For over 29 years, Kirk has served in a variety of operational, management, and leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Offices of Defense Programs, Environmental Management (EM), Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Before joining DOE, he worked for six years in the aerospace industry as a materials and process engineer at Texas Instruments and Ball Corporation.
Kirk is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is currently the Manager of the Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA). In this role he is leading the cleanup and disposition of legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Prior to his current appointment, he was the Deputy Manager of the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO). In this position, Kirk led the transformation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant through significant recapitalization of the facility infrastructure as well as initiating the transformation of the underground equipment fleet to battery-electric vehicles or very low emission diesel powered equipment. Kirk led over $500m in capital and general plant projects at the site. He has revitalized the public outreach for CBFO; ensuring stakeholders have an opportunity to meet with CBFO officials during major permitting actions.
Prior to joining CBFO, he was the Deputy Chief for Field Operations at DOE/HQ Office of EM. He led the Office of the Chief Engineer; Office of Technology Development and Innovation; the Environment, Safety, Security, Nuclear Safety, Quality Assurance, and Health Organization as well as supporting the 16 EM field sites to complete the EM cleanup mission. Prior to this position, he was an engineer at the NNSA Nevada Field Office (NFO). Kirk led the recapitalization of site infrastructure including two Category 2 Nuclear Facilities: the U1a tunnel complex for subcritical nuclear experiments; and the Device Assembly Facility, a 100,000 square foot facility.
From 2005 until 2010, Kirk served as the engineering design group supervisor for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) in Las Vegas, NV. OCRWM was developing the Nation’s disposal site for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. He led the first-of-a-kind design and safety analysis of the multi-billion dollar nuclear facilities necessary to dispose of the waste. He led the development of over 1500 technical documents that formed the basis for the design and safety analysis input to the license application which supported ~50% of the 8660 page license application. From 2000 to 2005, Kirk was the subsurface design lead for OCRWM.
Kirk joined NFO in 1991 as a test construction engineer for underground nuclear weapons tests at the Nevada National Security Site, successfully completing two underground nuclear weapons effects tests. He also was a team lead for the radioactive waste acceptance program, in the Waste Management organization, reviewing low-level radioactive waste for disposal at the NNSS. He then led the Nuclear Emergency Search Team and Aerial Measuring System programs. In 2000, he accepted a promotion to become the subsurface design lead for OCRWM.
Kirk graduated from the DOE Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program as well as the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows Program in 2011. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.