2005 Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award
Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) is pleased to announce that Dr. George G. Wicks of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is the recipient of the 2005 CNTA Distinguished Scientist Award. This lifetime achievement award, which honors scientists and engineers who have made outstanding contributions during their careers, was presented at the CNTA's 14th Annual Edward Teller Lecture and Banquet, on October 26, 2005.
Dr. Wicks is a Consulting Scientist at SRNL, where he has worked for more than 30 years. He is best known for his research and leadership in developing and understanding processes, systems, and procedures for immobilizing and disposing of potentially hazardous nuclear waste. Among his early contributions was the development of the first slurry feeding system for vitrification of SRS high-level radioactive waste, a process that saved millions of dollars in the more than one billion dollar Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), currently in production. After two years of testing of candidate materials of construction, he also recommended the refractory and electrode materials for the DWPF joule-heated ceramic melter, which have performed outstandingly over the past years; and was the co-developer of the SRS Leachability Model (Wallace-Wicks Model), which accurately describes the behavior of the complex 40-component SRS waste glass system under many different conditions.
Dr. Wicks has been in a leadership role in national and international efforts to assess and understand the performance of U.S. waste glass products and package components, as well as those from around the world, in initiating and successfully conducing four international joint field testing programs conducted in Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the largest, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. He has also served on many panels for the Department of Energy (DOE), and currently is on an international Advisory Panel for the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) of France and serves on another Advisory Board for the European Commission. He has also been part of a NATO delegation which visited the former Soviet Union for disarmament discussions involving disposition of weapons plutonium.
Dr. Wicks has authored or coauthored more than 150 journal papers and other publications and four books, and has written 7 invited chapters in various forums, including textbooks and two encyclopedias. He also holds 13 patents. Among these efforts have been co-developer and patenting of sol-gel sensors (a new class of materials to conduct important environmental measurements), development of a new hybrid microwave technology with partners in academia (for remediation of various hazardous materials including infectious medical wastes, tires, electronics, TRU wastes, etc.), and has co-developed a new class of composite materials with the ability to store unusually large amounts of hydrogen effectively, safely, and in an environmentally beneficial way. Most recently, he has been a driving force for an important new initiative at SRNL emphasizing dual-use technologies and partnering with the medical community, resulting in over 30 exciting new initiatives, currently in various stages of development.
Dr. Wicks has chaired or co-chaired 8 national and international workshops and symposia in the U.S., France, Germany. and Belgium. He serves on many SRNL committees, including chair of the site Creativity Committee, chair of the SRNL Mentoring Committee, and is a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Council. He received his B.S. in Engineering Materials and an M.S. in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Florida State University, an M.S. in Applied Physics and Engineering from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Engineering Materials from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member and past Chair of the Nuclear & Environmental Technology Division of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and past President of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers (NICE). He is also a Fellow in both ACerS and NICE, and serves on a variety of panels in academia, including a University of South Carolina Endowed Chair Committee; Clemson University Strategic Planning group; and the Virginia Tech Materials Science & Engineering Advisory Board.
In 2005, he was elected by members of the American Ceramic Society to its Board of Directors. He is a past recipient of the Arthur L. Frieberg Award, given to individuals who have "made outstanding contributions to the ceramic engineering profession," and earlier this year, he received the prestigious Joan Hodges Queaneau Palladium Medal for 2005 at the 26th Annual Awards Ceremony and Banquet of the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) at the National Academy of Engineering, in Washington DC. This national award is presented jointly by the AAES and the National Audubon Society, and is designed to recognize individuals who encourage cooperation between engineering professionals and environmentalists, to create "innovative solutions to environmental problems."
At the Lecture, Dr. Todd Crawford presented Dr. Wicks with an inscribed crystal bowl.
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