Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Monika Biener


Materials Science Division

October 27, 2020

What do you like about working at the Lab?

I like the interdisciplinary environment of the Lab. People with different scientific and cultural backgrounds come together to work on projects that have a “grand challenge” character. Teams are effectively working together towards a common goal. The uniqueness of many projects allows for a good mixture between fundamental science and application.

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

Lab work (material synthesis and characterization), organizing and attending meetings, writing and reading many emails, reading literature, and writing papers, reports, and proposals

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

One of my first projects at the Lab was to develop a process to dope diamond with mid/high Z elements. I am proud of this because now basically every diamond capsule that is shot at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is doped. Doping diamond enabled record yields at NIF.

What is your educational and career background?

I have a master’s in physics and a Dr. rer. nat in physical chemistry. I worked in industry (Siemens Semiconductors) as an engineer for 5 years, and I’ve worked at the Lab for 13 years.

What inspired you to go into science?

While I was working as an engineer, there was never time to ask questions and look deeper into any issues. That was a bit frustrating for me, so I decided to go back to university and became a scientist.

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

I would advise new employees to reach out to other people and take advantage of the interdisciplinary environment here at the Lab. There are many bright people out here that are happy to help.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy outdoor activities with my family, like hiking, camping, and climbing or horseback riding. I also like playing the piano and yoga. I’m a member of the yoga employee networking group at the Lab.

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