National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA recognizes Sandia researcher on National Thermal Engineer Day

July 24, 2017

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Jill Suo-Anttila, principal member of the technical staff in the Fire Science and Technology Department in the Engineering Sciences Center at Sandia National Laboratories.

NNSA’s mission to enhance national security requires a collaborative effort from the best and brightest scientific minds in the fields of technology and engineering. The Nuclear Security Enterprise consists of people who are leaders in their fields.

Today is National Thermal Engineer Day and NNSA highlights Jill Suo-Anttila of Sandia National Laboratories.

Suo-Anttila works in Sandia’s Fire Science and Technology Department. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University and her master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Irvine.

What do you do?

I conduct research in fire behavior, heat transfer, soot characterization, thermal response, and nuclear weapon safety. I am responsible for thermal qualification testing involving weapons systems, including experimental design, interfacing with customers, preparing cost estimates, technical planning of experiments, coordination of personnel, monitoring spending, and analysis of data.

What is the most interesting aspect of your professional field and its role in the Nuclear Security Enterprise?

I get to acquire data on thermal environments and the performance of weapons systems when exposed to those harsh environments. Abnormal thermal environments like fuel fires require extreme considerations, and performing the experiments and acquiring the data can be challenging. Additionally, it is rewarding that the research that my department performs helps to increase the safety of weapons systems.