Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Learning from the best

The Lab’s Deputy Director for Weapons teaches students at Texas A&M University.
December 12, 2019
A teacher and college student talk to each other.

Bob Webster (left) chats with Alexander Perry at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.CREDIT: Texas A&M University College of Engineering


“No matter how much you think you know, you can always learn more.”- Bob Webster

By Sierra Sweeney

For Texas A&M nuclear engineering doctoral student Alexander Perry, running into one of the country’s leading weapons experts—Laboratory Deputy Director for Weapons Bob Webster—has become common. Found in lecture halls, across A&M’s Zachary Engineering complex, and at the occasional breakfast meeting, Webster has been a notably available and approachable resource for nuclear engineering students.

Perry’s first encounter with Webster was when he was a junior and attended Webster’s guest lecture in the nuclear criticality safety course. Perry says Webster’s passion for the field of nuclear engineering is contagious. “Once I sat in a room and listened to Dr. Webster lecture, I felt as enthusiastic and motivated about nuclear engineering as I was during my first days in the department.”

Webster’s ability to “make the most difficult concepts consumable” is what Perry believes makes Webster such a unique and notable educator. “He has the ability to make complicated information both simple and elegant.”

A former Los Alamos intern, Perry is familiar with the legacy of the Lab and Webster’s role in the Laboratory’s national security mission. “I remember sitting through one of his unclassified lectures on the fundamental physics of nuclear weapons thinking that he is one of the most valuable assets to this country, and I got to shake his hand,” Perry says.

Perry is interested in nuclear medicine and in the medical applications of nuclear engineering. He hopes to complete his doctorate at A&M, with an emphasis on image reconstruction and dosimetry in the field of nuclear engineering. As he works toward this goal, Perry says he will always remember Webster’s most valuable lesson: “No matter how much you think you know, you can always learn more.”