ANS announces 2023 Presidential Citations, division awards

October 24, 2023, 7:01AMANS News

One of the privileges of being president of the American Nuclear Society is awarding presidential citations to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding effort in some manner for the benefit of ANS or the nuclear community. Citations are conferred twice each year, at the Annual and Winter Meetings. ANS President Kenneth Petersen has named this season’s recipients, who will receive recognition at the upcoming Winter Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C.

ANS also announces the winners of awards presented by the Society’s professional divisions. These awards will be mailed to the recipients, and the divisions will recognize honorees at various division functions and meetings this fall. The 19 professional divisions of ANS are constituent units and represent a vast array of nuclear science and technology disciplines.

2024 Presidential Citation recipients


Richard A. Meserve, Covington & Burling LLP, for his efforts as chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Consensus Committee on Laying the Foundation for New and Advanced Nuclear Reactors in the United States, which have helped provide the nation with a comprehensive roadmap for the commercial deployment of advanced reactor technology.


Amir Afzali, Nuclear Consulting Group, for being the driving force behind the Licensing Modernization Project and the Technology Inclusive Content of Application Project, which have produced substantive advances in risk-informed, performance-based licensing and are real improvements to the advanced reactor licensing framework.

Kairos Power LLC, for its accomplishments getting the HERMES advanced test reactor through the licensing pipeline quickly and effectively.


Jeffrey S. Merrifield, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, for his thought leadership on behalf of the American nuclear community. In his work as a Regulatory Commission commissioner and in his leadership role in the area of advanced reactors, Merrifield is always working to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. nuclear enterprise.


Peter N. Swift, Sandia National Laboratories, for being the lead author on Recommendations on Postclosure Aspects of Generic Standards for the Permanent Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes in the United States, a report that provides a recommended framework for revisiting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) geologic repository standards.


Maria G. Korsnick, Nuclear Energy Institute, for her unwavering commitment to advancing the American nuclear enterprise.

Division award recipients

Mark Mills Award (Education, Training, and Workforce Development Division)


Victor Coppo Leite, Pennsylvania State University, for his work “Convolutional Neural Network–Aided Temperature Field Reconstruction: An Innovative Method for Advanced Reactor Monitoring” (Nuclear Technology 209, 5, 2023:645).

Student Design Competition (Education, Training, and Workforce Development Division)

Undergraduate recipients:

Daniel G. Racz, Gabriel F. Lentchner, Nicholas J. Branam, Sinan Zhang, and Sophia C. Hitson, University of Tennessee–Knoxville: Subcritical Test Assembly—Senior Design Project.

Maddison M. Barber, May Wells, Alex Chaisson, and Mihai A. Diaconeasa, North Carolina State University: Event Sequence Analysis to Support a Full Scope Dynamic Probabilistic Risk Assessment Framework for the PULSTAR Research Reactor.

Gracie Eccleston, Jana Shade, Zach Welchel, and Caryanne Wilson, Georgia Institute of Technology: Cask Design and Offline Processing of Fuel Salt via Fluorination and Impurity Absorption for MSR Nuclear Waste.

Sean M. Peyres, Jasmine Dinari, and Matt Koska, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign: Large-Area Plasma-Liquid Reactors for Water Purification in Space.

Graduate recipients:

Assil Halimi, Gyutae Park, Isabel Naranjo D. Candido, and Loukas Carayannopoulos, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Design Optimization of an Organic-Cooled Light-Water-Moderated Micro-Reactor for Electricity and Hydrogen Generation.

Edward Teller Award (Fusion Energy Division)


Otto Landen, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for pioneering contributions to high-energy density and inertial confinement fusion science and for his leadership in achieving ignition at the National Ignition Facility.


Peter Norreys, Oxford University, for pioneering research and leadership in the use of high intensity lasers for producing unique electron, ion, and X-ray beams and their applications to fast ignition fusion, advanced accelerators, and probing of plasmas.

Radiation Science & Technology Award (Isotopes & Radiation Division)


L. Raymond Cao, Ohio State University, for accomplishments to establish the field of wide band–gap semiconductor sensors for nuclear fuel cycle and advanced reactor monitoring.

Theos J. “Tommy” Thompson Award (Nuclear Installations Safety Division)


Ian B. Wall, for lifelong leadership conceiving, developing, and applying probabilistic concepts to improve nuclear safety, including probabilistic risk assessment methods, standards, and insights supporting design, operations, and regulation.

Bal-Raj Sehgal Memorial Award (Thermal Hydraulics Division)


Annalisa Manera, ETH Zurich, for her novel contributions to high-resolution thermal hydraulics experiments and the development of innovative multiphysics and multiscale computational fluid dynamics–based computational tools for nuclear reactor applications.

Technical Achievement Award (Thermal Hydraulics Division)


Seungjin Kim, Purdue University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution toward advancing two-phase flow experimental capabilities, fundamental understanding of two-phase flow transport phenomena, and reactor thermal hydraulic analysis.

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