Sandia National Laboratories-California
Livermore, Alameda County
(AD-16, SD-07)

Dori Ellis, Associate Labs Director for California

Patrick Sullivan, Government Relations | (925) 294-3243

Michael Padilla, Media Relations | (925) 294-2447


Throughout its history, Sandia has been guided by the core principle of — in the words of President Harry Truman — providing “exceptional service in the national interest.” The Lab began in 1945 as the Z-division; the weapons design, testing, and assembly branch of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. It officially became Sandia in 1948, and in 1956, a second site was opened in California’s Livermore Valley.

Today, Sandia is operated and managed by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International. One of the three National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratories, Sandia’s underlying mission is to develop advanced technologies to ensure global peace.
From its origins as an engineering organization for nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons, Sandia now has multiple programs involved in a broad spectrum of national security issues. As a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), Sandia is an objective, independent, and trusted advisor, drawing from its deep science and engineering experience to anticipate, innovate, create, and inform the policy discussion for decision makers.


  • No. of Employees: 1,375
  • PhD Scientists and Engineers: 294
  • Annual Budget: $577 million (2016)
  • Procurements to CA Businesses: $146 million (2016)
  • Contracts to Small Businesses: $92 million (2016)


Sandia National Laboratories is the largest of the Department of Energy national labs with more than 13,000 staff spread across its two main campuses in New Mexico and California. For more than 60 years, the Sandia National Laboratories campus in Livermore, California has delivered cutting-edge science and technology solutions to resolve the nation’s most challenging and complex problems.

As a multidisciplinary laboratory, Sandia draws from virtually every science and engineering discipline to address challenges in energy, homeland security, cybersecurity, climate, and biosecurity. Today, collaboration is vital to ensuring that the Lab stays at the forefront of science and technology innovation. Partnerships with industry, state and local governments, and California universities help drive innovation and economic growth in the region.

Sandia contributes to California’s regional and statewide economy — with more than $145 million in contracts to California companies in 2016, $92 million of which went to California small businesses. In addition, Sandia also engages the community directly by running robust STEM education programs for local schools and administering community giving programs. Meanwhile, investments like the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), an innovation hub supported by LLNL and Sandia, help catalyze the local economy.


Meeting California’s robust environmental policies, clean energy goals, and homeland security challenges will require readiness, excellence in engineering, and rapid innovation. Sandia researchers and engineers can help California navigate these complex challenges, including:

Transportation Energy: Since the 1980s, Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility has delivered new vehicle technologies that reduce tailpipe emissions and improve fuel economy, and more recently it has been developing sustainable biofuels. Working with the Air Resources Board, Sandia research also has helped advance the deployment of California’s hydrogen fueling network.

Renewable Energy and Resilience: Sandia’s robust solar, wind, and geothermal programs have contributed to a widespread deployment of renewable energy technology. The California Energy Commission has used Sandia’s energy storage and grid integration programs to help validate new technologies.

Disaster Preparedness: Sandia develops mitigation plans and solutions for natural and manmade disasters, including cybersecurity. Sandia has worked with the California Fire and Rescue Training Authority at the California Exercise Simulation Center. Sandia’s SUMMIT tool reduces costs in developing disaster training scenarios, offering a common computing platform for exercises and drills.


Sandia is partnering with the San Francisco-based Red and White Fleet to design a hydrogen-fueled ferry, called San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions, or SF-BREEZE. A feasibility study, initiated two years ago, looked at the possibility of a large, fast vessel that would meet maritime regulations and be economically competitive. With the recent success of the initial proof of concept, this public-private partnership is moving forward with optimization of design studies and is one step closer to creating large, high-speed, pollution-free ferries.


Sandia is testing to see if one of California’s largest and most polluted lakes can transform into one of its most productive and profitable. Inland Empire’s 350-square-mile Salton Sea has well-documented problems related to elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural runoff. Algae thrives on these elements, and Sandia intends to harness algae’s penchant for prolific growth to clean up these pollutants and stop harmful algae blooms while creating a renewable, domestic source of fuel. Algae can be easily converted to fuels and chemicals using a Sandia-patented fermentation process. This could make a significant impact on efforts to revitalize and restore the Salton Sea while bringing economic opportunity to the region.


“Sandia has been an integral part of the East Bay for 60 years. It engineers solutions for our country’s national security challenges, advances low-carbon energy technologies, and develops clean transportation systems. Sandia’s contributions are felt across California and the country.”
— Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda)

“Whether combating the effects of climate change, creating a more resilient energy infrastructure, or developing mitigation plans and solutions for homeland and cyber security threats, Sandia has a reputation for results and innovation.”
— Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R-Dublin)


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

Find the California Council on Science and Technology on Facebook at, on Twitter @CCSTorg, and on LinkedIn. Learn more about CCST at

Updated: 2018.02.13