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James Peery

Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences

As associate laboratory director for national security sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, James Peery oversees research and development programs that support the national security missions of the US Department of Energy and other government agencies. These R&D programs leverage the Laboratory’s scientific strengths to support US missions in preventing and countering the spread of weapons of mass destruction, accelerating adoption of beyond Moore’s Law computing, applying advanced analytics, providing resilience to cyber systems, and advancing national security autonomous capabilities through materials science, advanced manufacturing, and electrification.

James began his career at Sandia National Laboratories in 1990 after graduating with a PhD in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University. One of his first projects was the development of first-generation, massively parallel algorithms and tools for high-energy physics applications that are still used today in support of national security. He became group leader of computational physics in 1996 and in 1999 took the position of group leader of computational solid mechanics and structural dynamics.

In 2002, he accepted a deputy associated laboratory director position at Los Alamos for the nuclear weapons advanced code and computing program that successfully supported the computational assessment element of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s stockpile stewardship program. As division leader from 2006 to 2007, James restored the performance and morale of LANL’s hydrodynamics experiments division and supported successful completion of the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility’s second axis.

Returning to Sandia in 2007 as division director, James led the laboratory’s computational science and math center and created the high-performance computing facility for sensitive compartmented information. In 2010, he became responsible for SNL’s cybersecurity R&D center and extensive Strategic Partnership Projects portfolio where he co-created the Quantum Information Sciences program and established the Counterfeit Detection Center. From 2015 to 2017, he took responsibility as SNL’s associate laboratory director for defense systems and assessments along with leadership of all defense and intelligence community programs. During this tenure, he established centers of excellence in multi-modal data analytics and autonomy.

James currently is serving a four-year term as a member of the US Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board.