Jeene Villanueva Leads by Example
Jeene Villanueva’s software development career path was sparked by a childhood fascination with computer software. In addition to playing classic elementary school computer games such as “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” and “Oregon Trail,” Jeene recalls an assignment that required her to write a program in BASIC code. “It was enough of an introduction to pique my interest. When I entered college, I knew I wanted to learn more about what it takes to create useful software,” she says.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and, soon after, came to work at LLNL, where she did just that—started creating useful software. As a software developer and project lead for the Enterprise Modeling Data Applications Project, Jeene and her team develop enterprise modeling tools that help Department of Energy (DOE) decision makers gain insight into the challenging problems that face the United States nuclear weapons complex. Enterprise modeling tools enable collaboration between DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Headquarters and the eight sites that make up the nuclear weapons complex, allowing model developers to access the data they need quickly and efficiently. One challenge for Jeene and her colleagues is that each tool they develop depends on disparate sets of data to perform the required calculations.
The team recently deployed the Enterprise Modeling Consortium Data Application at DOE/NNSA Headquarters and throughout the complex. This application is a dynamic, data-driven, Web-based tool used to collect and process data for enterprise model developers. “It was a challenge to design and build an enterprise solution that allows multiple sites to access the application,” Jeene says, “but the reward is knowing that policy makers are using our analysis tools and information to make high-level decisions.”
Jeene stands behind the ideal that diversity enables better outcomes, especially in the workplace. To satisfy her commitment to diversity, Jeene volunteers in several LLNL organizations that celebrate the history and heritage of the various communities comprising the Laboratory and the region at large.
One group particularly close to Jeene’s heart is LLNL’s Asian Pacific American Council (APAC). Jeene, a Filipina, is currently a board member, and she helps organize scholarship fundraisers, talks, and other events. From 2012 to 2013, she also served as president of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Women’s Association, a community of men and women committed to recognizing women’s achievements, informing women of policies that affect them, and providing educational scholarships to employees. “In general, I like to help where I can,” Jeene says, “but I also get involved because I enjoy event planning, meeting new people, and celebrating everyone’s similarities and differences.”
That spirit applies to Jeene’s free-time pursuits as well, where she serves as the team manager for her daughter’s soccer team and helps out with her son’s team. “It’s a busy life, but it’s a fulfilling life,” she observes.
Computational Engineering Group Leader, ASQ Division/Enterprise Modeling Data Applications Lead/Computer Scientist
I work on a dynamic, data-driven, web-based application used for calculations on stockpile life-cycle, infrastructure transformation, critical skills, data trends, and budget projections. The best part of my job is working with intelligent people who value the challenging work that we do, but understand that work-life balance is important.
I also enjoy scrapbooking, visiting science museums with my family, and trying new restaurants.