Kathryn “Katy” Huff, who is currently serving as the Department of Energy's principal deputy assistant secretary of nuclear energy, has been nominated by President Joe Biden to head the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy as assistant secretary of energy. The role has been vacant since Rita Baranwal announced she was leaving the position on January 8, 2021.
Sustained commitment: Since Huff was named principal deputy assistant secretary of nuclear energy in May 2021, she has also served as acting assistant secretary of energy for nuclear energy.
Huff is on unpaid leave from her role as associate professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she led the Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles Research Group. Huff was also a Blue Waters assistant professor with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Prior to joining the NPRE faculty at UIUC, Huff was a postdoctoral fellow in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Science and Security Consortium and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at the University of California–Berkeley. Huff received her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2013, and her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Chicago.
An active member: A member of the American Nuclear Society since 2008, Huff was elected to the ANS Board of Directors in April 2021 but declined that position when she assumed her duties at the DOE. She has held leadership positions in the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Division, the Mathematics and Computation Division, and the Young Members Group. She received the ANS Young Member Excellence Award in 2016 and the Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award in 2017.
ANS welcomes the news: “Congratulations to Katy Huff for being nominated by President Biden to be the next assistant secretary of energy at the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy," stated a press release from ANS. “We at the American Nuclear Society look forward to her confirmation and tenure as NE-1.”