State of the Labs

By Kristen Meub

Photography By Randy Montoya

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Creating the future of national and global security

Steve Younger
EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE — Sandia Labs Director Steve Younger highlighted workforce accomplishments during his annual State of the Labs address on Oct. 30.

A rocket-propelled semi on the sled track, tricky plutonium measurements at Z, intellectual leadership of nuclear deterrence and opportunities for early career staff to put payloads on rockets — these are just a few accomplishments that Labs Director Steve Younger highlighted during his State of the Labs address on Oct. 30.

As he began his talk, Steve encouraged Sandians to pause and think about what we’ve accomplished and where Sandia is headed. Videos highlighting the HOT SHOT program, the Mobile Guardian Transporter prototype and ducted fuel injection led the address.

Steve then spoke about Sandia’s nuclear deterrence program, praising the team for leaning in and addressing a scheduling issue, and beyond that, for helping Sandia take intellectual leadership in defining the future of nuclear deterrence. “This is important, because that’s why we were created,” he said.

Steve spoke about accomplishments at Sandia’s Z machine and in crude oil transportation safety, the P19 program, small business procurement goals, assisting a London airport with counter-unmanned aircraft systems, legal risk reduction and possible gross receipts tax savings. He also praised Sandia’s excellent score on the Cyber Command Readiness Inspection and the numerous local and national awards won by Sandians.

“I will tell you that I don’t think a day goes by that there isn’t a Sandia product on the president’s desk, because what you do is incredibly important,” Steve said. “There are folks laboring away behind three cipher locks, and you may never know what they do, but I can tell you that they sometimes have an amazing impact, not just on national security, but on global security.

“What makes me so proud to be a Sandian is the impact you all have on the planet. It is absolutely amazing,” he said.

The address also covered Sandia’s recent hiring increase and current workforce distribution in years of service and age. Steve shared that the Labs has achieved improvements in minority representation in management, women in R&D roles and in the hiring rate for individuals with disabilities.

The end of the talk covered Sandia’s goals, objectives and priorities for the future, including a look at the seven priorities that will advance from concepts to proposals this fiscal year.

“We are creating the future of national security; we are creating the future of global security,” Steve said. “We are doing that by assuring a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, safeguarding homeland and global security, creating energy technologies for the future and enabling a diverse and productive workforce. What did we do this year, and what will we do in the future? Exceptional service in the national interest.”