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Guest Blogger: Uncle Edition


In an effort to encourage people to share about their meaningful occupations, I will be highlighting guest bloggers (about once a week). My guests have been provided with a questionnaire to dive deep and explore their meaningful occupations. These occupations increase their productivity, joy, and motivation to achieve their goals. If you would like to be a guest blogger, feel free to send me an email and we can learn more about your occupations that affect your daily life.

Our guest blogger this week is Mark Derzon, my uncle, but better known as a national security expert and nuclear engineer.


How do you know Rachel Yakar?

She is my niece.


Tell us about a meaningful activity (occupation) that makes you unique?

I am retired from Sandia National Laboratories after 30 years’ experience. I was a Principal Investigator for experiments at the Sandia PBFA, Saturn and Z machines. I was also a member of the Microelectronics Applications group for ~15 years. I was a founding member of Sandia’s Advanced Concept Group. This was a small internal think tank studying the future of national security. The purpose was to help avoid tragedies that have the potential for ripping apart the fabric of our society. He served as a Subject Matter Expert for the White House OSTP, and a reviewer for DTRA and DOE.


What skills/abilities do you have that facilitate your engagement in the meaningful activity that you described above?

I have a Ph.D in Nuclear Engineering as well as a background in biological and chemical sensing. Over the years I found I had a knack for multiple scientific endeavors.

What makes this meaningful activity (described above) challenging or changing during COVID-19?

A lot of what I did, and now do, since I started a tech company is meet with people. I like brainstorming and putting together teams across multiple discipline to solve difficult problems.


When do you feel most productive?

When I am kicking around ideas with others solving problems. Playing with kids, pets and family.


What meaningful activities increase your quality of life and life satisfaction?

Trying to save the world, exercise, time with friends and family and pets.


How does your environment/location/space impact your meaningful activities? I do not like being cramped. Access to information (computer access matters), quiet, reading.


If you could “channel” a superhero or super power who or what would it be? Groot. Groot is my favorite superhero today, from Guardians of the Galaxy. Next to him is Green Lantern. Can you guess why? Thank you so much to Mark Derzon for providing such special insight into his areas of occupation. If you want to contact Mark or check out his new business: https://gstnd.com.



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Rachel Yakar

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