Los Alamos National Laboratory
Materials Science and Technology

David F. Teter, Ph.D.

Materials Science & Technology (MST-DO)

Division Leader

David F. Teter

MST Division Leader David Teter has experience that spans basic science, nuclear weapons science and manufacturing, and management of a large group within a moderate-hazard radiological facility.

After earning his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1996, Dr. Teter began a postdoctoral appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory, researching hydrogen storage and solid-state phase transformations in palladium-based alloys. In 1997 he was converted to a full-time technical staff member in Metallurgy Technology (MST-6), where he expanded his research interests to include alloy design, hydrogen storage, hydrogen-induced phase changes, solid-state phase transformations, and aging phenomena of weapons materials.

In 2002, Dr. Teter began developing his leadership skills by first becoming a weapons project leader for metals issues. In this role, he was responsible for the technical direction and planning of the program, leading to several key decisions regarding material re-use and remanufacturing. This project led to his next role in 2006 as the project leader for the Enhanced Surveillance CSA/Case effort, the main focus of which is to understand and quantitatively predict lifetimes of materials, components, and assemblies. This project combines fundamental scientific research of aging mechanisms and kinetics with engineering assessments of performance. Dr. Teter has established a reputation for establishing a strong scientific backbone in the Weapons Program through enthusiastic support of fundamental materials science and applied research endeavors. As a result, he has been part of teams that received Awards of Excellence for the Nuclear Weapons Program and Stockpile Stewardship Program in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2004, respectively.

Dr. Teter’s management experience began in 2003 as a team leader for the Alloy Design and Development Team, which primarily investigated processing-structure-property relationships of materials as they relate to engineering and physics requirements. From 2005-2010, he was the deputy group leader of MST-6, where he led a diverse technical organization that uses materials technology to support national security. This group encompasses a wide range of activities, ranging from fundamental materials science research to small-lot production for the Weapons Program. In addition to the nuclear weapons programs, the group also supports the Threat Reduction, Intelligence, and Nuclear Energy Programs.

Dr. Teter is also the chair of the M4 (Making, Measuring and Modeling Materials) pillar of MaRIE (for Matter-Radiation Interaction in Extremes), the Laboratory’s planned signature experimental facility, which is vital to many national security challenges and is a critical component of the Laboratory’s materials strategy. The M4 facility will provide the experimental, modeling, and research tools to accelerate materials discovery, control synthesis, and design of materials and address the decadal materials challenges of the future. Dr. Teter also serves as a member of the Materials Science and Engineering Alumni Board at the University of Illinois.

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