Sandia News

Mission Services

cooling system
David Martinez watches as water rushes through the tubes and computer racks, providing a warm-water cooling system and keeping the high-performance computers from overheating.

Data center earns LEED Gold

Sandia’s Albuquerque campus 725E data center for high-performance computing earned the LEED v4 Gold BD+C: Data Center Certification. To perform large-scale computations, HPC systems consume substantial amounts of energy. Because heat is a sizable byproduct, stringent cooling regimens are required to keep these computers running, including the use of warm water to conserve energy. An additional method is cooling with outdoor air using thermosyphon technology. This cooling unit saves a half million gallons of water, with expec ted savings of 16 million gallons annually. (10700)

 Indirect budget reductions

Sandia achieved a congressional mandate to reduce indirect costs by 5% in FY20. As part of an effort to continually enhance stewardship of its indirect budgets, Sandia redefined and implemented a Labs-level indirect budget allocation process for FY21 that is future-focused, strategic, agile, transparent and owned and supported by leadership. The new Indirect Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Process was developed by leveraging benchmarks of various leading models. Enhancements include deploying Indirect Planning Guidance to codify leadership intent, completing bottoms-up budgets and defining principles for Service Level Agreements. (10000)

Architecture for partnering with excellence

The Architecture for Partnering with Excellence Office and the Standard Financial Reporting team partnered with IT in FY20 to develop a standardized financial reporting tool using Power BI. The team worked closely with Sandia’s business community to gather requirements, test drive the tool and create standard reporting templates. This effort promotes greater efficiencies and enhanced customer satisfaction by reducing risk and time spent on manual updates and streamlines financial services. (10000)

Cloud platform for multilab project

Sandia delivered its contribution ahead of schedule for a multilab, NNSA-sponsored project — a cloud-based secure computing environment using a shared services model. Participants across the NNSA complex include Kansas City National Security Complex, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories and Sandia. Sandia was responsible for deploying the first phase of a hybrid cloud platform for use as a new enterprise secure computing testing environment. This included deployment of Azure Stack, the supporting hardware and the manual utilization of the security testing process and other supply chain capabilities. (10700)

Continuous improvement for mission delivery

Sandia’s Business Excellence team continued to stand up intentional management operating systems and solve enterprise-level problems with lean thinking through the Laboratory Operating System. FY20 results from structured problem solving included applying new methods to shorten the design cycle of power sources while ensuring effective knowledge capture and transfer for future programs; streamlining and integrating the capital acquisition (CapAx) process and investment strategy for future capabilities; and delivering multiple improvements to reduce burdens for managers. (10000)

Expanded International Organization for Standardization certifications

Sandia completed a three-year plan to assess Quality Management System implementation across all centers, a requirement for maintaining its ISO 9001:2015 certification in New Mexico and expanding certification to the California site. This activity established the foundation for an enduring, risk-based assessment program that provides information to management about the effectiveness of the Labs’ QMS. (10000)

program manager Paul Sedillo
Sandia small-business program manager Paul Sedillo presents to representatives and owners during a forum in 2019 at the University of New Mexico Lobo Rainforest.

Small business engagement and development

Sandia exceeded the FY20 small business goal of 56% and all five socioeconomic subcategory goals. The Labs established a Mentor-Protégé program to pair qualified small businesses with Sandia subject matter experts and help them be more competitive for federal and industry opportunities. The first three protégé agreements became final in October 2020. (10000)

Business operations adapt to ensure continuity  

Sandia adapted key finance and supply chain operations to ensure continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. These included creating unique accounting and reporting processes to monitor COVID-19 costs, employee leave, and other effects of reduced operations; developing and communicating charging, funding and other guidance; analyzing COVID-19 cost and funding impacts; and launching a temporary vacation donation program. Supply Chain successfully procured scarce personal protective equipment and set up PPE storage and inventory systems; established processes to reduce COVID-19 transmission via received packages; and implemented tracking for needs and coordinated distribution. Enterprise Excellence led the PPE acquisition and allocation task force. (10000)

New Enterprise Excellence Center

To streamline and reduce redundancies between assurance management systems and the work of the lean operation system, Contractor and Quality Assurance was combined with Business Excellence into a single center. This center has Labswide accountability for issue and risk management, maintaining ISO certification, ownership of the Labs Policy System, development of the Labs management systems and championing continuous improvement. (10000)

Fraud risk management

Sandia’s Chief Financial Officer office led an NNSA working group to define an enterprise-wide approach to managing fraud risks. With stakeholders from DOE, NNSA headquarters and five laboratories and sites, Sandia drafted a documented approach for NNSA and DOE to implement the GAO Fraud Risk Management Framework, Best Practices and Lessons Learned. Sandia’s CFO office continues in FY21 to partner with NNSA and DOE on enhanced fraud risk management practices through a DOE Internal Controls Evaluation Site Program Pilot. (10000)

employee works from home
Responding to the pandemic, Sandia moved fast to enable employees to work from home.

Remote work enabled Labswide  

In just days, Sandia’s information technology and cybersecurity organizations equipped nearly 14,000 people to work remotely. IT rapidly purchased and distributed thousands of laptops and authentication devices and ensured users had remote accounts. The help desk trained remote workers in twice-daily virtual Cyber Cafes. As infrastructure reached limits, IT rapidly increased the capacity and stability of such systems as Skype, a past VPN and phone lines. In record time, IT stood up an entirely new VPN. (9000, formerly 10700)

Strategic cost savings result from subcontracting solutions

Sandia’s FY20 contribution to DOE’s Strategic Cost Savings goal — measuring an organization’s use of strategic subcontracting solutions — was $91.1 million, representing 7.1% of Sandia’s total spending (the highest percentage in the Nuclear Security Enterprise) and accounted for 41.4% of the NSE’s total Strategic Cost Savings. This helped NNSA exceed its goal. (10000)

Project management master’s degree program

Sandia partnered with the University of New Mexico to establish an agreement to advance project management as a profession. A critical component is development of a master of science degree program in Project management, which unanimously passed the New Mexico Higher Education Department’s final approval process in mid-December. The program will begin formally accepting applicants this fall for the state’s first master’s degree program in project management. (10000)

Issue and risk management improvements

In FY20, Sandia’s Senior Leadership Team reviewed SLT-level risks and refreshed the top 10 risks that SLT will monitor through its operating rhythm. The Operational Management Review was revamped to focus on risks and issues that warrant leadership attention. The revamped OMR is structured to conduct a monthly dashboard review, monitor the state of current business and focus deep dives on operational risks and issues, including SLT-level risks. (10000)

Portfolio management maturation

Sandia is establishing a user-friendly, integrated, Labswide project and product delivery system consisting of competencies, processes and tools and solutions. The effort includes revamping the Program Management Review, establishing a new center and launching a new portfolio management tool. (10000)

Laboratory Partnerships Small Business Tax Credit

Sandia coordinated and worked with 192 New Mexico small businesses to receive a $2.4 million Laboratory Partnerships Small Business Tax Credit. The tax credit was used to offset the current year New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax liability. (1000, 10000)