Siegfried S. Hecker

Siegfried S. Hecker (born October 2, 1943) is an American metallurgist and nuclear scientist. He served as Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory[1] from 1986 to 1997 and is now affiliated with Stanford University, where he is research professor emeritus in the Department of Management Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering, and senior fellow emeritus at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.[2]


Early life

Hecker's parents came from Sarajevo, Bosnia and were moved during World War II to Tomaszew, Poland, where Hecker was born.[3] When his father had not returned from the war at the Eastern Front, his mother remarried and settled in Rottenmann, Austria.[3] 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.[4] He then spent two years as a postdoctoral appointee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Professional career

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

Los Alamos

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 fifth Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 till 1997 and was a Los Alamos Senior Fellow until 2005.[2]

Stanford University

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.[5][6]

Other activities

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.

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).[7][8] In November 2010, Hecker visited the Yongbyon nuclear facility and reported on its advanced state.[9]

In addition to his NAE membership, Dr. Hecker is a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and India Institute of Metals; fellow of the Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials Society (TMS), American Society for Metals, American Physical Society (APS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and honorary member of the American Ceramics Society.[4]


His achievements have been recognized with the American Nuclear Society's Seaborg Medal and many other awards including the 2018 National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies, the 2017 American Nuclear Society Eisenhower Medal, the Navy League of the U.S.'s TR & FD Roosevelt Gold Medal for Science Award in 1996, the AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy, the Leo Szilard Lectureship (APS), the Department of Energy's E.O. Lawrence Award, the LANL Medal, and the Case Western Reserve University Alumni Association Gold Medal and Undergraduate Distinguished Alumni Award.[4]

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. ^ "The American scientist who's seen North Korea's nuclear secrets". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  2. ^ a b c "FSI | CISAC - Siegfried S. Hecker". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  3. ^ a b LA National Laboratory (August–September 1997). "Reflections (Issue about S. Hecker)" (PDF). p. 16. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "Siegfried S. Hecker Biography". NAE Website. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Beth Duff-Brown (27 February 2013). "Hecker steps down as co-director, but not away from CISAC". FSI Stanford News. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Siegfried S. Hecker (May–June 2008). "Denuclearizing North Korea" (PDF). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 64 (2): 44–49. Bibcode:2008BuAtS..64b..44H. doi:10.2968/064002011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
  9. ^ Siegfried Hecker (November 20, 2010). "North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Complex, a Report by Siegfried Hecker". Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  10. ^ Formability, analysis, modeling, and experimentation : proceedings of a symposium held in Chicago, Illinois, October 24 and 25, 1977. Hecker, Siegfried S., Ghosh, A. K. (Amit Kumar), 1926-, Gegel, H. L., Metallurgical Society of AIME. Shaping and Forming Committee., American Society for Metals. Flow and Fracture Committee. New York: Metallurgical Society of AIME. 1978. ISBN 9780895201447. OCLC 5676494.CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ Essays on the future : in honor of Nick Metropolis. Hecker, Siegfried S., Rota, Gian-Carlo, 1932-1999., Metropolis, N. (Nicholas), 1915-. Boston: Birkhäuser. 2000. ISBN 9780817638566. OCLC 43836433.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ Doomed to cooperate : how American and Russian scientists joined forces to avert some of the greatest post-Cold War nuclear dangers. Hecker, Siegfried S. Los Alamos, New Mexico. 2016. ISBN 978-0941232449. OCLC 953599272.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links

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