Doomsday Squad at Argonne National Laboratory Prepares for Chaos

Imagine a massive cyberattack that shuts down Chicago’s critical infrastructure, like electric power to hospitals and prisons.

Or consider an Ebola virus outbreak, transmitted and spread through the city’s massive, bustling transportation hub.

These global and regional disaster scenarios are daily considerations for Argonne National Laboratory’s Global Security Sciences division, nicknamed the Doomsday Squad.

The division of scientists and engineers predict catastrophic events using Argonne’s powerful technological and scientific resources, including Mira – one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

By running computer models that simulate cataclysmic scenarios, the Doomsday Squad preemptively crafts appropriate responses to mitigate further devastation.

The GSS was launched in 2014 and comprises four centers focused on separate threats and solutions: the Center for Strategic Security, Risk and Infrastructure Science Center, Strategic Alliance for Global Energy Solutions and Systems Science Center.

Argonne researchers Charles Macal and Megan Clifford, both members of the Doomsday Squad, join Phil Ponce to discuss the laboratory’s program.

Related stories:

New Sponge Can Soak Up 90 Times its Own Weight in Oil

March 10: Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have invented a new sponge that can absorb oil from water and then be wrung out and reused, a potentially game-changing tool for dealing with oil spills.

Illinois’ Chief Information Officer on Cybersecurity

March 29: How Hardik Bhatt wants to protect state agencies from hackers.