People First, Mission Always

LLNL Engineering provides the research, design, and execution behind some of the world’s most rigorous and complex engineering projects to support the Lab’s government-funded missions. We also collaborate with industry and academia to develop some of the world’s most sophisticated products, processes, and specialized instruments. Collaborations allow industry and academia to utilize LLNL’s resources to accelerate market-driven innovation and reduce production costs and time, while funneling outside knowledge toward projects in the energy sector, national security, and other applications.    

Our overall guiding principle is "People First, Mission Always.” When it comes to our people, we prioritize Respect, Integrity, Collaboration, Mentoring, and Safety. When it comes to accomplishing our mission, we celebrate Integrity, Ideas, Impact, Inclusiveness, and Zeal.

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Meet our Leadership

Anup Singh

Anup Singh

Associate Director

Anup Singh is the Associate Director for Engineering — an organization of approximately 2,500 employees. As Associate Director, Anup manages a team and facilities that cover the full range of the Lab’s world-class engineering expertise, manufacturing capabilities, and research to ensure the long-term success of its programs.    

Anup joined the Lab in 2021 after serving as director of the Center for Biological and Engineering Sciences at Sandia National Lab. There, he managed critical capabilities in support of Sandia's Energy & Homeland Security, Global Security, Nuclear Deterrence and Advanced Science, and Technology portfolios.   

“People first, mission always” is Anup’s guiding principle: he champions the multitude of workforce development programs in the directorate, including the Engineering Leadership Development Program; the Engineering Mentoring Program; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council; and strategic partnerships with universities for diverse talent recruitment. He has served as the Executive Champion for the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Women’s Association, and is currently champion for Veterans in Energy Technology & Science (VETS).

Anup is internationally recognized for his scientific leadership in microfluidics, having published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and patented 40 inventions. He holds a bachelor of technology degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, in Bombay, India, and a doctorate in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Shannon Ayers

Shannon Ayers

Laser Systems Engineering and Operations Division Leader

Shannon Ayers first started at Livermore Lab in 1998 as an intern working on the Extreme Ultra-Violet Lithography project and currently serves as the Division Leader for the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) Engineering Division as well as a National Ignition Facility (NIF) Laser and Alignment Section (LASE) lead. LSEO is responsible for maintaining a vibrant workforce to support the engineering needs of the NIF&PS directorate and LASE is responsible for the performance, operations, and maintenance of the NIF laser and alignment systems.  
Shannon has been part of the NIF team for over ten years, where in addition to laser, target, and diagnostic alignment she led the successful development and deployment of many target diagnostics for use at the NIF, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, and the Atomic Weapons Establishment.  
Prior to NIF, Shannon served as project engineer and manager of several optics processing projects in support of the Global Security and Physical and Life Sciences directorates.   
When not supporting the NIF facility operations or capability enhancements, Shannon is engaged in workforce development efforts to support an environment that fosters innovation at LLNL.

Bob Frencz

Bob Ferencz

Computational Engineering Division Lead

Bob Ferencz has pursued computational mechanics R&D since first being an undergraduate structural engineering student, creating meshes by hand and entering data on punch cards.  
He currently leads LLNL’s Computational Engineering Division. This organization has over 160 technical staff with expertise in Engineering Modeling and Simulation, Data Analytics and Decision Science, and Signal and Image Processing. This collection of analytic expertise supports many Laboratory programs, external projects, and research collaborations.  
Bob has also participated in the private sector, being among the founders of a firm focused on multiphysics simulation software, playing a variety of technical and management roles culminating in Vice President of Engineering. 
For the past eight years, Bob has been a voting member of the ASME Standards Subcommittee for Verification and Validation in Computational Solid Mechanics. 
Bob's research interests include computational solid and structural mechanics, particularly global algorithms for nonlinear implicit finite element methods, advanced applications, and verification and validation. He holds a bachelor and master of science in civil engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a master and doctorate of science in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

Robin Miles

Robin Miles

National Security Engineering Division Lead




Travis Paladichuk

Travis Paladichuk

Defense Technologies Engineering Division Lead

Travis Paladichuk is the Defense Technologies Engineering Division Leader (DTED-DL), leading approximately 550 personnel to provide technical and strategic leadership in support of the Lab’s national security mission. In this role, Travis works closely with Weapons and Complex Integration management to meet weapons engineering needs for annual assessments, modernization programs, and evolving future deterrents. Prior to becoming Division Leader, Travis Paladichuk was the Engineering Lead for the W80-4 Life Extension Program since 2012, with programmatic responsibility for $150 million annually. 

Travis began his career at LLNL in 2001, leading a weapon component project realization team to execute large-scale experiments to assess engineering and physics performance. He then took on the role of Engineering Lead for the Phoenix Program, designing and fielding complex explosive experiments used to develop equations of state for high-density material targets.  

