Ribbon medal

Program Accomplishments

LDRD-funded research explores the frontiers of science and technology in emerging mission spaces, with projects guided by an extremely creative, talented team of scientists and engineers.

Featured Research

LDRD funded 266 projects in the fiscal year 2023. Brief summaries of each project are included in the Project Highlights section. Here, we provide a closer look at a handful of projects that underscore the exciting, innovative research in this year’s LDRD portfolio.


LDRD-funded research explores the frontiers of science and technology in emerging mission spaces, with projects guided by an extremely creative, talented team of scientists and engineers.


Scientific Leadership and Service

LDRD projects are distinguished by their mission-driven creativity. LDRD-funded research often launches stellar careers, initiates strategic collaborations, produces game-changing technical capabilities, and even lays the foundation for entirely new fields of science. It is no surprise that every year, LDRD principal investigators from LLNL are recognized for the groundbreaking results of a project or long-term contributions to their fields. The following examples highlight recognition received during fiscal year 2022, attesting to the exceptional talents of these researchers and underscoring the vitality of Livermore’s LDRD program.



Bronis R. de Supinski
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) named Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Chief Technology Officer for Livermore Computing Bronis R. de Supinski as a 2022 ACM fellow, recognizing him for his contributions to the design of large-scale systems and their programming systems and software.

Bronis R. de Supinski
Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Chief Technology Officer for Livermore Computing (LC) Bronis R. de Supinski as a 2022 ACM fellow, recognizing him for his contributions to the design of large-scale systems and their programming systems and software.

The prestigious ACM fellows program honors the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to the organization and the larger computing community. Fellows are nominated by their peers, with nominations reviewed by a distinguished selection committee, according to ACM.

“I am pleased to be elevated to an ACM fellow. This honor validates that LLNL's LC and its Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) perform world-leading computer science. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure not only of standing on the shoulders of giants but also of working shoulder-to-shoulder with many outstanding computer scientists and computational scientists — many of whom still work at LLNL, while some now work (or always have) at other institutions. LLNL has provided me the opportunity to pursue interesting work of importance to the nation. I hope others will see this distinction as motivation to consider similar career choices."

As CTO of LC, de Supinski is responsible for formulating and overseeing implementation of LLNL's large-scale computing strategy, requiring managing multiple collaborations with the HPC industry and academia. He has led several research projects in CASC. He also has co-led the Advanced Simulation and Computing program's Application Development Environment and Performance Team (ADEPT), which is responsible for the development environment, including compilers, tools and runtime systems on LLNL's large-scale systems. He is the chair of the OpenMP Language Committee.


Chandrika Kamath
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics has selected Chandrika Kamath as a member of the SIAM Fellows Class of 2023.

Chandrika Kamath
Fellow, The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the world’s premier professional organization for applied mathematicians and computational scientists, has selected Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory research staff member Chandrika Kamath as a member of the SIAM fellows class of 2023.

The prestigious fellow designation is a lifetime honorific title and honors SIAM members who have made outstanding contributions to fields served by the organization. Fellows are nominated by SIAM members and chosen annually by a 16-member selection committee.

Kamath has worked at LLNL since 1997, where she specializes in analyzing data from scientific simulations, experiments and observations. An expert in data mining, Kamath also has led projects analyzing uncertainty in additive manufacturing, improving large-scale data exploration and analysis, integrating wind energy on the power grid and on intelligent reduction of data from exascale simulations. Her expertise includes image and video processing, feature extraction, dimension reduction, pattern recognition, high performance computing and machine learning. Kamath’s current focus is on techniques for sampling and surrogate modeling, especially for small data sets in high dimensions.

"I am thrilled to have Chandrika honored in this way for her stellar career” said Bruce Hendrickson, LLNL’s associate director for Computing. “She has been a pioneer and leader in embracing data science for scientific and engineering applications.”

At LLNL, Kamath served as project lead and contributor for Sapphire, a project to develop scalable algorithms for the interactive exploration of large, complex multi-dimensional scientific data. The Sapphire team won an R&D 100 award in 2006.

Kamath is among the top 2% of the most cited researchers worldwide throughout their careers, according to Stanford University. She holds six patents in data mining and organized various data mining workshops and conferences, including the SIAM Conference on Data Mining, where she served as the chair of the conference’s steering committee from 2007-2014. Her book, "Scientific Data Mining: A Practical Perspective," was published by SIAM in 2009. She also is one of the three founding editors-in-chief of the Wiley journal, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, where she focused on the practical applications of data analysis techniques.

Prior to joining LLNL, Kamath was a consulting software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, developing high-performance mathematical software. She holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. SIAM, the world’s largest scientific society devoted to applied mathematics, comprises more than 14,000 computational mathematicians, computer scientists, numerical analysts, engineers, statisticians, physicists, educators and students from more than 100 countries.

The goals of the fellows program are to honor SIAM members recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the discipline, to help make outstanding SIAM members more competitive for awards and honors and support the advancement of SIAM members to leadership positions in their own institutions and in the broader society, according to the organization’s website.

“When I changed my field from parallel numerical algorithms to scientific data mining over 25 years ago, I wasn't sure how it would turn out; I have since worked on many interesting and challenging problems,” Kamath said. “Finding solutions and learning multiple disciplines in the process has been its own reward. Being selected a SIAM fellow is icing on the cake. I am honored, and grateful to all those who supported me along the way.”



