Los Alamos National LaboratoryEngineering Institute
Addressing national needs by fostering specialized recruiting and strategic partnerships

About Us

Multidisciplinary engineering research and education collaboration between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering


  • Institute Director
  • Charles Farrar
  • (505) 665-0860
  • Email
  • UCSD EI Director
  • Michael Todd
  • (858) 534-5951
  • Executive Administrator
  • Ellie Vigil
  • (505) 667-2818
  • Email
  • Institute Administrator
  • Vacant
Charles R. Farrar Center Director

Chuck FarrarCharles Farrar (Ph.D. Civil Eng. Univ. of New Mexico) is a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Fellow and the leader of LANL’s Engineering Institute. The first ten years of his career focused on performing experimental and analytical structural dynamics studies for a wide variety of systems including nuclear power plant structures subjected to seismic loading, and weapons components subjected to various portions of their stockpile-to-target loading environments. Since 1992 his research has focused on integrated hardware and software solutions to structural health monitoring problems. This work has been documented in 300+ publications and a book entitled Structural Health Monitoring: A Machine learning Perspective (H-index of 58). His work has been recognized through the inaugural Los Alamos Fellows Prize for Technical Leadership, the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Structural Health Monitoring, election to Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Engineers Australia Eminent Lecture Tour and a U.K. Royal Academy of Engineers Distinguished Visitor Fellowship. In 2000 he founded the Los Alamos Dynamics Summer School. Working jointly with faculty at the Univ. of California, San Diego (UCSD) he then developed the Engineering Institute. He is a UCSD adjunct faculty member (teaching a graduate course on structural health monitoring), an associate editor for Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, and the developer of a structural health monitoring short course that has been offered 30 times to industry and government agencies in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and the U.S.


David D. L. MascareƱas R & D Engineer

David MascarenasDavid D. L. Mascareñas earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in structural engineering at the University of California San Diego, in La Jolla, CA in 2008 and 2006 respectively. He received the B.S. In mechanical engineering at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO in 2004. He worked as a laboratory manager at SAIC/Sullivan International in 2009 to develop systems health monitoring software for ground-based robots. In 2010 he was a Director's funded postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2012 he was converted to a technical staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he currently performs research on cyberphysical systems at the Engineering Institute. He currently performs research on the application of compressive sensing techniques to structural health monitoring, the deployment of wireless sensor networks, standoff experimental mechanics, and the development of techniques to interface humans to data using vibro-tactile interfaces. David has received a 2014 Laboratory Research and Development Early Career Researcher Award and recently won the Presidential Early Career Award. David also co-directs the Los Alamos National Laboratory Dynamic Summer School, and he organized the Engineering Institute’s new educational Advanced Studies Institute, a novel educational program that features a professional development lecture series.

Yongchao Yang Postdoctoral Research Associate

Yongchao_Yang.pngYongchao Yang is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Engineering Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He obtained his Ph.D. from Rice University (2014) and bachelor’s from Harbin Institute of Technology (2010). His expertise is in structural dynamics, experimental mechanics, system modeling, identification and health monitoring. He has ~20 journal papers, 3 book chapters, 2 patents. He received the 2017 Raymond C. Reese Research Prize of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).


Nicholas Stull Postdoctoral Research Associate

Nick StullNicholas D. (Nick) Stull earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Physics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN in 2008. He subsequently earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN under the direction of Antonio Sa Barreto in 2015. He briefly served as an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics and Informatics Department at Trine University in Angola, IN, before coming to Los Alamos National Laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher under the direction of Eric Flynn in January of 2017. He currently conducts research on signature detection and signal/image processing. His current research focuses on 1) the development of data analysis techniques in conjunction with a laser-based scanning system developed for nondestructive evaluation on structures by Eric Flynn; 2) analysis of large time series data, specifically to detect and classify signatures in extremely noisy data.

Ellie Perelson Vigil Program Administrator

Ellie VigilEllie joined LANL in 2001, first working with T-12 (Theoretical Chemistry), and then the Center for Nonlinear Studies where she was lead admin for 10 years. In 2015, she joined the Engineering Institute where she coordinates all of the educational programs including the Los Alamos Dynamics Summer School, the Advanced Studies Institute, and the Judicial Science School. She is working with W and Q Divisions to launch a UCSD Master’s Degree program for LANL early career engineers and is also responsible for most day-to-day administrative tasks. Ellie holds a B.A. in History from the University of New Mexico.