John F. Ahearne (NAE), Chair, is the executive director emeritus of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, an adjunct professor of engineering at Duke University, and an adjunct scholar at Resources for the Future. He has extensive expertise in nuclear and radiation engineering and risk assessment. His professional interests are in reactor safety, energy issues, resource allocation, and public policy management. Dr. Ahearne served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1970, resigning as a major. He has also served as deputy and principal deputy assistant secretary of defense (1972-1977), in the White House Energy Office (1977), as deputy assistant secretary of energy (1977-1978), and as commissioner and chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (chairman, 1979-1981). He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society for Risk Analysis, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Sigma Xi, and the American Nuclear Society. He has previously chaired or served as a member on committees for more than 30 other NRC studies. Dr. Ahearne received a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University.
Douglas Eardley, Vice Chair, is professor of physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Eardley’s research interests include general relativity: black holes, gravity waves, and quantum gravity; theoretical astrophysics: X-ray sources, quasars, active galactic nuclei, and cosmology; mathematical physics: nonlinear partial differential equations and geometry; and physics and society: national security, nuclear weapons, and arms
control. Dr. Eardley has been a member of several National Research Council study committees, including the Working Group on Related Areas of Science of the Astronomy Survey Committee (“Field Committee”) in 1979-1980; the Committee on the Atmospheric Effects of Nuclear Explosions in 1983-1984; and the Science Panel of the Astronomy Survey Committee in 1989-1990. He was chair of the External Advisory Board of the Institute for Fundamental Theory of the University of Florida at Gainesville from 1990 to 1994; a member of the Physics Advisory Committee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1991 to 1996; the plenary speaker at the Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics in 1992; a member of the Openness Advisory Panel of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board for DOE from 1996 to 2002; and co-coordinator of the Institute for Theoretical Physics’ Program in Black Hole Astrophysics from 1999 to 2002. Professor Eardley has been a member of the JASON Study Group since 1981; a member of the National Security Panel of the University of California’s President’s Council on the National Laboratories from 2000 to 2007; chair of the External Review Panel for the Radiation Effects Sciences Program for Sandia National Laboratories since 2000; and a member of the Joint Mission Committee for Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2007. He received a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Robert C. Dynes (NAS) is professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, San Diego. He served as the 18th president of the University of California (UC) from 2003 to 2007 and as chancellor of UC San Diego from 1996 to 2003. His position as chancellor followed 6 years in the physics department, where he founded an interdisciplinary laboratory in which chemists, electrical engineers, and private industry researchers investigated the properties of metals, semiconductors, and superconductors. Prior to joining the UC faculty, he had a 22-year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he served as department head of semiconductor and material physics research and director of chemical physics research. Dr. Dynes received the 1990 Fritz London Award in Low Temperature Physics, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves on the executive committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. A native of London, Ontario, Canada, and a naturalized U.S. citizen, Dr. Dynes holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics and an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Western Ontario, and master’s and doctoral degrees in physics and an honorary doctor of science degree from McMaster University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Université de Montréal.
David Harding is a senior scientist at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. His research interests include the science and engineering associated with the making of fuel capsules for fusion experiments performed at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics. He has worked at the University of Rochester for 15 years; prior to that he was a senior research engineer in the Materials and Structures Division at the NASA Lewis Research Center. He has participated as a panel member on two review committees: the National Ignition Facility Target Fabrication Review (2008) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a DOE review of its Solar Thermal Program (1992). Dr. Harding received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.
Thomas Mehlhorn is superintendent of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Plasma Physics Division, and a member of the Department of the Navy Senior Executive Service with responsibility for a broad spectrum of research programs in plasma physics, laboratory discharge and space plasmas, intense electron and ion beams and photon sources, atomic physics, pulsed-power sources, radiation hydrodynamics, high-power microwaves, laser physics, advanced spectral diagnostics, and nonlinear systems. He began his career at Sandia National Laboratories in 1978 and worked on a variety of projects related to the generation, focusing, and interaction of intense beams of electrons and ions with plasmas. From 1989 to 1998 he was a manager in the Sandia Light Ion ICF Program, and from 1998 to 2006 he managed Sandia’s High Energy Density Physics and ICF Target Design Department in the Pulsed Power Fusion Program. From 2006 to 2009 he was a senior manager with accountability for dynamic materials and shock physics, high energy density physics theory and modeling, and advanced radiographic source development and applications. Dr. Mehlhorn joined NRL in 2009. He is a recipient of two NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence (2007 and 2008), a Lockheed Martin NOVA award (2004), and an Alan Berman Research Publication Award from NRL (1983). Dr. Mehlhorn is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in physics (2006). He serves on the Advisory Board for Plasma and Atomic Physics at GSI, Darmstadt, Germany (2004-present, chair in 2006). He is a member of the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department Advisory Board at the University of Michigan (1996-1999 and 2004-present), as well as of the University of Michigan College of Engineering Alumni Society board of governors (2009-present). In 2010 Dr. Mehlhorn served on the Department of the Navy Space Experiments Review Board as well as the University of Missouri’s Research and Development Advisory Board. Dr. Mehlhorn received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan.
Merri Wood-Schultz is a part-time consultant for SAIC and serves as a laboratory associate at LANL for improvised and foreign devices. Dr. Wood-Schultz’s early career focused on the physics design of secondaries of thermonuclear weapons. She was responsible for the conceptual and physics design of numerous nuclear tests and add-on experiments; the areas of focus of these tests included stockpile systems, weapons physics, and advanced development. Dr. Wood-Schultz played an active role in the development of nuclear weapons-related laboratory experiments (AGEX), serving as the lead designer for a series of experiments on the Sandia National Laboratories’ SATURN pulsed-power machine and as a member of the inaugural LANCE (neutron scattering facility) Users Group. Later phases of Dr. Wood-Schultz’s career included involvement in developing concepts and methods for certification without nuclear testing, notably the quantification of margins and uncertainty (QMU), and an increase in her work in nuclear intelligence. The latter led to a 6-month, change-of-station assignment to a DOE intelligence organization. Dr. Wood-Schultz is currently a member of the Nuclear Forensics Science Panel for the Department of Homeland Security and engages in continuing technical collaborations on nuclear weapons design, yield certification using QMU, and nuclear intelligence. Dr. Wood-Schultz became a fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2001, received the Department of Energy Award of Excellence in 1988, 1999, and 2004, the STRATCOM Medal of Excellence in 1997, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Distinguished Performance Award in 1996. Dr. Schultz received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
George Zimmerman is a part-time consultant on computations and modeling for LLNL and on nuclear reactor modeling for TerraPower, LLC. He joined LLNL in 1970 as a staff member in the A Division, where he developed the LASNEX computer program to design laser fusion targets and analyze experiments. In 1980 he was appointed associate division leader in the X Division, where he led a group of physicists responsible for developing numerical methods to accurately perform integrated simulations involving laser absorption, magnetohydrodynamics, atomic physics, and the transport of photons, neutrons, and charged particles. From 1984 to 1987 he was leader of the Computational Physics Division. He then led the inertial confinement fusion code development project in the AX Division until his retirement. Mr. Zimmerman received the Department of Energy’s 1983 E.O. Lawrence Award for contributions to national security and the 1997 Edward Teller Award for developing the LASNEX inertial confinement fusion code. He also received the Defense Programs Award of Excellence for significant contributions to the Stockpile Stewardship Program in 2002 and 2005. He retired from LLNL in 2007 and is currently a fellow of the American Physical Society. Mr. Zimmerman received a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College and an M.A. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.