LANL Names Weapons Program Associate Directors

LANL News:

Bob Webster has been named Associate Director for Weapon Physics and John Benner has been named Associate Director for Weapon Engineering and Experiments at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Both have been in their positions at LANL as acting associate directors since March 2012.

As Associate Director for Weapon Physics, Webster has responsibility for weapon design and computational physics along with programmatic responsibility for the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program and Science Campaigns.

The Directorate consists of Computational Physics and Theoretical Design Divisions.

Webster has been at Los Alamos since 1988 and over the years has worked in a variety of applied physics organizations and on a broad spectrum of projects including the integrated weapons code “Antero” project, which he led. Webster was the science advisor to NNSA Defense Programs working on “complex transformation” and the nuclear posture review.

As Deputy X- Division leader he began the new Computational Physics Division with responsibility over development of integrated design codes. More recently Webster managed the Advanced Simulation and Computing program.

Webster holds both master’s and doctorate degrees in nuclear engineering from Purdue University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Benner has responsibility for weapon engineering and dynamic experiments, including Nevada activities, along with programmatic responsibility for Directed Stockpile Work and Engineering Campaigns. The Directorate consists of Weapons Experiments and Weapons Engineering Divisions.

Benner has been at Los Alamos since 1993 when he worked on structural response of high explosive blast loading on confinement vessels. He also has worked on the US/UK Trident Warhead Project Group, W76 structural modeling, terra-scale nuclear weapons analysis assessments, was W76 Life Extension Project director, and Weapons Engineering division leader.

Benner holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from West Virginia University.

“Bob and John were chosen for these assignments because of their demonstrated performance, expertise, and ability to work together as a team to preserve the integration we have achieved between the various components of the program,” said Bret Knapp, Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs. “They have both done an exceptional job in the their acting roles, and now as we move forward, I am confident that will continue into the future.”