2006 WILLIAM A. McADAMS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Presented to WILLIAM C. REINIG at the 51th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Providence, Rhode Island, June 25-29, 2006
(click here for acceptance photo)
As we enter our 51st annual meeting of the Health Physics Society, it remains appropriate to continue to celebrate the accomplishments and years of service by the "founding" members and early contributors of the Society. Without the dedication, sacrifice, and guidance of these individuals, the Society and the American Board of Health Physics would not be what it is today.
Since the founding of the William A. McAdams award for outstanding service to the Board and professional contribution to the practice of health physics, seventeen Certified Health Physicists have been added to the roster of awardees. Today, I am very pleased to add to that list, the eighteenth recipient, William C. Reinig.
Bill Reinig served in the Navy during World War II. He received his bachelor of mechanical engineering degree from the Polytechnic University in New York in 1945. After the war he joined General Electric, and began his career as a reactor health physicist in 1946 at the Hanford Works under the supervision of none other than William McAdams. In 1948, he was employed by Associated Universities and became the leader of the radiation protection program at the nation's first peace-time research reactor at Brookhaven National Laboratory during its startup and initial operations.
In 1951, he was employed by the DuPont Company at the Savannah River Site to lead the preoperational environmental survey of the site. There he held various technical and management positions, including the superintendent of the Health Physics Department for 10 years. When Westinghouse became the operator of the Savannah River Site in 1988, he was appointed Deputy General Manager of the Environment, Safety and Health Department and a consulting scientist before his retirement in 1993.
Bill's activities for both the national and local Health Physics communities were numerous. He served on the Nominating and Code of Ethics Committees as well as the Council on Rules and Procedures. In 1964 and 1965, he was the Secretary of the Health Physics Society and in 1969-1971, he was a director of the Society. In 1979 and 1980, he was President-Elect and President. He is a charter member and a Fellow of the Health Physics Society. Bill also remained active on the local health physics scene, he was the Program Chairman of the 1968 Mid-Year Symposium and a Founder and President of the Savannah River Chapter of the Health Physics Society.
As one of the early contributors to the ABHP, Bill served on the first Examination Panel for the American Board of Health Physics from 1961 to 1967, serving as its chair in '62, '63, '64 and '66. He became a member of the ABHP Board of Directors in 1967, its Secretary-Treasurer from 1968 to 1974, and Chairman of the ABHP in 1975 and 1976. He also served as a director of the American Academy of Health Physics in 1986 and 1987.
Bill is a co-founder and serves as a director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, the nation's largest non-profit, grass roots organization that supports the beneficial applications of nuclear energy. He served on the advisory committee for the Georgia Institute of Technology nuclear engineering and health physics programs.
He was elected to the National Council on Radiation Protection. During his six years on the Council, he chaired the scientific committee on tritium measurements. He is currently a consociate member of the NCRP.
Bill is the editor of the book, Environmental Surveillance in the Vicinity of Nuclear Facilities, and author of over forty technical papers.
Shawn Googins, Vice Chair ABHP
2005 WILLIAM A. McADAMS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Presented to DADE W. MOELLER at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Spokane, Washington, July 10-14, 2005
(click here for acceptance photo)
Here at this 50th Anniversary meeting of the Health Physics Society, we have been looking back and celebrating the origins of our society. We celebrate the first meeting, the creation of our professional journal, and the first steps to the establishment of the certifying body, the American Board of Health Physics. In our profession, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the founders who had a vision for the unique field of Health Physics. The early history of the Board mentions two names prominently: Elda Anderson, in whose name the HPS annually honors a young health physicist, and William McAdams.
In 1989, the American Board of Health Physics established an award for outstanding service to the Board and to the professionalism of the practice of Health Physics in the name of William McAdams. Sixteen Certified Health Physicists have been honored with the award. Today, I am pleased to announce that the seventeenth recipient of the William A. McAdams award is Dr. Dade Moeller.
