Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Celebrating student achievement

Students present research at 16th annual symposium.
August 2, 2016
Los Alamos National Laboratory Chemical Engineering student David Parkinson tests a separator used to remove contaminated particles from a plutonium reaction.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Chemical Engineering student David Parkinson tests a separator used to remove contaminated particles from a plutonium reaction. To be considered for a student position at the Laboratory, candidates must apply online at lanl.gov/careers.

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“I suspect I’m looking at a lot of future Laboratory employees today.”- Los Alamos Director Charlie McMillan

Scott RobbinsTwelve percent of the current Laboratory workforce—1,600 people—are postdocs or students, many of who will be presenting research at the 16th annual Student Symposium on Wednesday, August 3. “Celebrating Student Achievement” is the theme of this year’s event, which provides a unique opportunity for students to share their work at Los Alamos not only with colleagues but also with the public.

An overwhelming number of students showed interest in presenting at the symposium this year. We had to scramble to acquire more space and poster displays to accommodate an additional 80 posters above and beyond our anticipated 150. The symposium will be an impressive affair with more than 220 posters on display. Please stop by UNM-LA from 1–4 p.m. to see what our incredible students have been working on all summer. 

At Los Alamos, our young people are a valuable asset—not only for their insightful contributions as students but also for their future contributions as working professionals. You see, 60 percent of R&D scientists and engineers, and 32 percent of managers at the Lab originally worked here as postdocs or students.

Many of those students—nearly 60 percent—are from Northern New Mexico. And of those, many are Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) scholarship recipients. The Laboratory Director’s Office, for example, supports 20 LAESF winners for summer internships at Los Alamos. Many of these students will go on to pursue employment with the Lab.

On June 22, I introduced a meeting for all Laboratory summer students. Lab Director Charlie McMillan spoke and answered questions for nearly an hour. “I suspect I’m looking at a lot of future Laboratory employees today,” he told his audience at one point. “While you’re here, I encourage you to figure out: Does the mission of this Laboratory speak to you? Is there something you find interesting? Does the science of this Laboratory turn you on? Does living in the mountains of New Mexico turn you on? … If so, what you’re doing this summer can be an important part of a future career here.”

—Scott Robbins

Student Programs Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory


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