Distinguished Engineering Graduates 2017

Justine E. Johannes

Justine Johannes

M.S. ChE 1990, Ph.D. ChE 1994
Director of the Stockpile and Weapon Product Realization Center, Sandia National Laboratories

Justine Johannes serves as director of the Stockpile and Weapon Product Realization Center at Sandia National Laboratories, where she manages over $1 billion in support of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. 

Johannes has spent her entire career with Sandia National Laboratories. She started in 1994 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and her M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Her early career focused on chemical kinetics and integration of verification and validation in developing predictive capabilities.

In 2005, she was promoted to senior manager in Sandia’s Materials Science and Engineering Center, where she was responsible for research, development and application of new materials and processes and for connecting the materials experts to programs in multiple business units. In 2010, Johannes moved to the nuclear weapons science and technology program as the manager for advanced simulation and computing. In that role, she ensured research was aligned to the center’s priorities, supported foundational research and development and championed partnerships with other government, academic and commercial institutions.

In 2013, Johannes returned to Sandia’s Engineering Sciences Center to become the director. In that role, she managed over 400 research staff committed to supporting Sandia’s national security mission through advancing and integrating theory, computational simulation and experimental discovery to understand and predict the behavior of complex engineered systems. In 2016, she was named program director for Sandia’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Johannes received the National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Programs Award of Excellence in 2011 “for exceptional leadership in enabling increased scientific understanding in support of Sandia National Laboratories’ responsibilities for the nuclear weapon stockpile.” More recently, she was named one of the 2017 Women Worth Watching in STEM by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Johannes serves on a number of advisory boards for academic institutions and research programs, including the Engineering Advisory Board for the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Board of Visitors for the UT Austin Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES).

Johannes and her husband, Bill, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have three children, Natalie, Karl and Seth.