Sandia Labs FY21 LDRD Annual Report


Laboratory Directed Research and Development FY21 Annual Report From the Chief Research Officer Sandia National

Some of the Nation’s most exciting innovations in 2021 have origins in LDRD investments—from highly interconnected photovoltaic cells licensed for a satellite now in orbit, to a biologically inspired electrodialysis membrane for producing fresh water from seawater, to the extraction of rare-earth metals from coal ash. Sandia scientists and engineers are supporting the missions of today and tomorrow by creating innovations for deep space, deep waters, or deep within earth. A critical component of our LDRD program is workforce development. Sandia’s internal LDRD processes and NNSA guidance allow our highly talented scientists and engineers to further develop their technical acumen by submitting proposals and performing high-end research that span foundational disciplines to more applied missions. The LDRD program also fosters a technical talent pipeline for the Laboratories by allowing university students to engage in Sandia’s R&D and learn how they can contribute to the Nation. It also provides an avenue for postdoctoral students to collaborate with Sandia’s teams and utilize the Labs’ world-class facilities in support of NNSA priorities. I am proud of Sandia’s LDRD program and all the significant achievements it helps to facilitate. As long as the world has questions and challenges, Sandia’s best and brightest will step forward to help provide the answers and solutions.

Laboratories leans into the future through its Laboratory Directed Research and Development

(LDRD) program. This refined and strategic

mechanism allows teams to conduct innovative and exploratory research that fuel Sandia’s priorities, support strategic initiatives, and address the broad range of challenging problems facing the Nation today. The LDRD program allows Sandia to assemble experts from different fields to execute world-class science and engineering research focused on national security that are transformational in nature due to their high- risk, high-reward potential. Through leading-edge efforts, teams find new ways to leverage current capabilities and explore possibilities to amplify our country’s safety and security through innovations that support nuclear deterrence capabilities, advance counterterrorism, augment defense efforts, and optimize and protect our energy production. These research projects intersect with challenges on today’s world stage such as climate change, bioengineering, radioactive waste, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the protection of critical information and resources. The discovery research in areas such as mathematics, bioscience, computing, and pulsed power, just to name a few, will lead to long-term impacts and differentiating capabilities; their models, diagnostics and sensors will help validate methodologies and predict the behaviors of engineered and autonomous systems into the future.

Susan Seestrom Associate Laboratories Director & Chief Research Officer Advanced Science and Technology



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