ANS names Winter Meeting award winners, six new Fellows

September 22, 2023, 11:42AMANS News

Excitement is building for the 2023 American Nuclear Society Winter Conference and Expo, which will be held November 12–15 in Washington, D.C. The Society has named the recipients of 11 awards that will be presented at that time, as well as six new Fellows, who will be honored during the opening plenary.


Darlene Schmidt Science News Award

Catherine Clifford, climate and technology innovation reporter at CNBC, for continually identifying unexplored nuclear topics that are pertinent to the global energy discussion as well as to the evolution and history of the nuclear industries.

Seaborg Medal

Luiz C. Leal, ANS Fellow and 35-year member who is a physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, for scientific excellence and mentorship in the field of nuclear data, criticality safety, and reactor engineering worthy of international recognition sustained over a 45-year career.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal

William Ostendorff Sr., ANS member for 6 years and captain in the U.S. Navy (retired), for many years of outstanding dedicated service to the United States as a naval officer and commissioner of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and to the worldwide nuclear community.

E. Gail de Planque Medal

Debra Callahan, senior scientist at Focused Energy Inc., for her leadership in inertial confinement fusion hohlraum physics and contributions to the science of implosion symmetry control, enabling the creation of the first ignited plasmas.

Anna S. Erickson, ANS member for 18 years and associate chair for research and Woodruff Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for her pioneering accomplishments and trailblazing achievements in the field of nuclear science and engineering, which have uniquely synthesized revolutionary research contributions; multidisciplinary, multiplatform education; and public policy to advance nuclear science and technology.

Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award

Leigh Winfrey, ANS member for 8 years and dean of the School of Engineering at State University of New York Maritime College, for her outstanding and trailblazing contributions to fusion technology, research, and education, and for her outstanding leadership in the Society.

Untermyer & Cisler Reactor Technology Medal

Andrew Whittaker, ANS member for 2 years and Distinguished Professor of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering at the State University of New York–Buffalo, for his contributions and leadership in the development of seismic isolation technology and the corresponding regulatory framework.

Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Community Award

J'Tia Hart, ANS member for 17 years and chief science officer of the National and Homeland Security Directorate at Idaho National Laboratory, for her outstanding and sustained efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nuclear field.

Landis Public Communication and Education Award

Bobbi Riedel, ANS member for 8 years and a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for her outstanding efforts in outreach and public education across the state of New Mexico.

Young Members Advancement Award

Lane B. Carasik, ANS member for 12 years and assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, for his continued dedication to the advancement and support of young members within ANS and the nuclear industry.

Young Member Excellence Award

Patrick J. Snouffer, ANS member for 13 years and fuel supply chain senior program manager of at Zeno Power Systems, for his work advocating for nuclear science, engineering, and technology, and for being the perfect brand ambassador for ANS’s Young Members Group.

Standards Service Award

Jean-Francois Lucchini, ANS member for 20 years and radiochemist and transuranic waste manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for his excellent leadership in maintaining current standards and for reinvigorating ANS’s Fuel, Waste, and Decommissioning Consensus Committee with new membership, which has better positioned the committee to support future industry needs for standardization.

Fellows of ANS

Sandra Dulla, ANS member for 20 years and professor at Politecnico di Torino, for her seminal work on quasistatic algorithms coupled to deterministic and stochastic transport solvers, which has led to several international applications; for her studies on the reactor physics of Gen-IV designs, performed during European and international projects; and for her mentoring of numerous M.S. and Ph.D. students in nuclear engineering.

Shannon Bragg-Sitton, ANS member for 27 years and division director for integrated energy and storage systems at INL, for being a pioneer in the innovative application of nuclear energy alongside other clean energy generators; and for successfully enabling novel cross-sectoral collaboration and establishing tools and techniques that will maximize clean energy utilization and generate profitability, environmental sustainability, and grid reliability and resilience through systems integration.

Carl Rick Grantom, ANS member for 8 years and president of C. R. Grantom P.E. & Assoc. LLC, for contributing significantly to the way U.S nuclear power plants operate through the original development, approval, and implementation of first-of-a-kind risk-informed methods and applications. His visionary leadership has led to new regulatory risk-informed approaches as well as new industry-accepted methods that improve safety while also providing cost efficiencies.

Andrew Klein, ANS past president (2016–2017) and member for 39 years and professor in the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Oregon State University, for outstanding leadership as a teacher in the nuclear field, and for being a leader of the next generation in nuclear science. His passion for education demonstrates an emphasis on students as the future of ANS.

Elia Merzari, ANS member for 14 years and professor at Pennsylvania State University, for his scientific leadership and his significant and sustained contributions to the understanding of thermal hydraulics phenomena of importance to advanced reactors through modeling and simulation. His efforts in developing high-resolution multiphysics models and codes have paved the way for the next generation of thermal-hydraulic computing.

Steven Nesbit, ANS past president (2021–2022) and member for 34 years and founder of LMNT Consulting LLC, for being a prominent and effective leader and spokesperson for the beneficial use of nuclear technology, including his work in the project to dispose of surplus weapons plutonium by converting it to MOX fuel and using it in commercial nuclear reactors.

Correction: an earlier version of the article incorrectly listed Bobbi Riedel as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico. However, Riedel was awarded her Ph.D. and is now a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The American Nuclear Society apologizes for the error.

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