Dr. Moeller was born and reared in rural Florida where he grew up on a farm as a child of the Depression. Upon graduating from high school in 1944 at age 17 (and with World War II underway), he enlisted in the US Navy and reported for active duty one month later. Seeing something special, the Navy sent him to school instead of to war. Had it not been for the war and the Navy, he might not have had an opportunity to attend college. His undergraduate career included studies at seven different schools and took an interesting turn. Because Dade desired to obtain a degree from Georgia Tech, he developed a plan to get admitted to the university. He learned that Georgia Tech would only allow a limited number of transfers from specific programs. At the University of South Carolina at the time, Dade found out that one student per year was allowed to transfer to Georgia Tech from Howard University in Birmingham. So off to Birmingham he went. Dade eventually transferred from Howard, which was a seminary school, to Georgia Tech and as Dade tells it, he was just one course short of completing his divinity degree and becoming a minister. After all of the transfers, Dade received a BS in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Sanitary (Environmental) Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1948.
Dade then began his first job as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service (USPHS). While in the USPHS, he earned his doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State in 1957. During his 18 years in the USPHS, he was stationed in 10 different cities. His duty stations included the Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories, the headquarters offices of the Public Health Service in Washington, DC, the Robert A Taft Sanitary Engineering Center in Cincinnati, where he served as Director of Radiological Health Training, and the Northeastern Radiological Health Laboratory in Winchester, Massachusetts, where he served as Officer in Charge. In 1966, he retired from the USPHS and joined the Harvard School of Public Health as an Associate Professor. As Dade will tell you, he joined Harvard because they asked. His final position at the school was Dean of Continuing Education. He was also awarded an honorary degree by the university.
Counting his time in the Public Health Service as one job, and his subsequent appointment to the faculty of Harvard University as his second, he had only two employers prior to his "official" retirement in 1993. Dade is currently Professor Emeritus at the Harvard University School of Public Health. He remains active in our profession and serves President Emeritus and Chairman of the Board of Dade Moeller & Associates.
Many of you may not know that in the early years, the certification exam was offered twice a year. The first exam was offered by the ABHP on June 30, 1960 to fifteen applicants. Dr. Moeller successfully sat for the 2nd exam offered by the ABHP on December 10, 1960. He was one of 24 examinees and one of 14 who was successful.
Dr. Moeller was the first new member added to the initial ABHP Panel of Examiners with his term starting in the Panel's third year in 1962. He served on the Panel through 1965, and in his final year served as the Chair of the Panel of Examiners. He was named a member of the American Board of Health Physics the following year in 1966. He then served four years, from 1967-1970 as the Chair of the ABHP. His term of service remains the longest period of service as Chair in the history of the ABHP. This was also a period of great change as 1968 was the first year of the separate fundamental exam now known as the Part I exam. Dade also published an extensive analysis of the characteristics of applicants to be certified in the Health Physics Journal in May 1971. I should point out that Dade's mentoring was prominently mentioned in the citation of last year's recipient of the McAdams award.
Dr. Moeller was a member of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards and chaired the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste. He was on a subcommittee for BEIR-I (Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation), and was a member of the BEIR-III Committee. He represented the US on Committee 4 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, and was elected an honorary member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. One of his most recent activities (2002 - 2005) was to serve as chairman of the Science and Technology Review Panel, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, U.S. Department of Energy.
He is the past President of the Health Physics Society, and a fellow in the American Nuclear Society, the American Public Health Association, and the Health Physics Society. He is a registered professional engineer in New Mexico and a Diplomate in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, in addition to being a Certified Health Physicist. He has received special honors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Georgia Tech University, North Carolina State University, and the Robley D. Evans Commemorative Medal from the Health Physics Society.
A more detailed biography of Dr. Moeller was published in the Journal of the Health Physics Society in December 2003 honoring him as the recipient of the Robley D. Evans Medal. I would encourage all of you to look up the Evans' Medal Citation for more detail into his long career and accomplishments.
These accomplishments are even more impressive considering his lengthy publication list. Dr. Moeller's curriculum vitae runs 32 pages long with 237 specific publications as of June 2005, with over 30 since his retirement.
I would also be remiss in mentioning his accomplishments if I did not also mention his five children and sixteen grandchildren, and his service as an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of New Bern, NC.
To his extraordinary list of honors, it is my privilege and pleasure on behalf of the American Board of Health Physics to present the William A. McAdams outstanding service award to Dr. Dade Moeller.
