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The challenging missions of NNSA require a highly-skilled workforce that is dedicated to national security. Many team members spend decades of their lives committed to our missions so when one of own enters retirement, we make sure to say, “Thank you for your service.”
Dr. Ralph Schneider holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland and began his career as a research physicist and a group leader for the Naval Surface Warfare Center. He went on to sponsor the initial Department of Defense research on Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine and the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As a physicist and senior staff member in the Office of Defense Science, he managed the Secondary Assessment Technologies, Advanced Radiography and Inertial Confinement Fusion diagnostics and target fabrication portfolios. He was also responsible for creating and expanding the Stewardship Science Academic Alliances program and developed and managed a new security program with the national laboratories. As director for the Office of Research and Development, Dr. Schneider supervised technical managers tasked with leading the weapons activities’ science program for NNSA.
Tim Driscoll began his career applying his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the Albuquerque Operations Office. He developed proficiency in the unique materials and manufacturing processes utilized in nuclear weapons and became lead system engineer on the W68 program. He went on to serve as the chief engineer for the Transportation Safeguards Division and then as the deputy director for the Office of Construction and Engineering Programs. Driscoll became a certified nuclear construction project manager, lending his expertise across the nation. He then returned to the nuclear weapons program as director of the Nuclear Bombs Division and led the B61 Life Extension Program to the milestone of first production. Driscoll was selected as acting associate administrator for Defense Nuclear Security and then helped launch the Office of Nuclear Operations for Defense Programs. He then served as manager of the Office of Manufacturing and Science Capabilities before being selected for the newly created position of uranium manager, reporting directly to the NNSA Administrator on all aspects of NNSA’s enriched uranium missions. His final position with NNSA was as a senior technical advisor.
Doug Wade started out in the U.S. Air Force. With his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering, he secured a position as a technical intelligence analyst. Wade studied nuclear weapons effects and was then assigned to the Air Force Weapons Laboratory. He first joined the Department of Energy working in the weapons production division. He soon moved over to the nuclear testing division just as the last underground nuclear tests were performed. Wade supported the initial planning that led to the establishment of the Stockpile Stewardship program. He was asked to temporarily run the Defense Program budget planning and execution division but wound up leading it for six years. Wade then served as acting director for Advanced Simulation and Computing, championing the program and ushering in the push towards exascale. He also oversaw the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Programs at the NNSA national laboratories.