John Benner returns to Los Alamos National Laboratory as Associate Director of the Laboratory for Weapons Production effective Jan. 3, 2022. Photo courtesy of LANL
LANL PRESS RELEASE
Los Alamos National Laboratory announced that John Benner is the new Associate Director of the Weapons Production Laboratory (ALDWP) effective Jan. 3, replacing Dave Eyler, who retired in the fall. Benner is currently the general manager of the weapons program.
“John is a proven leader who can provide strategic vision, maintain stability and achieve deliverables for weapons production as we continue to accelerate our 30-a-year pits and other important national security missions,” said Bob Webster, assistant director of the laboratory. for weapons programs. “With nearly 30 years of experience, John is respected throughout the nuclear security enterprise for his deep understanding of weapons engineering, particularly the relationship between design and production agencies. These skills and respect are essential to the success of the ALDWP as we continue production of War Reserve Detonators and transition to the production rate of War Reserve Pits.
ALDWP and its 1,400 employees are responsible for a diverse production portfolio that includes the production and evaluation of plutonium wells, nuclear weapon detonators and other non-nuclear components. ALDWP also oversees plutonium processing and disposal, manufacturing of power supplies for NASA space missions, monitoring, materials management, and waste management operations.
“ALDWP’s scope of work is broad; Not only do we have the technical challenge of achieving first pit production and production rate, but we also have several ongoing programs of national significance that need to be executed while the equipment and infrastructure for the pit mission are installed – all under the operational constraints of an active nuclear facility,” Benner said. “I am fortunate to take on a role surrounded by a strong team of dedicated and hardworking people who help move the mission forward.”
As the DLA for weapons production, Benner will work closely with others across the lab and throughout the nuclear weapons complex.
As Director General of Weapons Programs, Benner is responsible to the Deputy Director of the Weapons Laboratory for the integration and alignment of activities across the weapons program and supports the operational oversight of the operations of the weapons programs.
From 2012 to 2017, Benner served as Associate Director of the Laboratory for Engineering and Weapons Experiments and Chief Engineer for Nuclear Weapons. In these roles, Benner directed all weapons engineering, explosives science, and testing activities at the Laboratory. He oversaw the management and execution of all weapons modernization activities and support management for all Los Alamos storage systems.
From 2006 to 2012, Benner served as Chief of the Weapons Systems Engineering Division, responsible for all weapons engineering activities at Los Alamos, including evaluation, refurbishment, certification and R&D support for systems designed at Los Alamos in sustainable stock. Benner also led the W76-1 warhead service life extension program at Los Alamos during development engineering and production engineering.
From 2019 to 2020, Benner served as Senior Technical Advisor to the Deputy Administrator of Defense Programs for the National Nuclear Security Administration. From 2017 to 2019, Benner served as vice president and chief operating officer of MSTS, the Nevada National Security Site’s management and operations contractor. In this role, Benner was responsible for the operational and technical integration of all activities on the NNSS site.
Benner will begin his new role on January 3, taking over from ALD actor David Dooley.