Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, Alameda County
(AD-16, SD-07)

Bill Goldstein, PhD, Director

Scott F. Wilson, State Government Liaison | (925) 423-3125

Lynda Seaver, Public Affairs | (925) 423-3103


Originally established by Edward Teller and Ernest Lawrence as a branch of the UC Radiation Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has been a pillar of the Tri-Valley community since 1952.

Today, LLNL is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It is operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC — a partnership of Bechtel Corporation, the University of California, Babcock and Wilcox, URS Corporation, Battelle, and the Texas A&M University System. LLNL’s defining responsibility is ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent — yet its responsibilities have evolved with America’s changing needs.

The LLNL mission of making the world a safer place now aligns with our nation’s most challenging security problems — terrorism, energy security, climate and environmental change — tackling them through R&D investments in computing, engineering, and life and physical sciences. California can only stand to benefit as LLNL cultivates partnerships with industry innovators regionally and statewide.


  • No. of Employees: 7,300
  • PhD Scientists and Engineers: 1,570
  • Annual Budget: $1.7 billion (2016)
  • Annual Payroll: $770 million (2016)
  • Procurements to CA Businesses: $243 million (2016)
  • Active Commercial Licenses: 110 (since 2016)


Since its founding in 1952, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has been an icon in northern California, applying cutting-edge technology to enhance our nation’s security and solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Those goals are met, in part, through strategic partnerships with California industry and academia. LLNL currently has active commercial licenses with more than 100 companies (50 in California) as well as dozens of active cooperative research and development agreements. Licensing and royalty income in recent years has topped $8 million annually, representing more than $300 million in annual sales of products based on LLNL technologies. LLNL licenses have enabled the launch of new businesses that are helping drive economic growth locally, regionally, and beyond.

LLNL’s procurements through California businesses ($243 million) and annual payroll ($770 million) directly contribute to the regional economy. LLNL also has deep and longstanding relationships with the UC and California State University systems, which serve as important workforce pipelines. Finally, investments such as the Livermore Valley Open Campus — an innovation hub developed by LLNL and Sandia — creates a novel venue where researchers from industry and academia can collaborate with Lab personnel, contributing to the next generation of big ideas.


LLNL has missions in biosecurity, counterterrorism, defense, energy, intelligence, nonproliferation, science, and weapons. LLNL’s fundamental work in science, technology, and engineering — the research and development leading to LLNL breakthroughs — is spread across three disciplinary organizations: Computation, Engineering, and Physical and Life Sciences:

  1. In addition to designing, developing, and deploying high-performance computing capabilities, the Computation Directorate assures that mission and program goals are attained by delivering outstanding computer science expertise and creative technology and software solutions. Computation also possesses technical expertise in information technology services and solutions that help missions.
  2. The Engineering Directorate undertakes projects with high technical risk, integrates and extends technologies, and uses the extremes of both ultrascale and microscale to achieve results. LLNL engineers additively manufacture and develop systems that push technologies to their extremes.
  3. The Physical and Life Sciences Directorate delivers science that ensures the success of LLNL’s national security programs, anticipates their future needs, and provides innovative solutions to the hardest scientific problems facing the nation and our state.


LLNL is home to one of DOE’s flagship user facilities, the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The world’s largest and most energetic laser, NIF surpassed expectations to fire a record-breaking 417 experiments in 2016, including shots that safely used minute amounts of plutonium to generate data relevant to understanding nuclear weapon performance — information critical to DOE’s stockpile stewardship mission. NIF is also used to study fundamental properties of matter at high energies and densities, such as astrophysical plasmas and planetary cores. NIF will soon begin using complex new diagnostic capabilities to directly observe nuclear fusion experiments. LLNL’s long-standing leadership in high-performance computing is indispensable for effectual design and interpretation of these complex NIF experiments.


A public-private partnership between LLNL and Tennessee-based ORTEC helped speed critical homeland-security technology to the marketplace. Radscout is a portable radiation detector developed by LLNL’s weapons program for emergency first responders and inspection personnel who need rapid detection and identification of material to determine the nature and scope of a threat. The product, now under the names of Detective and DetectiveEX, has been used to screen for dangerous radioisotopes in luggage or shipping containers and rapidly reports its results on-the-spot. The detector also is being used at border crossings, cargo ship docks, and transportation terminals.


“LLNL pushes the bounds of human knowledge and ingenuity, and it draws some of the best minds in the world to California’s East Bay region to live, work, and contribute to our thriving innovation ecosystem, and to local STEM education programs for future generations.”
— Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R-Dublin)

“LLNL is a huge contributor to California’s economy, providing high-end jobs, bringing in federal research dollars, and forming academic and industrial partnerships. I never hesitate to hold up LLNL as a shining example of the technological and entrepreneurial excellence that the Bay Area can offer.”
— Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda)



Alongside academic powerhouses such as the University of California campuses, Stanford, and Caltech, Californians can take pride in our unrivaled collection of federal laboratories and research centers. CCST helps facilitate links across the capabilities and talents of these labs and centers through its Federal Laboratory Affiliates program — convening their expertise to deliver impartial science advice in response to the Governor, the Legislature, and other state entities. Learn more about the federal labs and science centers benefiting California at

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Updated: 2018.02.13