CNTA
Dr. Brian A. Powell

2018 Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award


Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 Fred C. Davidson Distinguished Scientist Award is Dr. Brian A. Powell.

The prestigious award was presented at the recent Edward Teller Lecture in Aiken. CNTA sponsors the Teller Lecture as a public outreach, which is named for the famed nuclear pioneer who played a key role in advancing nuclear science during World War II.

Dr. Powell is the Fjeld Professor of Nuclear Environmental Engineering and Earth Science at Clemson University. He received his M.S. in Environmental Engineering and Science at Clemson University in 2001, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Science at Clemson University in 2004. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in both the Chemical Sciences Division and the Actinide Chemistry Group.

Dr. Powell's academic advance has been rapid, becoming an Assistant Professor in 2008, an Associate Professor in 2013, and a Full Professor in 2016. He teaches courses in actinide chemistry, geochemistry, thermochemical reaction modeling, and radiation detection and measurement. His research focuses on characterizing chemical and physical processes. In addition, he advises M.S., Ph.D., and Postdoctoral students.

Dr. Powell is a prolific author and researcher and is widely recognized in his field. He has published over 60 refereed journal publications and 16 research reports, and made over 100 technical presentations on these topical areas. He is the winner of the 2014 South Carolina Governor's Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, the 2013 Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award, and the 2011 Clemson University Sigma Xi Young Investigator of the Year. He also serves on the Radiation Safety Committee of the USEPA Scientific Advisory Board and is a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection.

Dr. Powell has conducted sponsored research in nuclear forensics, evaluation of nanoparticle behavior, sorption and environmental transport of plutonium, development of radiation detection laboratory courses, iodine; radium; and strontium geochemistry in wetland and subsurface sediments, radionuclide geochemistry of saltstone and solid waste performance assessments at the Savannah River Site (SRS), and the measurement of thermodynamic parameters supporting advanced fuel cycle chemistry. He has received over $16 million in funding from numerous federal departments and agencies.

Dr. Powell has a long-standing relationship with the Savannah River Site (SRS). He first came to SRS in 2000 to gain experience at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) working with plutonium and in the environmental aspects of radioactivity. This past May, Dr. Powell was named to a joint faculty position at SRNL and Clemson University to advance research on environmental remediation and radioactive waste disposal.

"Dr. Powell has made outstanding achievements in support of nuclear technologies, extending back to his days as a doctoral student," according to Dr. David L. Freeman of Clemson University. "There is a good reason for Dr. Powell's accelerated promotion: His performance has been nothing short of stellar."

Likewise, Dr. Daniel I. Kaplan of SRNL wrote that, "Dr. Powell is an outstanding scientist, who has brought national recognition to his research program. This excellence stems from his disciplined approach to the scientific process and his critical thinking skills. He can gather and identify germane facts about a problem and then create elegant experiments or solutions to address the problem."

The Distinguished Scientist Award is presented annually to recognize regional scientists and engineers who have made exceptional lifetime scientific achievements. The award is in honor of Dr. Fred C. Davison who was Chairman of CNTA's Board of Directors from 1994 until his death in 2004.

Davison was President of the University of Georgia for 19 years where he encouraged math and science education and managed the doubling of graduate enrollment. Davison was also President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Science Center Foundation, President of the Georgia-Carolina Boy Scouts Council, an elder at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, and an active Rotarian.

CNTA is an Aiken-based charitable educational organization dedicated to providing factual information about nuclear topics and educating the public on nuclear issues. For further information, call CNTA at 803-649-3456 or e-mail at cnta@bellsouth.net.


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