Reinhard Knerr has been selected as manager of the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO), where he will oversee operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). He will transition from his current role as DUF6 Federal Project Director at the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office where he supervises the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facilities at the Portsmouth, Ohio and Paducah, Kentucky sites.
Knerr has held leadership and strategic planning roles at the Paducah site since 2004, including managing environmental remediation work, transitioning the site’s gaseous diffusion plant from the United States Enrichment Corporation back to the Department of Energy, and initiating utility and infrastructure optimization projects. He also has served as the transuranic waste certification team leader at WIPP, and has over nine years of experience as a nuclear criticality safety engineer supporting contractor operations at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Pantex Plant. Knerr holds a Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.
At Carlsbad, Knerr will replace Greg Sosson, who has served as acting manager since December 2019. Sosson will return to EM headquarters to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety, Security, and Quality Assurance. That position holds broad responsibility for overseeing the development of strategies, policy, and guidance for safety, security, and emergency preparedness to support the EM mission.
Sosson previously held the position of Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Oversight at EM headquarters. Prior to joining DOE, Sosson was in the commercial nuclear industry for 28 years in senior operations and engineering positions with a focus on safe and efficient mission accomplishment, including 10 years as a senior reactor operator. He also spent 10 years as a light and mechanized infantry officer in the Army Reserve and National Guard. Sosson holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University. He is a licensed professional engineer.
Mike Mikolanis, who has been serving as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety, Security, and Quality Assurance, will return to his role as assistant manager for nuclear material stabilization at the DOE-Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR).
Kirk Lachman has been selected as manager of the EM-Los Alamos Field Office, following a tenure as deputy manager and acting manager of CBFO. Before joining CBFO, Lachman was the Deputy Chief for Field Operations at EM headquarters. He has served in a variety of line management and safety oversight positions from 2010-2017 at the Nevada Field Office. He served from 2005 until 2010 as the engineering design group supervisor for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in Las Vegas.
Lachman graduated from the DOE Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program as well as the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows Program. He has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University.
Lachman will replace Thomas Johnson, who has served as acting manager of EM-Los Alamos since March. Johnson will return to the Savannah River Site, where he serves as deputy manager of DOE-SR. In that role, Johnson has broad leadership responsibility for approximately $1 billion in annual operating and construction activities at SRS in the areas of environmental stewardship, and nuclear materials processing and disposition.