For the second consecutive year, the American Nuclear Society has selected two of its members to receive the Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship. The 2024 Congressional Fellows, Emily Caffrey and William Murray, will help the Society fulfill its strategic goal of enhancing nuclear policy by working in the halls of Congress, either in a congressional member’s personal office or with a committee, when their fellowship term begins in January.
“With two Fellows on Capitol Hill in 2024, ANS is once again in a unique position to provide significant technical assistance to Congress on nuclear science, energy, and technology. With the increased focus on clean energy deployment and ensuring domestic energy security in Washington, D.C., Emily and William’s different perspectives from health physics to advanced reactors will be invaluable,” said Harsh S. Desai, chair of the ANS Congressional Fellowship Committee and a former Congressional Fellow himself. He continued, “This a once-in-a-lifetime professional development opportunity will allow them to learn the art of policymaking and potentially pursue it as part of their careers beyond the fellowship.”
Introducing Emily Caffrey: Emily Caffrey is an assistant professor and the director of the graduate-level Health Physics Program at the University of Alabama–Birmingham. She is also the founder and president of Radian Scientific LLC, which provides health physics consulting services. Caffrey earned a B.S. in nuclear engineering and a Ph.D. in radiation health physics and statistics from Oregon State University. She is a board-certified health physicist and a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.
Caffrey is active in several professional organizations, including ANS, the Health Physics Society, and the American Academy of Health Physics. She serves as the “Ask the Experts” editor for the HPS and is a recipient of the HPS Elda E. Anderson award for outstanding early-career health physicists. In 2019 she was one of 10 recipients of Oregon State’s Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers. She is a member of ANS’s Rapid Response Task Force and serves as ANS liaison to the HPS.
On her appointment as Fellow, Caffrey said, “I am ecstatic about being selected for the prestigious ANS Congressional Fellowship. I am thrilled to embark on this transformative journey as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the American Nuclear Society on Capitol Hill, where my passion and expertise meets purpose to shape a brighter, nuclear-powered future for our nation and the world.”
Introducing William Murray: William Murray is an advanced reactor systems engineer at GE-Hitachi. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University and has interned at the Department of Homeland Security and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. His nuclear policy interests include closing the nuclear fuel cycle, deploying advanced reactors, and expanding nuclear medicine capabilities.
In his spare time, Murray creates video courses about nuclear engineering and technology for the online education site Udemy.
Murray received the welcome news about the fellowship in an unexpected place. "I was on vacation in Australia with a 14-hour time difference when I got the call from Harsh,” he said. “I'm sure my excited laughing, fast pacing, and wide smiling were noticed by the locals in the food court.” He continued, “There's a perception that we can build new nuclear projects if we stay laser-focused on technical and economic design goals. The reality is that our entire industry relies on foundational support from federal policy.” Murray added, “It's an honor to be selected by ANS to work on Capitol Hill and help translate technical information to stakeholders for effective policymaking.”
The term: This fall, Caffrey and Murray will attend a two-week fellowship orientation program sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, after which they will seek placement in a congressional office or committee. They will begin their terms on January 1, 2024, in Washington, D.C., and will join Congressional Fellows from other professional societies on the Hill.
“ANS is delighted to have Emily and William on Capitol Hill in 2024,” said John Starkey, ANS Director of Public Policy. “Emily’s background in health physics and William’s background in nuclear engineering and advanced reactor systems complement the nuclear science and technology expertise they will bring to Congress next year. We’re looking forward to furthering the success of our expanded Congressional Fellowship program and the one-two punch our 2024 Fellows bring to the table is another positive step forward.”