Sandia LabNews

State of the Labs

Labs Director Steve Younger gave his annual State of the Labs address on Oct. 30, encouraging Sandians to pause and think about what we’ve accomplished and where Sandia is headed. He described numerous accomplishments and praised Labs employees for taking intellectual leadership in defining the future of nuclear deterrence.

R&D 100

The venerable R&D 100 contest, slightly more than 50 years old, has a new owner, and the competition continues. Competing in an international pool of universities, corporations and government labs, Sandia inventions captured four R&D 100 Awards this year, as well as two environmental and one business award.

Exceptional service in the national interest

Two dates are well known to Sandians: the day President Harry Truman wrote a letter calling for “exceptional service in the national interest” and the day Sandia (previously Z Division) separated from its parent, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and became the entity we know it as today.

Engineering success through predicting failure

Around the world, materials scientists and engineers are trying different ways to predict fractures in ductile metals, but it’s not clear which approach is most accurate. To compare the different methods, Sandia researchers have presented three voluntary challenges to their colleagues: Given the same basic information about the shape, composition and loading of a metal part, could they predict how it would eventually fracture?

Lowering the bar for hydrogen-powered technology

The Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium, or HyMARC, a multilab collaboration co-led by Sandia, is developing two types of hydrogen storage materials to meet challenging energy density targets set forth by DOE. The newly expanded collaboration is using the most promising strategies to optimize the materials for future use in vehicles.

Strategic Priority No. 6

Strategic Priority No. 6, “Deploy outstanding engineering, science and technology to our mission,” is about actively supporting research at Sandia that takes full advantage of our strength to develop creative, cutting-edge solutions to emerging national security challenges that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago.

Younger: A Sputnik moment is coming

Laboratories Director Steve Younger and Chief Research Officer Susan Seestrom took the stage at the Steve Schiff Auditorium Aug. 26 to discuss “discovery science” and what it means for Sandia. The talk was the latest installment of the New Research Ideas Forum.

Experiments at sun temperature offer solar model solutions

Physicists at Sandia’s Z machine have found that a widely used astronomical model underestimates the energy blockage caused by free-floating iron atoms. Now, Sandia’s experimental opacity measurements can help bloodlessly resolve a major discrepancy in how the 40-year-old Standard Solar Model uses the composition of the sun to predict the behavior of stars.