The Laboratory’s roadmap to the future needs game–changing technologies that can meet the emerging needs of the nation.
And Livermore is on its way. Tómas Díaz de la Rubia on Thursday outlined the Lab’s five–year roadmap strategy during an all–hands meeting. He said the Lab needs to focus on recruiting and retaining employees.
Even though there is a constant flow of new ideas from Lab employees and the Lab is highly regarded in the external community, Díaz de la Rubia said the Lab is in a funk.
“Right here, right now, something is not working quite right. The Lab’s engine is sputtering,” he said. “We need to get going again doing what we do best – recruiting and retaining outstanding talent in all areas of the Lab, executing on our mission priorities, and innovating for the future.
“We all need to work together to kick start the engine of the Lab.”
Three leaders from the seven Roadmap to the Future thrust areas gave short summaries of what they determined were strategic areas where the Lab needs to move.
Wes Spain, who leads the cyber and space security and intelligence area, said the needs include “real time situational awareness of complex systems; predictive models of computer information systems and a hybrid of human–machine systems that learn from language and images”.
“We need to crack this nut,” he said. “These are significant S&T challenges, but this Lab is uniquely positioned to do well in these areas.”
Julio Friedmann outlined the regional climate modeling and impacts area. “I don’t think people understand how bad it is and how much needs to be done” in terms of climate change, he said. “But this is good news for us because it presents a great opportunity.”
The two key areas are: understanding climate change and its impacts and delivering zero–carbon or low–carbon energy solutions. Friedmann said the Lab is already addressing these issues by investing in better wind prediction capabilities, underground coal gasificaiton combined with carbon capture and sequestration, and carbon capture at its source.
Mike Carter outlined the nuclear threat elimination that is more of a nonproliferation strategy. Key areas include global fissile materials awareness; autonomous forensics; and cradle to grave material modeling. “We need to stop adversaries as early as possible,” he said.
Díaz de la Rubia said future town hall meetings will focus on the other thrust areas: Stockpile stewardship science, biosecurity, LIFE and advanced laser optical systems and applications.
“We’re not at a tipping point; we’re going up,” he said. “We’re ready to change the world, right here, right now.”
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