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

Joint Los Alamos National Laboratory/UCSD Research Projects

Collaborations between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering


  • Institute Director
  • Charles Farrar
  • (505) 665-0860
  • Email
  • UCSD EI Director
  • Michael Todd
  • (858) 534-5951
  • R&D Engineer
  • Adam Wachtor
  • (505) 665-5364
  • Email
  • Institute Administrator
  • Amy Schiffer
  • (505) 487-3819
  • Email

“Since 2003, LANL has funded numerous collaborative research projects that involve UCSD faculty members and graduate students from the structural engineering (SE), mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE), electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and computer science and engineering (CSE) departments.  In addition to their faculty advisor, LANL staff provide additional mentoring for these students when they visit Los Alamos.”

These projects are needed for the graduate students to complete the research component of their degree program. In an effort to enhance the recruiting aspect of this program, the students spend part of their summers in Los Alamos working with Los Alamos staff that are collaborating on these projects. All projects have a direct tie to defense programs.  Efforts are now underway to solicit research topics relevant to LANL programs so that the students have more direct ties to these programs. It is anticipated that such ties will enhance the subsequent recruitment of these students upon completion of their graduate degrees.

The research portfolio is now expanding as technical staff working on programmatic activities are beginning to collaborate with UCSD faculty and students on research topics of interest to these programs.  In this regard, the Engineering Institute provides a mechanism to expand the technical expertise addressing defense programs issues at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Current Research Projects

  • ASSESS | Acoustic Steady-State Excitation Spatial Spectroscopy (2022 R&D 100 Award Winner): full-structure, 3D nondestructive evaluation tool detects material defects
  • Multi-sensor online quality control for additive manufacturing
  • Computer vision for automated additive manufacturing parameter optimization
  • END | Elastic Nonlinear Diagnostic: acoustics-based crack detection
  • In-process, full part defect detection for additive manufacturing
  • Embedding structural health monitoring processes on microcontrollers

Past Research Projects »