He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Davis and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC San Diego. He also served in the U.S. Army as a Combat Engineer. 

In his spare time, you can find Travis watching an SF Giants baseball game, cooking a steak, or spending quality time with his family.

Rob Sharpe

Rob Sharpe

Deputy Associate Director for Research and Development

In 1984, Rob Sharpe was a design engineer with the Antenna Laboratory at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas. From 1986 to 1990, he was a doctoral fellow with TRW in Redondo Beach, California in the electromagnetics applications center. From 1988 until 1991 he was a faculty member at the University of Houston.  
Rob joined the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in 1992 where he has held various positions including Director of the Center for Computational Engineering, Chief Technologist, Deputy Associate Director for Engineering Science and Technology, and the Division Leader for the Computational Engineering Division. He currently serves as the Deputy Associate Director of Engineering Research and Development. In this capacity he directs efforts in computational engineering, micro- and nano-technology, advanced measurement capabilities, and data analytics. 
Rob holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Auburn University and master and doctorate of science in electrical engineering from University of Houston.

Donn McMahon

Donn McMahon

Principal Deputy Associate Director


Mark Sutton

Mark Sutton

Acting Deputy Associate Director for Operations

Mark Sutton is currently the Engineering Directorate Deputy Associate Director for Operations, providing internal oversight of major operational activities and serving as the principal interface for cross-institutional operational interactions.

Sutton started his career at LLNL in 1998 as a summer student and later as a postdoctoral researcher in the Analytical and Nuclear Chemistry Division after receiving his Doctorate in Environmental Radiochemistry from Loughborough University in the UK. He has served in various technical programmatic leadership roles from Principal Investigator to Associate Program Leader in the Nuclear Fuel Cycles Program in the Global Security Directorate. In 2015, he changed his career focus to operations and became the Deputy Division Leader for Operations in the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division in the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate. In this role, Mark was responsible for the safety, security, and infrastructure needs of work performed in the laboratory, accelerator, and office facilities, including a multi-year modernization project. Mark has served as a Laboratory Emergency Duty Officer since 2019. In 2020 he joined the Engineering Directorate as the Assistant Deputy Associate Director for Operations, where he assisted in overseeing safety, security and infrastructure, as well as financial planning, business continuity, and off-normal preparedness.

Harry Martz

Harry Martz

Director, Nondestructive Characterization Institute

Harry Martz is the Director for Non-destructive Characterization Institute and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His work has pioneered ways to use X-rays and other forms of radiation and particles for noninvasive imaging of everything from warhead components to bridge decks to breast tumors.

Harry's research has led to major advances in airport baggage scanning technology to detect explosive and non-explosive materials that terrorists try to sneak through airport security, as well as the development of better cargo scanning devices at major American sea, land, and airports. He has served on several National Academy of Sciences Committees on Aviation Security, was the Chair of the Committee on Airport Passenger Screening: Backscatter X-Ray Machines, and received an R&D Magazine 100 Award, better known as the "Oscars of Invention" for his work on a mobile CT system to nondestructively assay thousands of waste drums at Department of Energy sites around the country. Harry has authored or co-authored over 300 papers, a few book chapters and a book on X-ray Imaging: Fundamentals, Industrial Techniques and Applications.

He has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics/Inorganic Chemistry from Florida State University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Siena College.

Dan Tortorelli

Dan Tortorelli

Director, Center for Design and Optimization

Dan Tortorelli has served as the Director for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center for Design and Optimization since its instantiation in 2016. He is also the George B. Grim Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a title given upon his retirement after a 26-year career on the faculty.

Dan's interdisciplinary team develops software to optimize systems with respect to their structural, thermal, transport, fluidic, etc. performances. The software combines nonlinear programming and machine learning algorithms, finite element simulation, and high-performance computing strategies.

Dan has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from University of Notre Dame and a master and doctorate of science in mechanical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Eric Duoss

Eric Duoss

Director, Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing

Eric Duoss is currently a Member of the Technical Staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he conducts research in the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing combined with micro-architected design.

Eric's research interests include additive manufacturing, 3D printing, printed electronics, functional materials, colloids and complex fluids, soft matter, microfluidics, microencapsulation, and emulsion science.

He holds bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and chemistry from St. Norbert College and a doctorate in materials science and engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Chris Spadaccini

Chris Spadaccini

Materials Engineering Division Lead

Chris Spadaccini is the Materials Engineering Division Lead and former Director of the Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing. He has been a member of the technical staff in the Materials Engineering Division for the past ten years. He is currently the principal investigator for several advanced materials and additive manufacturing projects. He is also the founder and director of a new additive manufacturing, process development, and architected materials center.

