Rob Tachau

Robert (Rob) Tachau retired from Sandia National Laboratories in May 2018. In his final position at Sandia, Rob was Manager of Sandia’s Nuclear Weapons Engineering Professional Development Department. The department staff manage the curriculum and programs that assure the nuclear weapons enterprise workforce has the requisite technical knowledge to perform their work with confidence, consistency and robustness.

After completing his BS in Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University, Rob was commissioned in the Air Force and spent six years as a pilot. Following pilot training, Rob was assigned as an aircraft commander for the RF-4C Phantom II tactical reconnaissance aircraft. After leaving the military, he returned to NMSU to complete his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering.

Upon graduation, Rob joined the Technical Staff at Sandia’s Rocket Sled Test Facilities where he was responsible for the design, development and execution of high-velocity, reverse ballistic, rocket sled tests. Additionally, Rob was a Test Director for the Sandia F-4 Aircraft Impact Test. In pursuit of his research interests in rocket sled engineering, Rob was selected for Sandia’s Doctoral Study Program and entered the Graduate Engineering School of the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation, “An Investigation of Gouge Initiation in High-Velocity Sliding Contact,” is a significant contribution to the rail gouging phenomena body-of-knowledge.

After completing his PhD in Engineering Mechanics, Rob became the Technical Supervisor of Sandia’s Rocket and Dynamic Test Team. Later, after an assignment as a Systems Analyst in the Arms Control Studies Department, Rob was promoted to Manager of the Explosives Applications Department, followed by an assignment as Manager of the Thermal, Fluid, and Aero Experimental Sciences Department. Following this assignment, Rob managed Sandia’s On-Orbit Analysis Department and subsequently, the Nuclear Proliferation Detection R&D Program Office in the Monitoring Systems Technology Center. In January 2017, Rob joined the Management Team in Sandia’s Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Management Center where he served until his retirement in May 2018.

Rob was a Sandia Corporate Recruiter during most of his career at Sandia. He recruited primarily in engineering at New Mexico State University and in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin.

Rob is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.