Otto “Nino” Landen

Physicist Otto "Nino" Landen receives prestigious Edward Teller Award

Otto “Nino” Landen, a distinguished member of the technical staff and the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments group leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), has been awarded the 2023 Edward Teller Medal.

The Fusion Energy Division of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) presented the award to Landen this week during the International Conference on Inertial Fusion Sciences and Applications 2023 (IFSA) held in Denver, Colorado. Landen was honored for his “pioneering contributions to ICF and high energy density science (HEDS) and for (his) leadership in achieving ignition on the National Ignition Facility (NIF).”

Landen’s contributions to the scientific community have been widely recognized. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002 in recognition of his pioneering work in the fields of picosecond laser-plasma interactions, advanced diagnostics, X-ray-driven ICF implosions and time-dependent hohlraum symmetry control. In 2022, Landen was part of an LLNL burning plasma team that was awarded the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research.

“I have benefited over the years from the freedom to explore and develop new techniques at LLNL’s state-of-the-art ICF and HEDS instrumentation, target fabrication capability, and high-power laser facilities,” Landen said. “I’m indebted to the dedicated teams I have worked with and especially grateful for their patience and persistence to get past disappointments and for their enthusiasm in following up on successes. I am truly honored to receive this recognition.”


left to right: David Gibson and Paul Pax

Two LLNL scientists named Optica Senior Members

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists David Gibson and Paul Pax have been named senior members of Optica (formerly OSA). Senior membership status recognizes members with more than 10 years of professional experience in optics or an optics-related field.

Gibson, a staff scientist in the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science (NIF&PS) Directorate, is working on directed-energy research projects such as diagnostics development and analysis for the diode-pumped alkali laser efforts. Recently, he supported an upgrade to NIF’s Advanced Radiographic Capability for improving the pulse contrast and studies of multi-pulse damage thresholds for NIF optics for potential future diagnostics.

Pax, a staff scientist in the Computational Engineering Division, has worked on many projects in NIF&PS over his 18 years at LLNL. He is leading optical modeling for the design of a new high-gain amplifier for NIF, a critical component of NIF sustainment. Most recently, he led the construction and deployment of a front-end system for a high-energy laser project.

“I’m honored to have been nominated to the 2023 class of Optica senior members,” he said. “It's gratifying to be recognized by the Lab and Optica society. The Lab’s an amazing place, there's so much going on here — so much opportunity to learn!”

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by Optica and I appreciate the support for my nomination,” Gibson said. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell how broad of an impact you are having, so this is very gratifying. In my career at LLNL, I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many important, challenging projects.”


Terri Quinn

Terri Quinn named among "2023 People to Watch" by HPCWire

The publication HPCwire announced Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Deputy Associate Director for High Performance Computing (HPC) Terri Quinn has been named among its “People to Watch” for 2023.

Celebrating its 21st year, the annual HPCwire program recognizes HPC professionals who play leading roles in driving innovation within their chosen fields and make significant contributions to society in general. To date, the publication has recognized 200 people in HPC for their achievements, including luminaries from leadership HPC centers, technology companies and community-led projects.

In her role as Livermore’s deputy AD of HPC, Quinn establishes long-range directions and priorities for the Lab’s Computing Directorate and for the Multiprogrammatic and Institutional Computing program, which provides cost-effective computing services to LLNL programs and scientists. Quinn also is associate program director for Livermore Computing (LC) for the Weapons Simulation and Computing program, where among other responsibilities, she is helping Chief Technology Officer for LC Bronis de Supinski prepare for the exascale-class supercomputer El Capitan. El Capitan is scheduled for delivery at LLNL later in 2023.

“I am delighted to be recognized by HPCwire,” Quinn said. “I feel the recognition has as much to do with the stature of Livermore Computing as the opportunity I’ve had to contribute. I was nudged into HPC early in my career, expecting to move on in a few years. But once I got involved, I was hooked and didn’t want to leave. I was fortunate to get that first nudge.”


Jeremy Feaster

Jeremy Feaster named to American Institute for Chemical Engineering’s "35 Under 35"

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory staff scientist Jeremy Feaster has been named as one of the American Institute for Chemical Engineering’s (AIChE) “35 Under 35” award winners for 2023. The recognition honors chemical engineers under the age of 35 who have made outstanding contributions to their field and to the chemical engineering community, according to the organization.

Feaster’s research at LLNL focuses on designing and creating 3D-printed electrochemical reactors that convert air into fertilizer and carbon dioxide into valuable products such as plastics or fuels, to help address climate change and sustainability concerns. He also serves as co-chair for LLNL’s African American Body of Laboratory Employees.

Feaster earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University after completing his bachelor’s degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Georgia Tech.

“This award means a lot to me and to my family, friends and community,” Feaster said. “From the beginning, I’ve wanted to use chemistry to help communities and solve problems. Seeing how chemical engineering can be used to serve people inspired me to pursue it as a degree and a career, and my heart for using chemistry and service to help communities has only grown. I hope that through this award, I can continue to inspire more students — especially from underserved communities — to want to learn more about chemistry and chemical engineering, not just for the science, but for building a sustainable and compassionate society.”