John Crawford Presents Nichols Lecture

Dr. John Crawford who received his PhD from K-State presented the Ernest Fox Nichols Lecture near the end of 2003.  John’s talk,  “A Physics Career At Sandia National Laboratories,” focused on the variety of different roles a research physicist can have during a long and distinguished career.  John’s closing thoughts communicate well some of many of our thoughts about the value of an education in physics.  He stated:

   A physics education is great preparation for a technical career.

   A PhD opens doors and presents opportunities, it does not guarantee success.

   The greatest impact occurs when technical skills are augmented with communication skills and interpersonal skills.

   There are a lot of smart people out there, great things happen when they work together.

In addition to his MS and PhD in Physicsfrom KSU, Dr. Crawford  holds a B.A. in Physics/Math from Phillips University. Dr. Crawford recently retired as Executive Vice President and Deputy Laboratory Director at Sandia National Laboratories where he was responsible for all of Sandia’s programs, operations, staff and facilities.

Previously, as Director of Weapon Development, Crawford was responsible for all nuclear weapon system development activities in New Mexico. Crawford joined Sandia in 1962 and conducted research programs in explosively driven high magnetic field generators and intense pulsed plasma experiments. He was responsible for the design, development and production of electrical and shock-activated sources of neutrons. In addition, specialized neutron sources were developed for medical applications, minerals exploration and nuclear materials detection.

John was recently appointed to serve as a member of a Federal Advisory Committee for the End-to-End Review of the U.S. Nuclear Command and Control System. At present he serves on the Strategic Advisory Group for U.S. Strategic Command.  

The Ernest Fox Nichols lecture is named for an 1888  KSU graduate who had a distinguished career in physics research and  academic administration.  He was the sole author on the first paper published in Physical Review and was president of MIT and Dartmouth as well as Director of the GE Research Laboratories.