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Mark C. Anderson

Dr. Mark C. Anderson
Director, Office of Advanced Simulation and Computing
and Institutional Research and Development Programs (NA-114)
National Nuclear Security Administration

Dr. Mark Anderson is the Director of the Office of Advanced Simulation and Computing and Institutional Research and Development for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He has had a distinguished career in support of national defense. Dr. Anderson was a recipient of the Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellowship for graduate work at Caltech where he obtained his Ph.D. He spent twenty-three years in private industry in a variety of leadership and technical positions for contractors providing support for the Navy, Air Force, Army, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Department of Energy. The next seventeen years of Dr. Anderson’s career prior to joining government service were with Los Alamos National Laboratory. His experience at Los Alamos included completing the TITANS (Theoretical Institute for Thermonuclear and Nuclear Studies) curriculum for nuclear weapons design as well as technical and leadership roles in experimental science, weapon engineering, weapon physics, and simulation and computing.

Valri Lightner

Valri Lightner
Acting Director
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Department of Energy

Valri Lightner has been a technology development manager for the federal government for 35 years. Valri’s team manages research, development and adoption of energy-related advanced manufacturing technologies and practices to drive U.S. economic competitiveness and energy productivity. The program is executed through collaborations of industry, academia, and government. Valri previously worked in the Loan Programs Office where her team provided the technical management of a portfolio including vehicle manufacturing and innovative energy projects. Valri also led public-private research and development partnerships in cellulosic biofuels, fuel cells for transportation, and pulp and paper energy efficiency.

Valri has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University.

Martin Pilch

Dr. Martin Pilch
Consulting Engineer

Dr. Martin Pilch earned a PhD in Nuclear Engineering (1981) from the University of Virginia. Currently, MPilchConsulting specializes in establishing the credibility of computer simulations, verification, validation, uncertainty quantification, and risk assessment for engineering applications spanning the full spectrum of engineering disciplines. Pilch retired in 2016 from Sandia National Laboratories after 35 years of service, having held distinguished staff, management, and program positions. Pilch played a key transformational role within the laboratory for the development, demonstration, and deployment of methodologies for Quantifying Margins and Uncertainties (QMU) that support risk-informed decisions affecting the stockpile of US nuclear weapons. He also played a central role in the first large scale integration of high-end modeling and simulation with more traditional testing for a major nuclear weapon life extension program. He previously managed for six years the V&V sub-element of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program at Sandia and was a line manager of the Validation and Uncertainty Quantification Department in the Engineering Sciences Center. As the V&V Program Manager, Pilch managed an R&D and applications portfolio with a goal of establishing credibility and quantifying uncertainties in the use of high-end modeling and simulation for a wide range of nuclear weapon issues. Pilch spent the first nineteen years of his career developing and validating models for severe accident issues associated with the operation of nuclear power plants. During this time, he participated in and led major activities using a risk-informed approach, which integrated modeling and experiments in a probabilistic framework, for addressing and resolving safety issues that arose because of the accident at Three Mile Island.

Dr. Bill Skamarock

Dr. Bill Skamarock
Senior Scientific Section Head of
Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory
Weather Modeling & Research at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research/ University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Biography: Dr. Skamarock is active in the development of fluid-flow solvers and atmospheric models, particularly nonhydrostatic solvers suitable for cloud-permitting simulations. He is one of the principal architects of the Weather Research and Forecast model. He is currently working on developing global solvers based on unstructured centroidal Voronoi tessellations and is leading NCAR’s effort in the development of the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS). Dr. Skamarock continues to work on problems in atmospheric dynamics at large scales (baroclinic waves), small scales (deep convection) and interactions between scales. He collaborates in studies of chemistry and chemical species transport in deep convective clouds.