Our science secures the nation
From climate change and cyber attacks to nuclear proliferation and critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, the threats to America’s national security continue to evolve and emerge at a rapid pace.
We face these challenges head on, capitalizing on ORNL's unique scientific assets to deliver real-world solutions that protect the people, infrastructure, and economy of the United States.
The National Security Sciences Directorate provides focused expertise and integrates ORNL's science capabilities to deliver science-based solutions that:
- Reduce nuclear risk and enable peaceful uses
- Secure critical assets from multi-faceted threats
- Advance human security in communities around the world
- Innovate defense manufacturing to ensure US advantage
- Expand classified HPC for a range of R&D needs
- Solve emerging challenges
We are a team of more than 500 scientists, engineers, and professionals who believe the national security missions we serve and the science-based solutions we provide will bolster our nation's capabilities, strengthen our allies and partners, and ensure a prosperous global future.
Materials scientists, software engineers, cyber experts, data scientists, remote sensing specialists, geographers, lawyers, mathematicians -- it takes broad, multidisciplinary skillsets to deliver our vital missions.
Together with diverse teams from across ORNL and our partners, we proudly uphold the laboratory's 80-year legacy of scientific support to national security needs.
Our uranium experts advance scientific understanding of the nuclear fuel cycle, develop and implement collection and detection technologies, and strengthen international safeguards, security, and nonproliferation regimes.
We're advancing the science of cyber and cyber-physical security — including Artificial Intelligence, vulnerability science, identity science, and human-machine interfaces — to characterize our nation's adversaries and enable resilient operation of critical infrastructure.
At the intersection of geographical knowledge, AI, and high-performance computing, our experts are transforming how we observe, analyze, and visualize the built environment and human dynamics around the world.