Skip to main content

John C. Benner

A headshot of Mr. John C. Benner.




  • BS, aerospace engineering, WVU, 1987
  • MS, mechanical engineering, WVU, 1991

Mr. John C. Benner received his BSAE in 1987 and his MSME in 1991 from West Virginia University. Benner has had a 30 year career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico where he currently serves as the Associate Laboratory Director for Weapons Production (ALDWP). In his current role, he has responsibility for the production and evaluation of plutonium pits, nuclear weapon detonators, and other weapon components. He also oversees production of radioisotope thermoelectric generator power supplies for NASA space missions, nuclear materials management, and waste operations .Previous roles include serving as a senior technical advisor to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at NNSA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for MSTS, the management and operating contractor for the Nevada National Security Site.

He has also held positions at LANL as the Associate Director for Weapon Engineering and Experiments, Chief Engineer for Nuclear Weapons, and Weapon System Engineering Division Leader. In these roles, Benner led all weapons engineering, explosive science, and testing activities at the Laboratory. He oversaw the management and execution of warhead modernization activities and the support for Los Alamos systems in the US weapon stockpile. Also, he led the W76-1 Trident II warhead Life Extension Project during development engineering and into production.Since 2004, Benner has served on WVU’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Visiting Committee. He and his wife, Kelly, who is an 1986 graduate of WVU with a BS in Textiles and Clothing, reside in Los Alamos, New Mexico and have three college age sons. Jack is a junior at the University of Oklahoma majoring in Meteorology. His twin brother Kurt is completing his AAS in Engineering Machining at Santa Fe Community College. Their youngest son, David, is a sophomore at WVU majoring in Forensic Science.