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Women in Science and Engineering Symposium

Create What You Wish Existed

Deputy Director, Strategic Integration Directorate

Julia Ignacek

Julia S. Ignacek is the Deputy Director, Strategic Integration Directorate, Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. AFTAC operates and maintains the United States Atomic Energy Detection System to monitor foreign compliance with various treaties limiting nuclear testing. In her role as Deputy Director, Ms. Ignacek provides technical oversight and program management support for the organization’s innovative and applied research programs, novel concept development, and strategic partnership development supporting the verification of nuclear weapon-related treaties and emerging warfighter requirements.


Ms. Ignacek has served in a variety of leadership and technical positions in industry, research, and government. She graduated from University of Central Florida in 1986 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Molecular Biology, and from George Washington University School of Medicine in 2004 with her Master of Science degree in Research Administration. Ms. Ignacek worked as a clinical microbiologist and virologist for 13 years before transitioning to research and development. As a researcher, she focused on developing protocols for maximizing nucleic acid extraction from complex samples and characterization of low-copy-number target organisms. Immediately following the bioterrorism events of 2001, she was temporarily assigned to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases as a visiting scientist supporting biothreat surveillance of the National Capital Region. In 2006, Ms. Ignacek began government service as a Physical Scientist at AFTAC. In addition to providing scientific analysis and program management for the Materials Technology Directorate, Ms. Ignacek also led two military construction projects for AFTAC: the design and standup of the Certified Organic Reagents Laboratory, and the design and construction oversight for AFTAC’s $38 million radiochemistry laboratory.