Assistant Director, Transformational and Applied Research Directorate Domestic Nuclear Detection Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Dr. Joel C. Rynes is the Assistant Director of the Transformational and Applied Research Directorate of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He received his Senior Executive Service (SES) career appointment on 5 June 2011. In this role he leads an aggressive research and development program to fill gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (GNDA) and to dramatically improve the performance and reduce the operational burden of nuclear and radiological detection and technical forensics technologies.
Prior to this assignment, Dr. Rynes was a DNDO Program Manager responsible the Cargo Advanced Automated Radiography System (CAARS) and the Shielded Nuclear Alarm Resolution (SNAR) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) programs. These programs developed and tested next generation radiography and active interrogation technology for the inspection of cargo containers and trucks for nuclear material and shielding material. He also managed a portfolio of basic and applied research projects with the objective to detect special nuclear material even when heavily shielded utilizing the capability of industry, national laboratories, and universities.
From 1999 to 2006, Dr. Rynes was a Program Manager at General Dynamics where he led several Department of Defense (DoD) and United Nations programs in support of nuclear treaty monitoring. These programs included the development, installation, and maintenance of automated particulate and gas nuclear sensors in the global International Monitoring System (IMS) network and the data center analysis, visualization, and reporting software for the U.S. National Data Center (NDC) and the International Data Centre (IDC) in Austria. Prior to General Dynamics, Dr. Rynes was a scientist on the Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis (PFNA) cargo inspection system program at SAIC. Here he developed a dual particle neutron and gamma-ray radiography system, developed automated decision algorithms to find contraband in cargo, and was the chief accelerator technician.
Dr. Rynes has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. His dissertation was titled “Gamma-ray and Neutron Radiography for a Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis Cargo Inspection System.” Dr. Rynes is a Project Management Professional (PMP) as certified by the Project Management Institute.