R&D Computer Science

Portrait of Mark Forrer

Education and Prior Positions

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Maryland (2000-2005)

Software Engineer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2012-2015)

Software Engineer, Naval Surface Warfare Center (2007-2012)

Junior Computer Scientist, ATR Corp. (2005-2007)


Research Interests

At Sandia, Forrer works to develop and support the Experiment Data Depot, a software repository of standardized biological experimental data and metadata. He is interested in working with cross-functional teams of scientists and engineers to both learn about and support science using his software engineering skills.

Most of Forrer's experience as a software engineer has been writing software to support mission-critical aspects of large research projects for the U.S. Government. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he was on the User Interface team for the National Ignition Facility’s control system software. The National Ignition Facility is an inertial confinement fusion research project run by a team of operators in a control room and on a countdown clock similar to NASA’s. The control system itself is highly distributed across hundreds of computers within the facility, which is the size of 3 football fields.

Forrer's earlier work for the U.S. Navy was to develop an analysis software package called the Treatment Magnetic Analysis software, responsible for analyzing offboard magnetic field data from U.S. Navy ships and recommending settings for their on-board compensation systems. The software is deployed at 5 sites across the continental United States and is an important tool in helping Navy ships meet an important stealth requirement.

Selected Publication

Morrell, W.C.; Birkel G.W.; Forrer, M.; Lopez, T.; Backman, T.; Dussault, M.; Petzold, C.J.; Baidoo, E.;Costello, Z.; Ando, D.; Alonso-Gutierrez, J.; George, K.W.; Mukhopadhyay, A.; Vaino, I.; Keasling, J.D.; Adams, P.D.; Hillson, N.J.; and Hector Garcia Martin; "The Experiment Data Depot: A Web-Based Software Tool for Biological Experimental Data Storage, Sharing, and Visualization" ACS Synthetic Biology; 2017 6 (12), 2248-2259 (DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00204)