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Bret Knapp to head combined Weapons Engineering, Weapons Physics Directorates at Los Alamos National Laboratory

New leadership position will allow for greater integration in the planning and execution of the stockpile stewardship program.
August 18, 2009
Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

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Los Alamos, New Mexico, August 18, 2009— Two of the three Los Alamos National Laboratory weapons programs directorates have been combined under the leadership of Bret Knapp as the associate director for the new weapons directorate. The new organization adds the Weapons Physics directorate to the Weapons Engineering directorate already under Knapp’s leadership.  The third program, Stockpile Manufacturing and Support, remains unchanged.

Charles McMillan served as associate director for Weapons Physics before he assumed his new role as principal associate director for Weapons Programs.

"This new leadership position will allow for greater integration in the planning and execution of the stockpile stewardship program,” said Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio. “Bret’s commitment to and knowledge of the nuclear weapons programs will be invaluable in shaping the Laboratory’s contributions to this critical mission.”

Knapp came to Los Alamos in 2006 and has earned recognition for restructuring the engineering program organization in a way that lowered overhead costs, achieved programmatic excellence, and leveraged technical capabilities in an environment of declining budgets and financial uncertainty.  Previously, Knapp served in a series of weapons engineering leadership roles at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“Throughout his career, Bret has established an outstanding record of programmatic achievements while demonstrating technical depth, honest and open communication, and fostering internal collaboration,” said McMillan.  “These leadership skills will serve the weapons program well as we change and adapt our organizational posture to be responsive to current national security requirements.” 

Knapp earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University.  He received the NNSA Defense Program Individual Award for Excellence in 2000 and two NNSA Defense Program Awards for Excellence in 1998 and 1999.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.


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