Sandia National Laboratories Tour

Monday, September 27, 2010
5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Attendees had the exciting opportunity to tour the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) complex at Sandia National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration facility in Albuquerque, operated by Lockheed Martin. Sandia's primary mission is ensuring that the United States' nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, and reliable. The MESA complex houses Sandia's work in designing and developing the electronics that operate nuclear warheads: integrated Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Its buildings are the cornerstone of a campus-style technical area. The MESA complex occupies four new buildings on approximately 377,000 square feet of a 30-acre site and includes cleanroom facilities, laboratories, and offices, including 108 dedicated light laboratories for design, testing, and analytical support. It boasts several unique features, including a 16,400-square-foot Class 1 cleanroom for silicon wafer processing and a 16,600-square-foot Class 10 and Class 100 cleanroom for compound semiconductor material processing and silicon wafer post-processing. 


Image of the MESA MicroLab

The MESA MicroLab. Image courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories.


The facility has several different sustainable features that will be showcased on the tour, and is a Labs21 Partner Project. In 2007, the MESA Microchip Fabrication (MicroFab) building received LEED® Certification, making it the first LEED Green MicroFab Facility in the world. The MESA Microsystems Laboratory (MLAB) and Weapons Integration Facility were both certified LEED Silver in 2008. The increased water usage required by the new facilities was fully compensated for by water conservation methods, including water recycling. Predicted energy use was modeled and carefully considered to minimize needs. More than 75 percent of construction waste was recycled, and materials were sourced locally and/or made from recycled materials whenever possible. Additionally, low-emitting materials were used to facilitate healthy indoor air quality.


Picture of the MESA MicroFab facility

The MESA MicroFab facility. Image courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories.


Tour guides for the event were provided by Sandia National Laboratories. Transportation was provided to and from the event, and a pre-tour reception was held at the facility.


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