President Donald J. Trump on Thursday nominated a national security leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to a nuclear nonproliferation job in the U.S. Department of Energy.
Brent K. Park is currently an associate laboratory director at ORNL, where he is responsible for national security programs.
Trump nominated him to be deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation in the Department of Energy.
The nomination announcement posted on the White House website said Park now leads and manages national security programs for the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration (a semi-autonomous agency within DOE), and other sponsors. A nuclear physicist, Park was previously director of the DOE/NNSA Remote Sensing Laboratory, the White House said.
Previously, he managed and contributed to basic and applied research programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where his work included defense nuclear nonproliferation, modeling and analysis for nuclear weapons engineering, and manufacturing efforts in support of stockpile stewardship, physics of nuclear weapons, and fundamental physics research, the White House said.
Park has a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate from Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Indiana University, and Ohio University, respectively, the White House said. He is on the faculty of the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, and he is an adjunct professor of engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
ORNL said Park is the associate laboratory director of the Global Security Directorate, or GSD, at ORNL. The mission of that directorate include supporting national priorities in global and homeland security for the U.S. Department of Energy and other agencies, providing research and development in areas that include nuclear nonproliferation and threat reduction, arms and export control, homeland security, energy, and counterterrorism technologies for DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration and for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“In addition, GSD provides basic and applied research for the U.S. Department of Defense on a wide variety of national challenges including materials science, sensor technologies, simulation and modeling, and power and energy applications for both mobile power and infrastructure requirements,” ORNL said.
Before he joined ORNL, Park served as the director of the U.S. DOE/NNSA Remote Sensing Laboratory, or RSL, an integral part of the Nevada Test Site contract managed by National Security Technologies LLC.
“In this capacity, he (Park) was accountable for RSL’s performance on the contract with DOE/NNSA, which predominantly focuses on supporting the national security mission through multidisciplinary R&D efforts,” ORNL said. “RSL addresses critical national security challenges with expertise and excellence in physical and environmental science; design and fabrication of electronic, mechanical, and structural systems; remote and robotic sensing; remote field experiments and operations. In this position, Dr. Park collaborated with national defense, homeland security, and intelligence community organizations in the applications of advanced technologies to meet their requirements.”
Park began his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1989 when he performed his Ph.D. thesis experiment at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (now the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center), using the Spallation Neutron Source. After joining the Los Alamos research staff, Park held progressively higher level management positions supporting DOE’s Basic Energy Science Program, Stockpile Stewardship Program, and nuclear nonproliferation missions, ORNL said. Park served as deputy division leader of the LANL Nuclear Nonproliferation Division and then joined the NTS.
Park has more than 25 years of experience in physics research and in research management. He is a co-spokesman on five nuclear physics experiments, has more than 50 refereed publications along with more than 80 contributed papers, and has given numerous invited talks. He has extensive experience in the design of experiments and apparatus for accelerator-based nuclear physics techniques, and in the detection of both charged particles and neutrons at low and medium energies. He is one of the pioneers in developing and introducing portable, real-time digital radiography detector systems for nuclear emergency response applications. Park has established strong working relationships with research universities to promote and advance a science-based approach driven by technological innovation, ORNL said.
Park is the second ORNL executive nominated by Trump. Jeff W. Smith, deputy director for operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, assumed his role as a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors after taking the oath of office in a ceremony in Knoxville on Thursday, January 11. Smith was nominated by Trump on September 21, 2017, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 21. He was sworn in by U.S. District Judge Pamela L. Reeves of the Eastern District of Tennessee.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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