Matt Heavner

Dr. Matt Heavner is currently detailed from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Department of Energy, serving as a Senior Advisor to the Arctic Energy Office. Before joining the Arctic Energy Office, Dr. Heavner was most recently a program manager focused on data science applied to answering critical national security and science questions. Dr. Heavner’s technical background is geophysics.

From September 2014 to January 2017, Dr. Heavner served as the Assistant Director of Global Security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). At OSTP, Dr. Heavner focused on a range of scientific and security topics including national security implications of climate change, nuclear security, medical isotope availability, and issues related to space in both civilian earth observations and national security space activities.

Dr. Heavner previously served on the technical staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory as the Project Lead for the On-orbit United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System (USNDS) Radio Frequency (RF) sensors on the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) constellation. In this role, Dr. Heavner supported on-orbit operations, state of health monitoring, and anomaly resolution by providing subject matter expertise from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the United States Air Force in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories. Expertise in lightning discharge physics, ionospheric propagation, digital signal processing, satellite constellation performance, system requirements, and nuclear weapons source phenomenology are required to provide this national capability. At Los Alamos National Lab, Dr. Heavner also supported several technology demonstration and validation satellite missions.

From 2003-2010, Dr. Heavner was a tenured Professor of Physics at the University of Alaska Southeast with diverse geophysical interests including space physics, subglacial hydrology, distributed sensor web monitoring of partially glaciated watersheds, satellite remote sensing, and optical spectroscopic measurements of middle atmosphere lightning. In 2000, Dr. Heavner earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and his bachelor degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Philosophy from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.