Management Profiles

David Brown, President

David Brown has been president of Berkeley Nucleonics since 2001, seven years after he joined the company. During that time, he has grown the company in both the test & measurement and radiation detection fields. Brown was instrumental in the R&D and manufacturing of the Model 935 SAM system, a world-class isotope identifier that changed the field operations of many remediation agencies. Successful project management activities in recent years include development of the SAM Defender LaBr radionuclide identifier; development of the industry-leading PB-5 NIM Pulse Generator; and development of a customized training and equipment support program for the U.S. Air Force. Brown holds a B.A. in entrepreneurial management from San Francisco State University. He is the second-generation operator of Berkeley Nucleonics and regularly discusses strategic opportunities with an Advisory Board. He resides in San Rafael, California, with his wife and two children.

Alex Palm, Vice President, RF/Microwave Division

Alex Palm has been vice president of the RF/Microwave Division at Berkeley Nucleonics since 2012. During that time, he has grown that division substantially. Palm was instrumental in the R&D and launch of the 845 Series RF/Microwave Signal Generator, a world-class instrument that is being implemented in several high level defense laboratories. His strategic eye for emerging growth markets and a rare ability to blend engineering knowledge with sales savvy has BNC well ahead of the curve. Palm holds a B.S. in Business Marketing from Sonoma State University. He enjoys fitness challenges and an appreciation for a fine wine or smooth bourbon.

John Lauder, Chief Technical Officer

John Lauder joined Berkeley Nucleonics in 2008 as an applications engineer. During his time at BNC he has risen to Sr. Engineering Manager of our T&M and RF/Microwave equipment. He has been instrumental in assisting relationships with existing customers. He has provided leadership and technical know-how over the past 7+ years and can routinely be found on the phone assisting engineers with their applications. He enjoys cycling on the weekends and had he discovered this passion earlier might have trained for and competed in a Tour de France!

John Monks, Manager, Analog Test Dept

John Monks, a Berkeley Nucleonics legend, has spent much of his 30-year career in analog circuitry with the company. He joined Berkeley Nucleonics in 1983, after working on benchtop instruments for E.H. Hardware and TESTCO. He specializes in high-speed analog circuits and oversees repairs, calibrations and routine checkout procedures at the company. He has provided leadership and technical know-how to dozens of test department engineers and technicians over the years and can routinely be found in the machine shop assembling test fixtures or prototyping small circuits needed for new variations of our high-speed electrical and optical products. His vast collection of BNC polo shirts and button-downs are a common sight around the office. Outside the office, he has been on many boards in city government and neighborhood groups in his hometown of Richmond, California.

James McQuaid, Manager of Radiation Detection Applications

James McQuaid has more than 40 years of experience in the design and development of nuclear instrumentation. While employed as a research engineer and group leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), he completed many projects in space science, environmental science, nuclear safeguards, heavy element research and nuclear chemistry. He also headed LLNL’s nuclear chemistry and X-ray measurements group, which developed spectroscopy systems for many research programs. McQuaid joined Berkeley Nucleonics in 1996 and has been the principal engineer developing the SAM family of radionuclide spectroscopic analyzers. He has taught many courses in nuclear spectroscopy and is currently training military (shown above), DOE and other agencies in the use of nuclear instrumentation. He regularly participates in IEEE Nuclear Science Symposia and health physics conferences, where he has published and presented many papers. He and his wife live in Livermore, California and enjoy travelling with and without their children and three grandchildren.

Kristin Geertsema, Director of Operations

Kristin Geertsema joined Berkeley Nucleonics in 2003. She started in the marketing department and quickly became familiar with Berkeley Nucleonics’ customers and technical community before moving to the operations department. She manages many of the company’s day-to-day operations, including purchasing and logistics. She is also involved in ensuring export compliance for the company. Her grasp of both manufacturing and scientific considerations, as a former office manager for an industrial company, has been of great value as director of operations. An avid outdoorswoman, she splits her time between her home in Marin County and a weekend lake cottage in nearby Sonoma County.

Mel Brown, Founder Chief Engineer (1963-2016), In Memory

Mel Brown was employed as a design engineer by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) from 1956 to 1963 before leaving LBNL to launch Berkeley Nucleonics. The company’s first instruments were precision amplitude pulse generators, which were used to simulate radioactive pulses. In the 1970s, he turned his attention to the development of digital delay generators with precise timing and resolution to one nanosecond. (Light travels a foot in a nanosecond.) These instruments were used in the development of sophisticated radar equipment. In the 1980s, he refocused his interest on instruments employing solid-state lasers for applications in communication and military equipment. He holds B.S and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Although Mel Passed in 2016, the management phiosophy and eye for detail have been handed down to the next generation, evidenced by the companies advancements in RF/Microwave, femtosecond timing and growing family of App-Based Isotope Identification technology.

John Yee, Application Engineer (1971-2016), In Memory

John Yee started with Berkeley Nucleonics in the early 70’s as a bench Engineer at advanced rapidly into Application Engineering and later Application Management. Yee was with Berkeley Nucleonics for 45 years. Besides his oversight of test & measurement applications for the last 25 years, he was a co-instructor for product lines ranging from radiation detection instruments to light pulse generators. He was instrumental in the R&D and enhancements of such product lines as our benchtop arbitrary waveform generators and high-power light pulsers. More recently, he oversaw development of new benchtop instruments that combine modern designs with low-cost manufacturing techniques. (Value to the customer is a widely recognized trademark of Berkeley Nucleonics.) Yee, who holds electrical engineering degrees from Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, was a finalist for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Older Worker Award in 2002, when his post-9/11 efforts were widely recognized in the health physics and nuclear industries.