National security depends on science and technology. The United States relies on Los Alamos National Laboratory for the best of both. No place on Earth pursues a broader array of world-class scientific endeavors.
New type of laser to help defeat threats to U.S. Navy. LANL successfully tested a new high-current electron injector, a device that can be scaled up to produce the electrons needed to build a higher-power free-electron laser prototype for the U.S. Office of Naval Research. Operating at the speed of light, the laser will protect the U.S. Navy's fleet of the future by defeating multiple incoming missiles in different maritime environments with a high-power beam of wavelength-tunable light.
Engineers at Los Alamos National Laboratory create, design, and build the tools, instruments and systems that Laboratory scientists use to explore, monitor, experiment and discover natural and man-made phenomena. Engineering’s obligation is to be an involved partner to enable and facilitate success in science and national security projects and programs. Hence, the engineering profession at the Laboratory is rich and diverse in disciplines and capabilities.
The Laboratory’s cadres of engineers seek ways to put knowledge into practice to meet national security challenges. There is excitement in the challenge to apply scientific creativity to satisfy bounding constraints and realize “the widgets” that will solve urgent national security problems. Various specialized engineering competencies arise from the inter-disciplinary problem solving required to tackle and accomplish the Laboratory’s national security mission.
To illustrate, a cross-section of high-level engineering competencies at LANL include the following:
- Hybrid mechanical, electrical, chemical design of specialty systems, and prototype manufacturing
- Measurement, test, and evaluation, instrumentation and controls, and advanced diagnostics
- Specialized materials characterization and processing, including plutonium material handling and plutonium inorganic chemical engineering
- Nuclear engineering for nuclear energy development and monitoring nuclear facilitiies
- Energy conversion, transmission, and storage
- Space and other forward-deployed systems
- Systems Engineering
The engineering community across the Laboratory has established a recognized leadership position by delivering quality products for its customers and tirelessly endeavors to expand its capabilities by applying cutting-edge science and technology, i.e., doing new things in new ways.
At Los Alamos, engineering is entrusted to deliver the tools enabling science, participate in the scientific process of discovery, and make scientific concepts a reality.