James S. Willison, Vice Chair ABHP
2004 WILLIAM A. McADAMS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Presented to EDWARD F. MAHER at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Washington, DC, July 11-15, 2004
(click here for acceptance remarks)
Dr. Edward Maher is the recipient of the 2004 William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award. This award is presented annually by the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) and the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) to honor a certified health physicist who has made a significant contribution toward the advancement of professionalism in health physics and to the certification process. In conferring this award, the nominating committee especially recognizes Dr. Maher's sustained service to the programs and objectives of the ABHP for more than eighteen years. He has served as a member of the Panel of Examiners and as Chair of the Part II Panel. He has also served as a member of and in each of the offices of the ABHP. He continues his service as a member of the Health Physics Society Board of Directors, Secretary of the Society, and liaison to the AAHP from the Society.
Dr. Maher has more than 29 years of experience in conducting and managing radiological, safety, and environmental protection programs for clients. His educational preparation for this career began with his BS in electrical engineering from Lowell Technological Institute, Lowell, Massachusetts. He continued his education receiving his MS in biomedical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts; and his doctor of science degree in radiological protection and health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1985. It was at Harvard, under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Dade Moeller, that Ed began his quest for health physics certification and full-time practice in health physics. His doctoral research was on radon measurement and control of radon in residences. Ed holds several patents with Dr. Moeller on indoor radon control technologies.
Upon receiving his BS degree, Ed was commissioned a second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force (USAF) and entered active military service in 1973 after completing his MS degree. He began his service conducting research and modeling studies in ocular laser damage that contributed to the development of laser exposure standards for the USAF Surgeon General. Ed was selected for doctoral studies at Harvard, and upon completion of his doctoral studies, he was assigned to the USAF Occupational and Environmental Health Laboratory, Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Ed served in a variety of positions that provided environmental and occupational health services to worldwide USAF installations. In 1994, Dr. Maher retired from active military service holding the rank of Colonel.
Following his retirement from military service, he went to work for Arthur D. Little, Inc., providing consulting services on occupational health and safety, health physics, industrial hygiene, and process safety management. In 1996, he became Director of the Yankee Atomic Environmental Laboratory providing laboratory and consulting services to Yankee's Nuclear Power Stations. When the laboratory was sold to Duke Engineering and Services, Ed remained as Director of the Environmental Laboratory. In addition to the technical and management positions that have formed Ed's career, there has also been a business development thread through his career. He has held business development roles at Arthur D. Little, Duke Engineering and Services, and Framatome-ANP. Ed is currently employed by Dade Moeller and Associates providing support to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health performing individual dose reconstructions for claimants under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
As stated earlier, Ed decided to seek certification when he was a doctoral candidate at Harvard. He became a certified health physicist in 1986 and he immediately became involved in the certification process. From 1987 to 1992 he served on the ABHP Panel of Examiners. He chaired the Comprehensive Part II Panel of Examiners in 1992; this is a position with a great deal of responsibility and often, insufficient recognition for the personal commitment of time. As the Part II Chair, he made question writing assignments, conducted the workshop where questions were refined, led the question selection process, led the grading process and prepared statistical information on exam performance. He had two or three years off before serving on the Board progressing from Board member to Parliamentarian, Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair. Ed served as Parliamentarian and Secretary of the ABHP when the Board was seeking accreditation by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards. Ed undertook the task of revising and reformatting the ABHP Policy and Procedures Manuals to meet the requirements for accreditation while ensuring that the intent of Board policies and procedures were maintained. He continues his service as a member of the Health Physics Society Board of Directors, Secretary of the Society and liaison to the AAHP from the Society.
Today, the American Academy of Health Physics and American Board of Health Physics are proud to honor and recognize Dr. Maher for his many years of dedication and sustained service to the health physics profession and the certification process in particular. Dr. Maher exemplifies the personal attributes of the great leader that this award is named for. I take great pride and privilege in presenting the 2004 William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award to Dr. Edward Maher.
