Former LANL director featured guest

March 3, 2016 - Karen Wentworth

Sig HeckerThe 2016 National Security Studies Program (NSSP) Annual Symposium event is set for Monday, March 7 at 4 p.m. in Dane Smith Hall (DSH), Room 325. During the event, DPRK expert Sig Hecker will present on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, as well as his view and the history of the DPRK nuclear program.

Hecker is former president of the UNM Board of Regents and currently a professor at Stanford University in the Department of Management Science and Engineering. He is also a senior fellow at CISAC, where he was co-director (2007-12) and FSI, and emeritus director of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Hecker joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as graduate research assistant and postdoctoral fellow before returning as technical staff member following a tenure at General Motors Research. He led the laboratory's Materials Science and Technology Division and Center for Materials Science before serving as laboratory director from 1986 through 1997, and senior fellow until July 2005.

Hecker's research interests include plutonium science, nuclear weapons policy and international security, nuclear security (including nonproliferation and counter terrorism), and cooperative nuclear threat reduction. Over the past 22 years, he has fostered cooperation with the Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard the vast stockpile of ex-Soviet fissile materials.

His current research activities focus on the challenges of nuclear India, Pakistan, North Korea, and the nuclear aspirations of Iran. Hecker works closely with the Russian Academy of Sciences and is actively involved with the U.S. National Academies.

Among his professional distinctions, Hecker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; fellow of the TMS, or Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials Society; fellow of the American Society for Metals; fellow of the American Physical Society, honorary member of the American Ceramics Society; and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The main session of the symposium takes place April 5 and will include a panel of ex-senior New Mexico NSA Laboratory personnel discussing the global state of nuclear nonproliferation.

All student members of NSSP, as well as the UNM community, are invited at the symposium events.