American Nuclear Society honors nine Fellows and other prominent award recipients

June 8, 2020, 11:36PMPress Releases

La Grange Park, IL – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) honored nine of its members as new Fellows – the society’s highest member status – and presented additional awards this week during the 2020 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting.

The bestowing of ANS’s highest member status of Fellow to the nine members is out of recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in nuclear science and technology.

Dr. Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy, was honored for leading the way to a new nuclear energy paradigm through visionary leadership that has spawned innovation by refocusing the efforts of the DOE laboratory complex on advanced nuclear technologies.

Prof. Yaron Danon, Director of the Nuclear Engineering Program at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was honored for significant contributions to nuclear engineering and science through novel experimental and analytical research that led to more accurate nuclear cross section data essential to the design of safe and reliable nuclear reactors.

Dr. Mitchell Farmer, a Senior Nuclear Engineer at the Argonne National Laboratory, was honored for his innovative, sustained, and internationally recognized contributions addressing risk-significant severe accident issues in support of the light-water reactor industry. His work has helped shape the thinking of the nuclear industry and regulatory bodies around the world regarding the efficacy of accident management strategies.

Dennis W. Henneke, Consulting PRA Engineer, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), was honored for contributions to Probabilistic Risk Assessments (PRAs) and risk-informed applications since 1982, including risk monitors, Fire PRA, PRA standards and Multi-unit PRA, as well as for leading the development of PRAs for advanced boiling water reactors and sodium-cooled faster reactors at GEH.

Dr. Kostadin N. Ivanov, Head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the North Carolina State University, was honored for sustained and internationally recognized contributions to multi-dimensional reactor physics, multi-physics methodologies and uncertainty analysis for design and safety analysis of nuclear systems.

Dr. Richard Y. Lee, Branch Chief of Fuel and Source Term Code Development in the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was honored for sustained efforts to modernize methods for the safety analysis of power reactors including computer codes for fuel performance, neutronics and accident analysis, as well as for his contributions to international cooperation to improve the analysis of power reactors.

Dr. Thomas A. Mehlhorn, Adjunct Professor of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences Department of the University of Michigan and of Mehlhorn Engineering Consulting Services, was honored for scientific leadership in developing predictive simulation tools, discriminating diagnostics, and validation experiments, leading to major advances in the generation and application of intense ion and electron beams and Z-pinches for nuclear fusion, nuclear science, and defense missions.

Dr. Juergen Rapp, Chief Scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was honored for technical leadership in fusion plasma surface interactions, including the development of impurity seeding to mitigate fusion power exhaust, and in the development of experimental facilities for studying plasma surface interactions at Magnum-PSI (Netherlands) and proto-MPEX (USA).

Dr. Kumar Sridharan, Professor of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin Madison, was honored for major research contributions in materials corrosion and degradation processes in nuclear energy systems, and for impact on the nuclear industry through the development of improved fuel cladding concepts as well as education and mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students.

Additional Award Honorees

Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award

Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker, Emeritus Research Professor in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, was honored for sustained international leadership involving nuclear technologies, including the U.S.-Russian Lab-to-Lab Program that prevented "brain drain" of scientists after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Zinn Medal

Dr. William E. Burchill, ANS Past President and former Department Head of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University (retired), was honored for his ongoing leadership and contributions to mentoring of future leaders in utility, vendor, and university nuclear programs. Burchill is recognized as following in the footsteps of Dr. Walter Zinn and for making significant contributions to the advancement of nuclear energy in the U.S. and around the world.

Eisenhower Medal

Dr. Peter B. Lyons, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Energy and former Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner, was honored for his influential and prominent leadership in nuclear technology policy spanning five decades (1969-2015) and four institutions: Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S. Senate staff, the NRC, and the DOE.

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. John S. Bennion, Senior Engineer at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, was recognized for his lifelong service to increase public understanding of nuclear science and engineering by promoting the importance of professional licensure at the section, division, and national level.

Leadership Award

Dr. Rebecca L. Steinman, Sr. Regulatory Engineer at Exelon Generation, was honored for her unwavering commitment and continuous drive towards excellence to increase public understanding of nuclear science and engineering by contributing to the work of professional associations, schools, and the professional, scientific and technical press.

Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award

Dr. Janelle P. Wharry, Associate Professor of Materials Engineering at Purdue University, was honored for her development of innovative methods for mechanical testing of materials under extreme radiation environments.

Mishima Award

Mr. Rudolph Johannes Maria (Rudy) Konings, Head of Unit, Nuclear Fuel Safety at the European Commission, JRC, was honored for numerous and pioneering achievements furthering our understanding of nuclear fuels.

Presidential Citation

ANS Young Members Group for outstanding leadership in generating digital content and creating value for the Society.

ANS Professional Division Awards

ANS also announced the winners of several ANS Professional Division awards, which are scheduled to be presented in person at the upcoming 2020 ANS Winter Meeting, November 15-19 in Chicago. Professional Divisions are constituent units of ANS that cover 18 technical areas representing a vast array of nuclear science and technology disciplines.

Education, Training, and Workforce Development Division Arthur Holly Compton Award in Education

Dr. X. George Xu, Edward E. Hood Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was honored for his legacy as a teacher, mentor, and researcher who has impacted a generation of nuclear engineers and health/medical physicists at Rensselaer and beyond.

Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Andrew G. Sowder, Sr. Technical Executive at the Electric Power Research Institute, was honored for years of exceptional service to ANS and the nuclear industry in the areas of spent fuel reprocessing and disposal, accident tolerant fuel, and nuclear fuel cycle analysis.

Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division Significant Contribution Award

Dr. Fiona E. Rayment, Executive Director of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office within the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory, was honored for her significant contributions to the nuclear industry across the globe and for her commitment to promoting diversity.

Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division Distinguished Service Award

Jeffery R. Brault, retired, was honored for his constant dedication and enthusiasm towards the American Nuclear Society, and sustained commitment to the Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division's mission.

Human Factors, Instrumentation & Controls Division Don Miller Award

David L. Rahn, Sr. Electronics Engineer, Instrumentation and Controls Branch at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was honored for his development of methods and criteria for assessing the capability of equipment to perform reliably and for ensuring the conditions within nuclear reactors can be adequately monitored after a severe accident.

Human Factors, Instrumentation & Controls Division Don Miller Award

Dr. Richard T. Wood, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, was honored for his lifelong commitment and contributions to nuclear digital system design, licensing, and standards, with an emphasis on all aspects of digital system safety, reliability, and qualification in the U.S. and international communities.

Human Factors, Instrumentation & Controls Division H.M. Hashemian Mid-Career Award

Pareez E. Golub, Senior Manager of Sargent & Lundy, was honored for outstanding and sustained contributions to ANS, the ANS Human Factors, Instrumentation & Controls Division (HFICD), and the field of digital instrumentation and control, and for leadership in revising the NRC licensing process for digital protection systems and increasing utility confidence and clarity in the implementation of digital protection systems upgrades.

Human Factors, Instrumentation & Controls Division Ted Quinn Early Career Award

Samir Darbali, Electronics Engineer at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was honored for exceptional engineering accomplishments in protecting public health and safety by ensuring the safe operation of nuclear power plants through advancements in the licensing process, secure development and operational environment (SDOE) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) guidance.

Decommissioning & Environmental Sciences Division W. Bennett Lewis Award

Dr. William H. Hannum, retired, was honored for his valuable contributions to the development of sustainable energy, including his lifelong leadership and untiring efforts in advancing safe and environment-friendly nuclear energy by means of fast-neutron fission technology including its fuel cycle.

Established in 1954, ANS is an international professional organization of engineers and scientists devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its more than 9,500 members represent government, academia, research laboratories, medical facilities, and private industry. ANS’s mission is to advance, foster, and spur the development and application of nuclear science, engineering, and technology to benefit society.

Media Contact

Andrew Smith |

Related Articles

Nuclear FOMO

August 4, 2022, 2:49PMNuclear News

At the June ANS Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif., our Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy used an interesting acronym: he said, “This meeting is so exciting we are going to give nuclear...