Senate Confirms Texas A&M Engineer for Key Nuclear Safety Post

The Texas A&M University System News Release image header. Office of Marketing Communications. 979-458-6023

Marvin Adams leaves A&M after 30 years of teaching, research and national security service.

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — For much of his career, Texas A&M University nuclear engineer Marvin L. Adams has been considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on nuclear security outside of the federal government.

Now he’s on the inside.

Congress on Wednesday confirmed Adams’ appointment by President Joe Biden to serve as deputy administrator for defense programs within the Department of Energy.

Adams will oversee federal programs that ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

He will help manage a $16 billion budget in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA.) The agency oversees for the design, maintenance, assessment, manufacturing and dismantlement of all U.S. nuclear warheads and related programs that develop and maintain all the associated science, engineering, technology, supply-chain and manufacturing capabilities.

Adams’ position is one of four top jobs in the NNSA that require Senate approval.

“I look forward to working with the outstanding NNSA team––the federal workforce and the workforce at the laboratories, plants, and sites––to deliver our unique, essential contributions to U.S. national security,” Adams said Thursday.

Adams has been the HTRI Professor of Nuclear Engineering, a Regents Fellow and the director of National Laboratories Mission Support for The Texas A&M University System. He started 30 years ago at the flagship in College Station.

His research has advanced the nation’s ability to use complex computer algorithms to help assess weapons’ reliability while explosive nuclear testing is banned.

As an educator, Adams has taught generations of engineers, including many who have gone on to careers at the three national nuclear security laboratories — Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

“After 30 years of research and teaching at Texas A&M, service as an advisor for the White House and now a key administrator in the Department of Energy, Dr. Adams remains as humble as the day I met him,” said Dr. John E. Hurtado, interim vice chancellor and dean of the College of Engineering. “His expertise and reasoned voice will be a tremendous asset to President Biden’s national security team.”

Adams also has served for decades in advisory roles at the nation’s nuclear labs.

“I am grateful to Texas A&M for allowing me to pursue national-service opportunities during my three decades here,” Adams said.

Before joining the Texas A&M faculty, Adams was a physicist at Lawrence Livermore from 1986 to 1992. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan and his B.S. in nuclear engineering from Mississippi State University.

Last fall Biden named Adams among 30 distinguished Americans to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a group from outside the government that he has to resign from now.

Read more about Adams’ career here:

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $9.6 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Mike Reilly
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