|George Miller, Ph.D.
George Miller has played a critical role in the national security mission at LLNL since 1972 and has led every aspect of the nuclear weapons program at the Laboratory, from design through development, testing, deployment to the stockpile, and retirement. As LLNL Laboratory director since 2006, he has directed management and operations and applied the resources necessary to meet its core missions related to weapons, Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC) integration, the National Ignition Facility (NIF), and the reduction of global threats from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. He has supported the science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program, providing the annual independent technical assessment of five warheads to the secretaries of Energy and Defense, and is a leader in the development of scientific strategies and incorporation of system improvements for cost efficiencies, improved safety and security and ethical conduct. Miller is a leader in nuclear weapons design, both of the existing stockpile and the Reliable Replacement Warhead. He addresses the American Physical Society on international scientific issues, and has worked closely with British and French scientists on laser technologies and applications. He advises the commander of STRATCOM through the Strategic Advisory Group and as chair of its Science and Technology Panel.
Throughout his tenure, Miller has tackled a variety of management and scientific challenges in the interest of national security. As LLNL associate director for NIF from 2000 to 2005, Miller successfully assembled a strong management team and brought the project on track for completion in 2009. His foresight and scientific understanding of NIF’s importance to the weapons program was the catalyst that led to the NIF success. Through his stewardship, this $3.5 billion laser, the most energetic in the world, is currently on track to begin fusion experiments in 2010. As LLNL associate director for national security from 1996 to 2000, Miller provided integrated leadership of all the Laboratory’s national security programs, serving as the single point-of-contact with DOE’s assistant secretary for defense programs.
In the 1980s and ’90s, Miller was associate director for LLNL’s nuclear weapons program, where he was responsible for research and development, testing, system analysis, weapons effects, weapons engineering, stockpile surveillance and arms control. He was a major participant in the development of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, a presidential initiative to ensure the safety, security and performance of the nation’s nuclear deterrent in the absence of nuclear testing. Miller anticipated nuclear testing limitations and successfully established priority for and a focus on high-performance computing.
From 1989 to 1990, he served as an adviser to the Secretary of Energy, Adm. James Watkins, on DOE weapons laboratories and the nuclear weapons program. He played a major role in the study of the transformation of the weapons complex, including how to dismantle nuclear weapons in both Russia and the United States in a way that would allow verification without releasing classified information. Miller applied detection technologies, sensors and computation methods for use in nonproliferation. His work helped decision makers to formulate U.S. weapons policy.
From 1972 to 1985, Miller served LLNL as deputy associate director, nuclear design; division leader; project manager for the W84; group leader, A Division; and project leader for the B77, A Division. He was responsible for designing, executing and analyzing the results of 12 nuclear tests. He designed the thermonuclear components for two stockpile weapons and managed the engineering development of one of them. He initiated several programs to understand nuclear weapons physics at a more fundamental level, to obtain nuclear weapons physics data from the emerging high power laser/inertial confinement fusion program, and to leverage the newly developed parallel computing capabilities. These initiatives formed the underpinnings for the SSP and are key elements of its success today.
Miller received his master’s degree and doctorate in physics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. He is a member of the American Physical Society, and the Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society.