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NNSA Congratulates Defense Programs Science Advisor John Maenchen on Receiving Peter Haas Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

July 08, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration today congratulated Dr. John Maenchen, deputy science advisor to the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, for receiving the prestigious Peter Haas Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

The Peter Haas Award is given by the IEEE's Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, Pulsed Power Sciences and Technology Committee to individuals who have made substantial contributions to advancing the field of pulsed power technology throughout their careers.  Maenchen, the 12th recipient of the Haas Award, was honored for 25 years of excellence in experimental and managerial leadership at Sandia National Laboratories. 

Pulsed Power Technology is used to generate and apply energetic beams and high-power energy pulses. Examples of its application include nuclear survivability and hardness testing; measurement of material properties; high energy density physics and radiation science.

 "This award is well-deserved recognition for Dr. Maenchen's contributions to scientific research and discovery and an example of the cutting edge work being done throughout the nuclear security enterprise," said NNSA Administrator Tom D'Agostino. "We are fortunate to have dedicated professionals who are truly leaders in their fields working to promote our nuclear security agenda."

After earning his Ph.D. from Cornell, Maenchen joined Sandia in 1983 to lead the Particle Beam Fusion Accelerator research effort. He subsequently pursued intense particle beam and high energy density plasma research and was promoted to management in 1990. Maenchen led Sandia's participation in the Advanced Hydrodynamic Radiography initiative, advancing the state of the art in flash X-ray radiographic system capabilities for the national program. His team led the design and implementation of the dual-axis Cygnus radiographic systems operating underground at the Nevada Test Site and demonstrated the architecture now in fabrication for the 2-3 axis AWE Hydrus hydrotest flash radiographic facility.

In 2000, Maenchen assumed management of Sandia's pulsed power science and technology development, reinvigorating science-based research into switching, breakdown, and system design and modeling, resulting in the successful prototype of the ZR accelerator. Maenchen has been awarded two patents for radiopharmaceutical production techniques. Since 2007 Maenchen has managed Sandia's Nuclear Weapons Science and Technology Strategic Directions Department in the Weapons Science and Technology program office. He led Sandia's successful effort in removing all Security Category I and II Special Nuclear Materials from the site, worked to advance corporate Science and Technology international engagement, and was part of the Sandia Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities program management team.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371