Mr. Polk has more than 8 years of experience in private business and 29 years of experience with the Department of Energy at the Savannah River Operations Office (SR). As a private businessman he owned, operated and managed construction, agricultural production and retail/service enterprises. His range of experience at SR includes leadership roles in nuclear facility construction, operations, program and project management. In his current assignment, he leads the Operations and Research & Development activities of the Savannah River National Laboratory.
Mr. Polk began his federal career as a Facility Representative for the Defense Waste Processing Facility in 1991 where he provided oversight for construction, startup and operations of the largest nuclear waste vitrification facility in the world. From there, he went on to serve as the Senior Technical Advisor to the Manager-SR. Following his role in the Manager’s office, he provided leadership for several key programs and projects at SR. Prior to his current assignment, he was Programs Director for Nuclear Materials; supporting spent fuel receipt, processing, and safe storage of the nation’s excess plutonium. Prior to that, he was the Federal Project Director for the Salt Waste Processing Facility, a significant first-of-a-kind major system acquisition for the Department. He was Federal Project Director and Director of Programs for Radioactive Liquid Waste Disposition and Solid Waste. There he was responsible for the multi-billion-dollar cleanup and closure of the Savannah River Liquid Waste Storage Tanks, Solid and Transuranic waste disposal, and waste vitrification at the Defense Waste Processing Facility.
Mr. Polk held other key leadership positions for the Department at SRS including Director of Soils and Groundwater cleanup where he achieved the first decommissioning and area closure of a National Priorities List unit. Mr. Polk was also Project Director for Glass Waste Storage Building II, the first nuclear facility project directly managed by DOE where his team received the Secretary’s Award of Achievement for completion ahead of schedule and more than $8M under budget.
Mr. Polk is a Senior Technical Safety Manager and a certified Level IV Federal Project Director for the Department of Energy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Sciences from Clemson University.