Mary L. Birch, Vice Chair ABHP
2003 WILLIAM A. McADAMS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Presented to HERMAN CEMBER by the American Board of Health Physics at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, San Diego, California, July 20-24, 2003
(click here for acceptance photo)
Dr. Herman Cember is the recipient of the 2003 William McAdams Outstanding Service Award. This award is presented annually by the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) and the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) to honor a certified health physicist who has made a significant contribution toward the advancement of professionalism in health physics and to the certification process. In conferring this award, the nominating committee especially recognizes the service of Dr. Cember on the ABHP Panel of Examiners, service as Past President of the AAHP, and his continuing involvement in providing health physics expertise, education and training via his publications-as well as summer school and associated PEP course teachings.
Herman has been a scientific contributor to various aspects of the health physics field for over forty years. He received his BS degree in electrical engineering from City College of New York and his MS and Ph.D. degrees in biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh. He has extensive experience in radiogenic lung cancer and heavy metal toxicology. As a radiological health and safety specialist, he has been active in education, research, and applied areas of the field. His scientific achievements have resulted in the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, from the Health Physics Society in 1990, to recognize his research associated with lung cancer.
Herman had been assistant professor, then associate professor, of Industrial Hygiene at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health from 1951 to 1960. He then went to the University of Cincinnati and served as associate professor of Industrial Health in the College of Medicine for five years-where he continued his teaching and research. In 1964, he became full professor of civil engineering at Northwestern University, where he directed the academic programs in Health Physics and Industrial Hygiene, as he continues to do today. During his long and successful academic career, Herman has always loved to help his students. He has an informal teaching style and welcomes all kind of questions. In fact, the only question he does not like is will this be on the test? He has encouraged students to do what they enjoy because they enjoy it, not for the money, since one third of a person's lifetime will be spent at work.
He has produced more than seventy publications. His book, Introduction to Health Physics, has been used widely as a primary textbook in the radiological health field and has been translated into Russian and Chinese. In addition to all of the foregoing research and publishing activities, he has been an active participant in international organizations. He spent a year as a technical expert in occupational health at the International Labour Office in Geneva in 1961.
Herman is currently a professor emeritus of the Department of Civil Engineering in Northwestern University and a visiting professor of the School of Health Sciences at Purdue University. He has been chairperson of the HPS summer school and presented numerous PEP courses at the annual Health Physics Society meetings.
Today, the American Academy of Health Physics and American Board of Health Physics are proud to honor and recognize the dedication, excellence, and continued contributions to the research, practice, and advancement of the profession of health physics and the certification process. I take great pride and privilege in presenting the 2003 William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award to Dr. Herman Cember.
John A. Serabian, Jr, Vice Chair ABHP
2002 WILLIAM A. McADAMS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Presented to PAUL L. ZIEMER by the American Board of Health Physics at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Tampa, Florida, June 16-20, 2002
(click here for acceptance photo)
The William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award is presented each year by the American Board of Health Physics to recognize an individual who has made important contributions to advancing the profession of health physics and the health physics certification process. The Award was established in 1989 in honor of one of the American Board of Health Physics founders. William A. McAdams provided leadership, energy, and vision to the Board during its formation. He was a member of the 1958 Certification Committee formed by the Health Physics Society to investigate the need for a Board. Dr. McAdams then served as the chair of the temporary Board when it was formed in November 1958, and as the first Chair of the inaugural ABHP when it was formed in October 1959.
The first Award was presented in 1989 on the 30th Anniversary of the ABHP. Since that time 13 distinguished health physicists have received this award. Today we are gathered to honor a truly deserving health physicist and recognize him for his outstanding contributions to the profession of health physics and to the health physics certification process.
I am extremely pleased to announce on behalf of the American Board of Health Physics that Paul L. Ziemer, Ph.D., has been selected as the 2002 recipient of the William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award. Dr. Ziemer's resume reads like an encyclopedia of health physics committees, boards, honors, and professional achievements. There is no field of health physics and the certification process that his contributions have not touched and been made better due to his contributions.
Following the receipt of his Bachelor of Science in physics from Wheaton College in Illinois, he enrolled at Vanderbilt University from which he received a Master of Science degree in radiological physics with a minor in mathematics. He continued his studies at Purdue University, which awarded him a Doctor of Philosophy in bionucleonics in 1962.
