Van Romero is the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where he serves as director of the Geophysical Research Center, oversees all of the Universities’ energy and Homeland Security research activity, and serves as a mentor to new faculty.
Romero is widely known as an explosives expert and was the former director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. He is also a past employee of Sandia National Laboratories where he conducted work in medical radioisotopes.
Prior to Sandia, Romero worked at the Superconducting Super Collider as the Deputy Director for radiation protection and GE in the Naval Nuclear program. In 2002, he became the chairman of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), a partnership of public and private organizations committed to serving emergency first-responders by training them to respond efficiently and safely to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. To date, the NDPC has trained over 2,500,000 first responders from around the nation. In 2005, he played a key role in New Mexico Tech’s efforts to purchase the town of Playas, New Mexico, which is used for research and training in the areas of Homeland, Border and Energy Security. Romero is a Board Member at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum of Albuquerque, the NM Computing Applications Center, National LambdaRail, New Mexico LambdaRail, and the Arrowhead Center Executive Board. Romero also is a member of the advisory board at MEI Technologies, Inc., the Commissioner at White House Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans, and the Board Chair at the National Center for Genome Resources.
Romero holds a B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Romero also holds a PhD in Physics from the State University of New York.