Our history reflects the changing national security needs of postwar America. Although Sandia originated as a single-mission engineering organization for nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons, today it is a multiprogram laboratory engaging in research supporting a broad spectrum of national security issues.

Sandia began in 1945 as Z Division, the ordnance design, testing, and assembly arm of Los Alamos National Laboratory. It became Sandia Laboratory in 1948 and, in 1949, Sandia Corporation was established as a Western Electric company to manage the laboratory. A second site was opened in California’s Livermore Valley in 1956. More than two decades later, in 1979, Congress made Sandia a Department of Energy national laboratory. Sandia Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of Martin Marietta (later Lockheed Martin Corporation) in 1993. On May 1, 2017, National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., assumed management of Sandia.

First Sandia Labs logo has universal globe with mushroom cloud
First Sandia Labs Logo
1955 Sandia Thunderbird Logo
1955 Sandia Thunderbird Pin
Thunderbird emblem with three distinct feathers was used from 1956-1970
1956-1970 Thunderbird

For more information, contact the Sandia Historian Rebecca Ullrich.