Biographical Sketch

This page's biographical information focuses on my work life.  

There are other biographical pages throughout this website, such as one about my home town in the Netherlands.

One about reflections on my family's journey from the Netherlands to the US, in the context of telling my mother's life story, as well as a newspaper account of our arrival in College Station, Texas.

A page on a letter my mother kept as a prized possession, from her mother.

A bit more about my father's story that was brought back into memory while visiting the site of a Nazi concentration camp (he was never in a concentration camp, he was a slave laborer in two work camps, one very bad, the other good).

There are many personal stories about my spiritual life-changes these last few decades. They are sprinkled all though the site.  Everything in the "THOUGHTS" category linked at the bottom of the page, for example, probably is autobiographical to some degree.  One of the more blatant pieces is the one about my fall out of my religion.

To some extent, the starting page of each Yearbook reflects my mood at the time of that New Year. Starting in 2009 they are not so positive, but they try hard. A link to the Yearbooks is at the bottom of this page.

BUT let's get back to my work life:

The last item for 2009 was this interview that has gotten me mostly kudos from both national and international colleagues and friends.  [Even though it has an error in it, but who's looking?]

It also tells you something about what I DID for a living for several decades. If the Yucca Mountain Project, and what I did there, interests you, here is a semi-biographical page about my Yucca Mountain work, and a non-biographical photo page about Yucca Mountain.

My 2010 resumé is posted here  in case one of you is curious.  It is the one I used to help me find work in 2010, when the Project I worked on in Las Vegas for 25 years was closed down by the new Administration in Washington.  [ Ah, politics, can't live with it, can't live without it.]

I now work for the US Department of Energy in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  

[Yes, that makes me a "fed" once more.]

Carlsbad is the home of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, WIPP, a deep geologic repository 2,150 feet (650 meters) below the Chihuahuan desert 30 miles from town in a very thick rock-salt formation.  

Here the US is permanently disposing of defense-related wastes contaminated with transuranic elements (elements with atomic numbers higher than that of uranium, all radioactive, and most quite long-lived).  

The salt has been here for 250 million years, it was deposited during the late Permian--a time before dinosaurs, when there was only one continent called Pangea.  

(If geo-talk excites you, I have a lot of pages on the local geo-history, where I was trying to explain the natural history of some of the local and striking geological features I visited nearby and took photos of.  Just look on the New Mexico and Texas pages linked to the Home Page linked below. Or the Nevada and California and Arizona and Utah pages.  If geo-talk doesn't excite you, just go to look at the pictures, many of them are really quite pretty!)

In 2011, I was very pleasantly surprised, and genuinely honored, to receive a "Secretary's Appreciation Award" from the Secretary of Energy, Nobel- Laureate Steven Chu. [No. he was not sharing his prize with me.]

Old dude+cheesy grin=me:

The Award says:

I really appreciate the Department's management chain from here to the Secretary of Energy, through whose hands these words were passed, for recognizing that our international efforts have a greater meaning then just realizing cost-savings that come with doing cooperative research and sharing test plans and results between countries. 

The saying “what happens there, happens here” has a particularly pointed meaning when it comes to anything nuclear.  So whenever we can do something that shows other nations how to do something safely, in this instance the permanent disposal of radioactive waste, we are helping the world be a safer place.  Uncontrolled radioactive materials do not recognize national borders.  When one country properly disposes of its radioactive waste materials, it is protecting its neighbors and the world.

I had a lot of help earning this award.  

It was a team effort!  

Thank you, team!

Go back to ThoughtsandPlaces.Org Home Page

Go to page with links to Yearbooks from 2002

Go to "Thoughts" page, with links to content