Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Principal Associate Director - Science, Technology, and Engineering

As Principal Associate Director for Science, Technology, and Engineering, John Sarrao leads programs to ensure a world-class science and technology base that underpins the national security missions of the Lab.


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Sarrao is a recipient of the Department of Energy's E.O. Lawrence Award; a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society; and a Los Alamos Fellow.

John Sarrao

John Sarrao is the Principal Associate Director for Science, Technology and Engineering (PADSTE)

As of April 2018, John Sarrao is the Principal Associate Director for Science, Technology and Engineering (PADSTE) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. As PADSTE, he leads the Laboratory’s science, technology, and engineering capabilities, overseeing a $1.2B organization with 3,000 staff. PADSTE spans the Laboratory’s directorates for Chemistry, Life & Earth Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Experimental Physical Sciences; and Theory, Simulation, and Computation. Sarrao stewards LANL’s Laboratory Directed Research & Development (LDRD) program and other institutional capability initiatives, including the Laboratory’s student and postdoctoral programs. He also serves as LANL’s Chief Research Officer.

From 2013 to 2018, Sarrao served as LANL’s Associate Director for Theory, Simulation, and Computation (ADTSC). As ADTSC, he led the Laboratory's efforts in applying science-based prediction to existing and emerging national security missions. The TSC Directorate spans LANL’s Theoretical; Computer, Computational, and Statistical Sciences; and High Performance Computing Divisions. Sarrao also played a national leadership role in the Exascale Computing Project. Previously, Sarrao was the Program Director for Los Alamos’s Office of Science Programs, and for MaRIE (Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes), LANL’s signature facility concept that will provide transformational materials solutions for national security challenges.

Sarrao has held a number of leadership positions within LANL’s materials community, including Division Leader of the Materials Physics and Applications Division and Group Leader of Condensed Matter and Thermal Physics. Sarrao has also served on a number of U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) Subcommittees, helping to set strategic directions for materials research.

Sarrao’s primary research interest is in the synthesis and characterization of correlated electron systems, especially actinide materials. He was the 2013 winner of the Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award and the 2004 winner of the LANL Fellows Prize for Research, in part for his discovery of the first plutonium superconductor. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Physical Society (APS), and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Sarrao received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles based on thesis work performed at LANL.

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