Siegfried S. Hecker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Siegfried Hecker)
Jump to: navigation, search
Siegfried S. Hecker
Siegfried Hecker in 2011.jpg
Siegfried Hecker in 2011
Born (1943-10-02) October 2, 1943 (age 74)
Tomaszew, Poland
Nationality Austrian-Polish-American
Alma mater Case Western Reserve University
(B.Sc.), (M.Sc.), (Ph.D.)
Known for Nuclear weapons, Nuclear proliferation, Nuclear strategy
Awards Enrico Fermi Award, Seaborg Medal USDOE Distinguished Associate Award, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award
Scientific career
Fields Metallurgical Engineering
Institutions Los Alamos National Laboratory
Center for International Security and Cooperation
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University

Siegfried S. Hecker (born October 2, 1943) is an American metallurgist and nuclear scientist. He served as the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 till 1997 and is now affiliated with Stanford University, where he holds the position of research professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and of Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.


Early life[edit]

Hecker's parents came from Sarajevo, Bosnia and were moved during World War II to Tomasow, Poland, where Hecker was born.[1] When his father had not returned from the war at the Eastern Front, his mother remarried and settled in Rottenmann, Austria.[1] The family emigrated from Styria to the US in 1956.


Hecker completed his Bachelor of Science in Metallurgy in 1965, his Master of Science in Metallurgy in 1967, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Metallurgical Engineering in 1968, all from Case Western Reserve University. He then spent two years as a postdoctoral appointee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Professional career[edit]

Hecker began his professional career as a senior research metallurgist with the General Motors Research Laboratories in 1970.

Los Alamos[edit]

Hecker while director of Los Alamos National Laboratory

After Hecker's return to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he led the laboratory's Materials Science and Technology Division and Center for Materials Science.[2] He then served as the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 till 1997 and was a Los Alamos Senior Fellow until 2005.

Stanford University[edit]

He first came to Stanford University as a visiting professor in 2005. In 2007 he became co-director of the Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and held this post until 2012.[3][4]

Other activities[edit]

Nuclear Threat Initiative[edit]

Hecker also acts as advisor to the Nuclear Threat Initiative board of directors and belongs to the advisory council of CRDF Global, an independent nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration.

Visits to North Korea[edit]

Hecker visiting the disabled Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, North Korea, in 2008

He has visited North Korea frequently in an unofficial capacity to assess the plutonium program at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center (once every year since 2004).[5][6] In November 2010, Hecker visited the Yongbyon nuclear facility and reported on its advanced state.[7]


His achievements have been recognized with the American Nuclear Society's Seaborg Medal and many other awards including the Navy League of the U.S.'s TR & FD Roosevelt Gold Medal for Science Award in 1996.

The Secretary of Energy named Hecker, co-recipient of the 2009 Enrico Fermi Award. This Presidential Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious given by the U.S. Government and carries an honorarium of $375,000. He shares the honor with John Bannister Goodenough, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.


  1. ^ a b LA National Laboratory (August–September 1997). "Reflections (Issue about S. Hecker)" (PDF). p. 16. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Mahncy Mehrotra (February 16, 2007). "Hecker will co-direct CISAC". The Stanford Daily. Archived from the original on February 18, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  4. ^ Beth Duff-Brown (27 February 2013). "Hecker steps down as co-director, but not away from CISAC". FSI Stanford News. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Siegfried S. Hecker (21 January 2004). "Visit to the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center in North Korea" (PDF). LA-UR-04-0340. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  6. ^ Siegfried S. Hecker (May–June 2008). "Denuclearizing North Korea" (PDF). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 64 (2): 44. doi:10.2968/064002011. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  7. ^ Siegfried Hecker (November 20, 2010). "North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Complex, a Report by Siegfried Hecker". Retrieved November 23, 2010. 


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Donald Kerr
Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory
Succeeded by
John C. Browne