The work in these laboratories focuses on developing next-generation additive processes that are capable of micro- and nano-scale features and have the ability to create components with mixtures of materials ranging from polymers to metals and ceramics. Development of these processes also involves the synthesis and materials science of feedstocks such as photopolymers and nanoparticles. These capabilities are utilized to fabricate microarchitected materials with unique designer properties, such as negative thermal expansion.

Chris is also a part-time lecturer at the San Jose State University in the Biomedical, Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, where he teaches graduate courses in advanced transport phenomena.

Chris's research interests include architected materials, metamaterials, advanced fabrication processes, additive manufacturing, topology optimization, energetic materials, fluid mechanics and combustion.

He holds bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shivshankar Sundram

Shankar Sundaram

Director, Center for Bioengineering

Shankar Sundaram currently serves as the Director for the Center for Bioengineering. In this capacity, he leads LLNL's Bioengineering strategy and technology development activities that address critical challenges in health and biosecurity. He also serves on the leadership team that oversees Lab programs in Biosciences and Bioengineering. He co-leads a Lab initiative that integrates AI/computational approaches and engineered biological systems to enable new capabilities in predicting and harnessing biology. Particular focus areas for the LLNL group include accelerated design of biological countermeasures, advanced platforms for complex in-vitro biological and biomanufacturing systems, and predictive, multimodal health analytics.

Prior to starting at LLNL, Sundaram was the Bioengineering Center Director at Draper Laboratory where he led its strategy and initiatives in the areas of neuroengineering and human microsystem development. Before Draper, he was in the private sector leading efforts on the development of modeling and design software for physiology as well microfluidic/medical devices that interfaced with biology.

Throughout his career, he has focused on trans-disciplinary, multi-institutional partnerships driving an open innovation model. He is a named inventor on several patents and has published in the scientific literature in these research areas. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Get to Know the People of Engineering

A headshot of Research Engineer Eric Elton.

Eric Elton

After earning a B.S. in Chemistry at Utah State University, Eric Elton completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at U.C. Davis. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at LLNL prior to joining the Lab as a Research Engineer in the Materials Engineering Division in 2021. His research interests involve complex transport problems and multi-material additive manufacturing. In 2021, Eric was recognized with a Director’s Award for Excellence in Publication following the appearance of his paper "Dramatic Effect of Oxide on Measured Liquid Metal Rheology” in the Journal of Rheology.

A headshot of postdoctoral fellow Sijia Huang.

Sijia Huang

After earning her B.S. at the University of Minnesota, Sijia Huang completed a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. She joined the lab in October 2021 having been awarded a Lawrence Fellowship. This highly competitive fellowship selects just three applicants per year and allows recipients to pursue their own research. Sijia’s focus is on sustainable and recyclable polymers for additive manufacturing. She previously worked as a research intern at Facebook Reality Lab and 3M company. Outside work, she enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, and backpacking. 

A headshot of Functional Architected Materials Engineering group lead Caitlyn Krikorian.

Caitlyn Krikorian

Caitlyn Krikorian has served as group lead for the Functional Architected Materials Engineering (FAME) group within the Materials Engineering Division since September 2021 and is currently leading a LDRD-ER project focused on Shape Changing of Responsive Elastomer Structures (SCoRES). Her research is focused on developing functional and responsive feedstock materials for additive and advanced manufacturing processes with understanding of the underlying structure-property relationships. Caitlyn earned her B.Eng. and M.A. from Cal Poly.    Caitlyn is passionate about building and maintaining a strong community in her workplace to foster collaboration, idea generation, and a network of interconnected minds working towards common goals. Outside of work, Caitlyn enjoys spending time outdoors (hiking and skiing), understanding the science of baking in her own kitchen, and engaging in her surrounding community via outreach and church events. 

Engineering Mission Statement 

LLNL’s Engineering Directorate is a multidisciplinary, collaborative organization known for achieving breakthroughs in areas vital to our national security missions—from nuclear security and deterrence to cybersecurity to renewable energy. Our areas of expertise include materials engineering and manufacturing, computational engineering, optical engineering, bioengineering, data science and machine learning, and sensing and diagnostics.  

LLNL Engineering provides the research, design, and execution behind some of the world’s most rigorous and complex engineering projects to support the Lab’s government-funded missions. We also collaborate with industry and academia to develop some of the world’s most sophisticated products, processes, and specialized instruments. Collaborations allow industry and academia to utilize LLNL’s resources to accelerate market-driven innovation and reduce production costs and time, while funneling outside knowledge toward projects in the energy sector, national security, and other applications.   

People are our most prized resources and the root of our excellence. An outstanding group of researchers, engineers, technicians and machinists, and a specialized support staff all work to achieve our goals, and we value each employee’s contribution to the mission. Diversity is key to our inventiveness, and we are actively recruiting those who would benefit from the inclusive environment Engineering strives to cultivate.

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