Skip to main content

You are here

November 2011

John MaenchenJohn Maenchen, Sandia National Laboratories’ representative on the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Defense Programs Science Council, has been named as an IEEE Fellow.

Maenchen is being recognized for leadership in the development of intense pulsed charged particle beams and their application for flash radiography.
The IEEE grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement. This year 321 individuals have been elevated to IEEE Fellow.

Maenchen received a Ph.D. in ElectroPhysics from Cornell University in 1983 and immediately joined Sandia National Laboratories. As both a scientist and manager he advanced science, technology, and engineering through the design and construction of pulsed power accelerators, the invention and development of new intense electron-beam, ion-beam, and z-pinch loads, the modeling and theory of their operation, the invention of diagnostic approaches to investigate their performance, and the invention and development of new government and commercial applications for these capabilities. In this time he initiated a resurgence in pulsed power driven flash radiographic technologies, leading an international team to significantly advance the state of the art. This body of achievement was honored with the 2009 IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society Pulsed Power Science and Technology Committee’s Peter Haas award.

Subsequent to these activities, Maenchen managed Nuclear Weapons Science and Technology Program international strategic planning, the site Deinventory of Special Nuclear Materials, and the Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities portfolios. Since 2009 he has served in his current role at NNSA.

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. See

Cook at WW



Don Cook, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, today gave the keynote address at the Workshop on Nuclear Forces and Nonproliferation at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. The workshop, sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory, focused on the evolving U.S. nuclear forces and their impacts on nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament, with special attention to the implementation of the Nuclear Posture Review and to the long term prospects for the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.





The Kansas City Plant (KCP) is one of the first NNSA sites to submit a productivity savings event under a share-in-savings program that offers NNSA contractors a share of the savings as an incentive on top of an annual award fee pool.

The Kansas City Site Office approved Honeywell FM&T’s first share-in-savings proposal in November for the purchase of used office furniture instead of new furniture, resulting in a savings of about $85,000. The estimate for new furniture was about $352,000. The used furniture cost $267,000. In addition, the used furniture is similar to that planned for the new facility being built eight miles south of the current Kansas City Plant and can be moved there later. The used furniture was also available from six to 10 weeks sooner.

The cost reduction clause also allows the contractors to reward their employees who generate the cost savings ideas. This use of share-in-savings was added to M&O contracts as a savings tool made available by the NNSA-wide Business Management Advisory Council, chartered specifically to implement enterprise-level business and operational efficiencies.

Under the program, the contractor may share in the net savings under the following formula: 50 percent of the net savings is the government’s share; 10 percent is a savings fee to the contractor; and 40 percent of the savings remains at the NNSA site.

The program is a great example of how KCP is working as one NNSA to operate more efficiently and effectively. KCP is constantly trying to work smarter and improve the way KCP does business at every level. Even small things, like buying used office furniture, can help KCP do its part to save money when budgets are tight.

OMEGA LaserThe OMEGA Laser System, a key asset for NNSA's stockpile stewardship program, recently completed its 20,000th target shot.

Located at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in New York state, the Omega Laser Facility includes the 60-beam OMEGA Laser System – which has been in operation since 1995 – and OMEGA EP, or extended performance laser, which came online in 2008. The two lasers can be used independently or together to provide a more detailed x-ray image of a particular experiment.

The Omega Laser Facility is used to generate extreme temperatures and pressures required to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program, including the development of ignition. The Facility is operated as a national user facility, with experiments performed by scientists from the national laboratories, LLE, and numerous universities.

“The OMEGA Laser System has been one of NNSA’s High Energy Density (HED) workhorses providing essential physics results required to support the demonstration of inertial confinement fusion ignition on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the Stockpile Stewardship Program,” said Don Cook, Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs. “The experimental platforms and techniques developed on OMEGA are essential to the successful use of the NIF. The basic HED science research performed on OMEGA supports NNSA’s mission of developing the workforce to support future national needs.”

In concert with the NNSA's Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories, the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and other scientific and computing capabilities, the Omega Laser Facility helps NNSA scientists to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent without underground testing. Together, these tools will help experts evaluate key scientific assumptions in current computer models, obtain previously unavailable data on how materials behave at temperatures and pressures like those in the center of a star, and help validate NNSA's supercomputer simulations by comparing code predictions against observations from laboratory experiments.

See more about OMEGA here.