Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Francesco Fornasiero

Chemical Engineer

Biosciences and Biotechnology Division

August 26, 2020

What do you like about working at the Lab?

I feel fortunate that at the Lab I can work on fundamental discovery as well as the application of the gained new understanding to the solution of important problems. I also like very much interacting with and bouncing ideas off very smart people excited about what they do every day.

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

A mix of data analysis, research planning, project management and coordination with collaborating institutions, interaction with sponsors, mentoring of new team members, and report and publication writing.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

The project I am most proud of is the development of a “second skin material” that provides high comfort and smart protection against chemical and biological threats. This ongoing project started about 7 years ago as a concept based on fundamental material discovery, and it has progressed over time toward demonstration of more applied goals to deliver solutions of a long-standing problem in the protective garments area. The hope is that, one day, this work will translate into tangible benefits to the community.

What is your educational or career background?

I have a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and I came to the Lab in 2006 after completing a one-year postdoc at SRI International. After two years at LLNL as a postdoc, I became a staff scientist.

What inspired you to go into science?

I cannot really pinpoint a defining moment that drove me to science. I always enjoyed science and choosing this path felt like a natural consequence.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Networking is important, and take advantage of the many development opportunities that the Lab provides, from postdoc development time to presentation/writing seminars.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy hiking, playing pool, watching soccer (yes, my Italian genes are to blame here!), and occasionally kayaking and playing table tennis.

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