Dr. Matthews has more than thirty years of scientific and engineering experience in nuclear technologies with a primary focus on special nuclear materials, weapons plutonium, and nuclear reactor fuels. In addition, Dr. Matthews has managed nuclear facilities including operations, construction, regulatory compliance, integrated safety management, and safeguards and security. He served as a Board member from April, 2003 to October, 2005.
Dr. Matthews received a BS in Metallurgy from Penn State, an MS in Materials Science from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Wales.
Dr. Matthews was appointed by President George W. Bush on April 22, 2003, to be a Member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, which oversees the safe operation of the Nation's nuclear weapon plants. While at the Board, Dr. Matthews was principal author of DNFSB/TECH-35, Safety Management of Complex, High-Hazard Organizations, and DNFSB/TECH-36, Integrated Safety Management: The Foundation for a Successful Safety Culture. Dr. Matthews left the Board in December 2005.
Dr. Matthews spent eight years as a Research Scientist at Atomic Energy of Canada where he developed advanced nuclear fuels and structural materials. He subsequently spent two years as a Research Scientist at Pacific Northwest Labs working on proliferation resistant fuels for advance nuclear power systems. Dr. Matthews worked as a line and program manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1980, and has been involved in DOE programs in stockpile stewardship, nuclear materials disposition, environmental management, and space and terrestrial nuclear power systems. Dr. Matthews was Director of the Nuclear Materials Technology Division from 1993 to 1999 and had overall responsibility for facility operations, base technologies, and program execution involving plutonium and other actinide materials at the Los Alamos TA-55 Plutonium Facility and the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Building. That position had two major aspects: (1) Managing the nuclear facilities infrastructure including nuclear facility construction projects, facilities operations, nuclear materials control and accountability, waste management, environmental compliance, industrial and radiation safety, training, quality assurance, and safeguards and security. (2) Managing technical and programmatic nuclear materials activities including DOE/Defense Program plutonium activities in stockpile manufacturing, surveillance and R&D; DOE/Environmental Management actinide materials projects in waste management, residue stabilization, and legacy materials cleanup; DOE/Nuclear Energy projects in PU238 heat sources, advance reactor fuels, and transmutation of nuclear wastes; and DOE/Materials Disposition Projects in nuclear materials management, pit disassembly, mixed-oxide fuels, and long-term storage.
In 2000, Dr. Matthews received a Senior Scientific Manager Return to Research grant at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Matthews is the author or co-author of more than eighty journal publications, conference proceedings and technical reports. He initiated the international Plutonium Futures Conference and is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society.