National labs’ ‘Makers’ to share their energy tech at the ‘Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth’

May 13, 2016
Maker Faire

The Department of Energy and its “Makers,” including those at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will be exhibiting at the 11th annual Bay Area Maker Faire. (Download Image)

National labs’ ‘Makers’ to share their energy tech at the ‘Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth’

LIVERMORE, California – Think. Make. Innovate. That’s what the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its national laboratories do every day. By doing so, they help change the world.

DOE and its “Makers,” including those at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), will be exhibiting at the 11th annual Bay Area Maker Faire, dubbed the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” May 20-22, at the San Mateo Event Center. This is an example of the Obama administration’s commitment to encourage innovation, expand the resources available for Maker entrepreneurs and foster the development of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

DOE logo
Representatives from DOE’s national labs, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) will be on hand at the first-ever Make | ENERGY Pavilion (#MakeEnergy), where attendees will be able to interact with scientists and DOE Makers and share their ideas about transformative science projects and technology solutions, and learn how they can get involved in the future of energy.

LLNL’s Maker community will challenge attendees to test their tech know-how and coding savvy in a fast-paced cybersecurity “hack-a-thon” to protect the energy grid. Other LLNL technologies on display include microbeads to capture carbon dioxide; targets and optics used in the National Ignition Facility, the world’s largest and most energetic laser; a hydrogen-powered vehicle that can get more than 500 miles on a single tank; a display of 3D-printed metal parts; and a look at space-related technologies that prevent satellites from crashing into one another.

Attendees also are invited to see a number of exciting technologies, including a 3D-printed jeep, an area devoted to Smart Buildings and Cities that shows technologies that help reduce energy demand, and displays highlighting DOE’s work within the areas of energy generation and distribution.

There will be opportunities to “meet the Makers” behind DOE technologies and ask questions about the world-class capabilities of DOE’s national labs. Attendees also are invited to hear more from DOE’s labs during two panel discussions on the afternoon of Saturday, May 21.

The first, moderated by Jetta Wong, director of DOE’s OTT, will explore the many opportunities Makers have to engage and partner with the national labs. The second, led by Charlie Russomanno, senior technology adviser for OTT, will be a Maker-to-Maker discussion with actual lab scientists who are Makers. A third panel, JUMP 4 Innovation, moderated by Reshma Singh of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, will offer a look at DOE’s newly expanded online crowdsourcing campaign that awards the best of clean energy ideas with prizes and incubation support. For more information, email makers [at]

Maker Faire logo

“Makers are creators and innovators and entrepreneurs, exactly whom we seek to engage here at the Department of Energy,” said Wong. “But, they might not know about the incredible capabilities of our national labs, or the many ways Makers might work with them. They might not know that the Department of Energy is one of the largest supporters of technology transfer in the federal government, or that some 2,792 agreements existed between DOE’s labs and their partners in FY14. So we’re delighted to be here, joining with the Maker Movement to create, to innovate and, yes, to change the world.”

Created by Maker Media, Maker Faires are family-friendly showcases of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. It's a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather to show what they are making and share what they are learning.

In 2015, Maker Faires attracted more than 1.2 million attendees globally in more than 30 countries around the world. Last year’s Bay Area Maker Faire welcomed some 1,200 Makers and 145,000 attendees.

This year DOE will participate as a Goldsmith Sponsor, showing its commitment to the innovative mindset of Makers and making its national laboratories more transparent and accessible to Makers everywhere.

For more on the Maker Faire, see the Department of Energy website.