Research and Innovation 


Engineering with Purpose

LLNL Engineering’s cutting-edge work contributes to both fundamental science and new technological discovery. Driving all our efforts is a commitment to supporting and sustaining the Laboratory’s national security mission. We partner with colleagues throughout the Lab to provide critical technology and services that make revolutionary science and technology possible.

Graduate student intern Daniel Martin works on instrumentation upgrades in Lawrence Livermore’s Nuclear Counting FacilityA researcher manipulates strands of biotubing created by flowing fibroblast cells and alginate through a coaxial needleA researcher holds an additively manufactured metal cube up to the cameraLLNL optical engineers look through the “r” filter designed for a telescope at the Vera C. Rubin ObservatoryA technician makes an adjustment to MJOLNIR, LLNL’s dense plasma focusA technician sprays water on the 5-axis machine in LLNL Engineering’s Main Bay

LLNL Engineering

Where mission and innovation meet

The Engineering Principal Directorate develops, builds, and applies engineering and technology to meet our nation’s security needs, reduce global threats, and tackle fundamental scientific and engineering challenges. Our research areas span the breadth of the discipline, supporting core programs in stockpile stewardship, laser systems, global security, and more.


Improving human health and safety

Bioengineering at LLNL involves analysis of and intervention in complex, biological systems with the aim of supporting the Lab’s mission. Bioengineering enables transformational solutions to counter biological threats and increase national resilience.

Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

Defining the future of fabrication

Scientists and engineers in Materials Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing, and Materials Science at LLNL take a multidisciplinary approach to the rapid development of advanced materials and production processes—and they’re revolutionizing manufacturing along the way.

Optics and Photonics

Building next-generation optics and photonics

Optics and Photonics is a world leader in developing advanced high-energy, high-average-power, pulsed and ultrafast laser systems, such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s most energetic laser.

Systems Engineering

At the forefront of the final frontier

Our Systems Engineering teams cover many areas, from sensor development to space science engineering. Using advanced modeling tools plus optimization capabilities and uncertainty quantification, systems engineering strives to quantify and elucidate decision-making and to hone new technologies within the context of the systems they will impact.

Computational Engineering and Data Science

Modeling and simulation for national security

Computational Engineering and Data Science advances modeling & simulation, data-analytic tools, and entire fields of study, such as collaborative autonomy—all with the aid of LLNL’s massive computing facilities. Our work underpins and informs national security efforts throughout the Lab.

Research and Innovation Highlights

From implants measuring neuronal activity to predictive models based on machine learning, LLNL Engineering designs, tests, and builds the technology of tomorrow, today. Learn more about our latest achievements.

A machinist levels a zinc selenide blank

James Webb Space Telescope Grating Prism 

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured unprecedented and detailed views of the universe, with the release of its first full-color images and spectroscopic data. Read Full Article

A photo of NIF’s laser bays from above, showing 48 beamlines flanking a central utility spine.

Fusion: On the Threshold of Ignition

On August 8, 2021, LLNL achieved a significant milestone in fusion research, demonstrating a fusion yield of 1.35 megajoules on NIF, more than two-thirds of the 1.9 megajoules of laser energy going in. Read Full Article

A series of images showing the pressure and temperature fields that are generated when a shock wave collapses a single pore in beta-HMX crystal.

New Computer Simulations Reveal New Information about High Explosives

Engineers in the Computational Engineering Division unveiled computer simulations exploring the effects of shock waves on crystalline HMX in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of Applied Physics. Read Full Article

an engineer assembles a small part at a table

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