Company Profile

Information on companies that

use system dynamics / systems thinking

Argonne National Laboratory
Background of Organization

Argonne traces its birth from Enrico Fermi’s secret charge—the Manhattan Project—to create the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear reaction. Chicago Pile-1 achieved criticality on December 2, 1942, beneath the University of Chicago’s Stagg football field stands. The experiments were deemed too dangerous to conduct in a major city, so operations were moved to nearby Palos Hills and renamed “Argonne” after the surrounding forest. On July 1, 1946, the laboratory was formally chartered as Argonne National Laboratory to conduct “cooperative research in nucleonics” and began developing nuclear reactors for the nation’s peaceful nuclear energy program. A complete list of the reactors designed and, in most cases, built and operated by Argonne can be viewed at:
Argonne moved to specialize in other areas, while capitalizing on its experience in physics, chemical sciences, and metallurgy. In 1987, the laboratory was the first to successfully demonstrate a pioneering technique called plasma wakefield acceleration, which accelerates particles in much shorter distances than conventional accelerators. It also cultivated a strong battery research program. Significantly, the laboratory was chosen as the site of the Advanced Photon Source, a major X-ray facility that was completed in 1995, produced the brightest X-rays in the world at the time of its construction—and cemented the lab’s trajectory of building and housing leading-edge user facilities. In addition to the APS, other premier user facilities now include the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System, Center for Nanoscale Materials, Electron Microscopy Center, and the Transportation Research and Analysis Computing Center.

Today, the world’s best and brightest minds come to Argonne to pursue science and engineering aims and use our unique blend of world-class facilities in the service of delivering innovative research and technology. Our scientists and engineers create new knowledge and technologies that address the most important scientific and societal needs of our nation.



Argonne National Laboratory 9700 S. Cass Avenue Argonne, IL 60439 USA

Type of SD Work

Argonne researchers use System Dynamics to explore complex problems of national interest. We develop models that are used primarily by government agencies but also by private organizations to generate insights and perform policy analysis. Our models are deployed in many different domains, including to study and assess security, defense, operations, energy efficiency, social dynamics, judgment and decision making, adversarial processes, and critical infrastructure.

Where SD fits in your organization

System Dynamics is one of the modeling approaches that we use to understand complex problems. In addition, we use optimization, discrete-event, agent-based, and econometric modeling in our work.

Typical career path

Argonne’s more than 3,300 scientists, engineers, and support staff, along with 300 postdoctoral researchers, are dedicated to solving society’s most pressing problems in sustainable energy, a clean environment, economic competitiveness, and national security. Argonne conducts R&D in many areas of basic and applied science and engineering:

Basic science: Seeks to understand how nature works. This research includes experimental and theoretical work in materials science, physics, chemistry, biology, high-energy physics, and mathematics and computer science, including high-performance computing.

Applied science and engineering: Help find practical solutions to society’s problems. These programs focus primarily on energy resources, environmental management, and national security.

Business Contact Person Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano, Ph.D.
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Last edited by AM - 12/10/2015
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