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Larry D. McMichael

Portrait of  Larry D. McMichael

  • Title
    Group Leader
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 423-4911
  • Organization
    Not Available

Current Projects

Like many folks at the Lab, I balance several roles and responsibilities. As a Group Leader in CED, I’m responsible for personnel management and capability development to meet – and anticipate – evolving programmatic needs. As an Associate Program Leader in S Program, I facilitate program development and project execution, and develop external collaborations and sponsor relationships. As a technical lead, I manage multidisciplinary teams that integrate high explosive and hydrodynamic experiments with high-fidelity modeling and simulation. In all these roles, I place a high emphasis on helping my team members develop new skills and identify interesting and challenging career opportunities.

Learning Interests

The "pathological" behavior of high explosives has captured my interest for most of my career at LLNL. Not only do these energetic materials react on time scales (microseconds) that require a significant temporal shift from our usual concept of time, but they also exhibit bizarre mechanical behaviors. Plus it’s hard to beat having "I get to blow things up" be part of your job description!

Career Path

I’ve supported a wide range of activities in my 15-plus years at LLNL: multiphase blast explosives, linear shaped charge designs, conventional weapon effects, ballistic missile defense, lightweight armor development, asymmetric attack of critical infrastructure, and the nuclear weapons program. I started as an individual contributor on several projects and then started guiding the work of other analysts. I consciously sought out project leadership and program development (sponsor interactions and relationship development) roles as my domain knowledge grew. As my program management skills matured, I became an Associate Program Leader with oversight over several projects. Most recently, I became a Group Leader with line management responsibility for seven engineers. While my APL role is more mission-focused and my GL role is more personnel and capability focused, both roles call for strategic and technical leadership to effectively meet the needs of current and future programmatic sponsors.

Ph.D., Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, UC Davis, 2004

M.S., Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, UC Davis, 1993

B.S., Civil Engineering, UC Davis, 1991

  • Murphy, M., L. McMichael, and M. King, “Scaling Law for Multiphase Blast Explosives,” 2014 Warheads and Ballistics Classified Symposium , Monterey, CA, August 4-7, 2014.
  • Elmer VII, W., E. Taciroglu, and L. McMichael, “Dynamic strength increase of plain concrete from high strain rate plasticity with shear dilation,” International Journal of Impact Engineering , 45, pp. 1-15, 2012.
  • Glascoe, L., L. McMichael, K. Vandersall, and J. Margraf, “Underwater Blast Experiments and Modeling for Shock Mitigation,” Proc. 14th International Detonation Symposium , Coeur d’Alene, ID, April 11-14, 2010.
  • McMichael, L., C. Noble, J. Margraf, and L. Glascoe, “Assessing the Vulnerability of Large Critical Infrastructure Using Fully-Coupled Blast Effects Modeling,” Proc. ASCE 5th Congress on Forensic Engineering , Washington, D.C., November 11-14, 2009.