Livermore, here's Sandia!

By Michael Padilla

Thursday, June 09, 2016

First-ever community event showcases Sandia's California site

Lab marks 60th anniversary of Livermore campus

From learning how a full-scale optical engine works to touching actual munitions destroyed by the Explosive Destruction System to watching predators munch on algae in a photobioreactor, the community got a rare glimpse into Sandia/California at an event in downtown Livermore on May 21.

The more than 500 community members who attended viewed 18 displays and met with more than 30 Sandia researchers, engineers, and scientists. The program included remarks from Sandia President and Labs Director Jill Hruby and Marianne Walck, VP of Sandia’s California site and the Labs’ Energy and Climate program. US Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Deputy Director Thomas Gioconda all congratulated Jill andMarianne on the anniversary and shared their connections with Sandia/California.

Sandia systems analyst and engineer Jarret Lafleur (8118) gave a talk on “The Perfect Heist” and Cybersecurity R&D Manager Levi Lloyd (8965) spoke on “Cybersecurity: Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age.”

FUEL CELL ON THE GO — Sandia Labs Director Jill Hruby and Marianne Walck, vice president of Sandia’s California site and the energy and climate program, talk about fuel cell vehicle research with Juan Contreras of California’s Fuel Cell Partnership at the 60th anniversary event.  (Photo by Dino Vournas)

The event brought together Sandia’s education outreach programs with hands-on scientific activities from Family Science Night and Expanding Your Horizons volunteers. A local Girl Scout robotics team demonstrated its favorite robots and Livermore High School Green Engineering Academy students displayed their “Seniors helping Seniors” engineering projects. Activities included making molecules using miniature marshmallows, creating miniature robots, and, one of the most popular activities, making paper glow using copper tape, LEDs, and watch batteries. 

Sandia recruiters discussed careers and job opportunities at Sandia/California with visitors.

Erin Chandler (3553) says the best part of the day was seeing all the young adults interested in internships at the site in the near future.

 “Seeing their excitement about engineering and science and the possibility of working at our lab made for a very rewarding day,” she says. “Everything went so smoothly and I don’t think we should wait another 60 years to have another community event.”

This first-of-its-kind event greatly exceeded expectations, both in the number of attendees and the level of interest from the general public.

 “This was the first time that we have had a lab-wide event out in the community,” Marianne says. “It was terrific to see so much passion and dedication for our work displayed at the event, and I look forward to our continuing outreach in the community.”

MIGHTY ENGINE — A young visitor turns the crank on an engine that was on display at the 60th anniversary.   (Photo by Dino Vournas).

BRUSH BOTS — A Girl Scout robotics team demonstrated its favorite robots at a Sandia/California celebration in Livermore. Children of all ages — and adults —– were able to make miniature robots using toothbrush bristles.     (Photo courtesy of the Girl Scouts)

Livermore mayor John Marchand congratulates Sandia/California site VP Marianne Walck on Sandia's 60th anniversary in the community. (Photo by Dino Vournas)
Sandians discuss their work with members of the community during Sandia's 60th anniversary celebration at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore.