John Gilleland

Chief Executive Officer

John Gilleland

John Gilleland is the Chief Executive Officer of TerraPower LLC, a company founded by Bill Gates (Chairman), Nathan Myhrvold (Vice Chairman) and Dr. Gilleland in 2007 to focus on achievement of improved nuclear safety, proliferation resistance, energy security and economic power for all countries. TerraPower is now recognized globally as a center for innovation and development of new nuclear reactors and other advanced nuclear systems. The company is best known for its traveling wave reactor development program, and is now funding and coordinating technology test programs in several countries.

Previously, Dr. Gilleland founded and served as the CEO of Archimedes Technology Group, a company which created and successfully tested new technologies that can speed weapons waste cleanup and opens new non-chemical approaches to commercial spent fuel reprocessing.

As Chief Scientist and Vice President of Energy Programs at Bechtel Corporation he had responsibility for a large number of advanced energy production and energy distribution system projects. Renewable energy projects included the central receiver Solar II Project, the PVUSA large-scale photovoltaic test array, large commercial geothermal plants, commercial and demonstration biomass, wind, advanced diesel-solar hybrid arrays, and several other exploratory systems. Energy storage systems included superconducting energy storage, the large-scale Southern California Edison battery storage facility, hydro-pump storage, inertial energy storage for power quality and automotive use, super-capacitor storage and the Alabama Power compressed air storage facility. Distributed energy projects included commercial scale fuel cell installations, microturbines, and small commercial and home-use solar arrays. Dr. Gilleland also had responsibility for advanced nuclear systems at Bechtel such as the Advanced Liquid Metal fast reactor design and light water reactor improvement programs.

In addition to these advanced technology projects, Dr. Gilleland was also responsible for several hundred million-dollar utility restructuring studies under the sponsorship of USAID and several redevelopment banks.

Prior to his Bechtel experiences, he served as the U.S. Managing Director of the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) program during its Conceptual Design Phase, Senior Vice President of General Atomics for Fusion Development, Director of Advanced Defense Systems and Director of the DIIID fusion research program at General Atomics.

Dr. Gilleland holds a B.S. in physics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan.

Technical Publications