.