John Benner Named Los Alamos National Lab Weapons Production Lead

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John Benner, executive officer for weapon programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will assume the role of associate laboratory director for weapons production on Jan. 3.

He will succeed Dave Eyler, who retired from the role in the fall, and LANL said Friday Benner will take over responsibilities from David Dooley, who serves as acting ALDWP, in January.

In this role, Benner will work with other officials across the lab as he oversees a team of approximately 1,400 employees responsible for producing and evaluating plutonium pits, nuclear weapon detonators, non-nuclear components and power supplies for materials management, surveillance and NASA’s deep space missions.

“The scope of ALDWP’s work is vast; not only do we have the technical challenge of achieving pit first production and rate production, but we also have multiple ongoing programs of national importance that must be executed while the equipment and infrastructure for the pit mission is installed — all under the operational constraints of an active nuclear facility,” Benner said.

Benner has held various leadership roles at LANL, including associate director for weapon engineering and experiments and chief engineer for nuclear weapons and weapon systems engineering division leader.

He also served as a senior technical adviser to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s deputy administrator for defense programs and vice president and chief operating officer for MSTS, the Nevada National Security Site’s operating and management contractor.

“John is a proven leader who can provide strategic vision, maintain stability, and meet deliverables for Weapons Production as we continue to ramp up our 30-pits-per-year and other important national security missions,” said Bob Webster, deputy laboratory director for weapons programs.

Webster added that Benner brings to the role nearly three decades of experience in weapons engineering across the nuclear security enterprise.

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