Leigh Cunningham

/Leigh Cunningham
Leigh Cunningham

Leigh Cunningham

Manager, Geotechnology & Engineering

Email: lcunnin@sandia.gov
Phone: (505) 844-0394


Leigh Cunningham serves as deputy and primary contact for Sandia National Laboratories’ Fossil Energy Program, providing oversight for geoscience and engineering applications to fossil energy across the labs and managing geotechnology and engineering applications related to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, data science, and crude transport safety.

Prior to joining Sandia, Leigh served as subsurface integrity research scientist at Chevron’s Energy and Technology Company and managed Chevron’s carbon storage program from 2014 to 2016.

Earlier in her career, Leigh spent 10 years with the U.S Geological Survey working as a geologist and hydrogeologist on water fate and transport projects in Utah, Nevada, California, and Arizona as well as geological characterization and earth modeling at the Nevada National Security Site. She has a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Business development; Technology transfer; Subsurface integrity; Reservoir/subsurface characterization; Fate and transport; CO2 Storage; Inorganic geochemistry applications in hydrocarbon exploration, development, and production; and groundwater fate and transport


University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Ph.D, Geology

1999 – 2003

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

MS, Geology

1996 – 1998


Geotechnology and Engineering R&D Manager

Sandia National Laboratories

2016 – Present

Research Scientist


2014 – 2016

Geologist and Hydrogeologist

U.S. Geological Survey

2003 – 2014

Professional Affiliations

American Association of Petroleum Geologists  Society of Petroleum Engineers  American Geophysical Union  Houston Geological Society  National Groundwater Association