Dr. Ziemer has had a long and distinguished association with Purdue University and its health physics activities. He was its Radiological Control Officer, progressed through the academic ranks of Assistant, Associate, and full Professor, and served as Head of the School of Health Sciences. Dr. Ziemer is currently Professor Emeritus and Retired Head of the School of Health Sciences at Purdue University.
Over the past 43 years Dr. Ziemer has been directly involved in the undergraduate and graduate level instruction of over 400 individuals who are currently active in the health physics profession including 89 Ph.D. students, 121 M.S. students, and 205 B.S. students.
Dr. Ziemer has been a workhorse of the Health Physics Society. Three different times he has served on its Board of Directors (1970-1976, 1989-1990, and 1995-2000) and was the President of the Health Physics Society in 1975-1976. In addition he has served on most and chaired many of the standing and special committees of the HPS. Dr. Ziemer was the Chairman of the First Midyear Topical Symposium of the Health Physics Society in 1966. The Health Physics Society has recognized his professional achievements by naming him the Elda E. Anderson Award recipient in 1971, the G. William Morgan Lecturer in 1997, the Midwest Chapter's R. S. Landauer Memorial Lecturer in 1997, and the recipient of its Founders Award in 2001.
Dr. Ziemer has been an active participant in the American Academy of Health Physics since its inception. In 1985, the Board of the Health Physics Society approved a new set of Bylaws for the American Board of Health Physics that severed the indirect control of the ABHP by the HPS and allowed for the establishment of the American Academy of Health Physics as an entity. The HPS and the ABHP each appointed three members of the initial Executive Committee of the AAHP. Three additional members were to be elected by the membership of the Academy, that is the Certified Health Physicists.
In April 1985, the CHP's were asked to vote on the proposed Bylaws and to vote on the positions of President-Elect, Secretary, and one additional member of the Executive Committee. Dr. Ziemer was chosen as President-Elect. The initial Executive Committee first met on January 24 and 25, 1986. Les Slaback volunteered to organize and coordinate that first meeting, and Dr. Ziemer agreed to Chair it. At that meeting, Bryce Rich was elected to serve as President Pro Tem. Thus there was no regular President the first year since the Bylaws required the President to serve a year as President-Elect first. Dr. Ziemer served as the first President of the AAHP but during its second year of operation (1987). He is currently serving as a member of the Academy's Professional Standards and Ethics Committee.
Dr. Ziemer was first certified by the American Board of Health Physics in 1965 and has continued to be recertified since that time. He was most recently recertified in 2002. Since becoming a Certified Health Physicist, Dr. Ziemer served on the ABHP's Panel of Examiners (1969-1971) and as a member of the American Board of Health Physics in 1989 and 1990 and most recently from 1995 through 2000.
The scientific and technical capabilities and professionalism of Dr. Ziemer have also been recognized and sought out by national and international organizations outside the HPS, AAHP, and ABHP family. He has served with distinction on numerous committees of the American National Standards Institute, the International Standards Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR-VI).
Dr. Ziemer has also served as a consultant and advisor to numerous private corporations, universities, national laboratories, and state and federal governmental agencies.
Two Presidents of the United States have sought the scientific and technical knowledge and professional wisdom of Dr. Ziemer. Former President George Bush appointed Dr. Ziemer to be the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety, and Health in 1990. He served in this position within the Department of Energy from 1990 through 1993. Earlier this year, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Ziemer to be Chairman of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.
Even with all these professional activities and achievements, Dr. Ziemer has also had a life outside health physics. He has been and continues to be active in his church at the local and national levels and has even been involved in the work of its seminary. He is actively involved in Rotary International. Most importantly, he also wooed and wed his wife of 43 years, Marilyn, and helped in the rearing of their four daughters.
In summary, Dr. Ziemer exemplifies what all of us should aspire to as Certified Health Physicists. His life of service, achievement, and dedication to the profession of health physics and the certification process, this nation, his community, his church, and his family has set a standard of excellence that should be the goal of all Certified Health Physicists.
It is with great pride, and even greater humility, that I present on behalf of the American Board of Health Physics the 2002 William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award to a most deserving individual, Dr. Paul L. Ziemer.
Edgar D. Bailey, Vice Chair ABHP
2001 WILLIAM A. McADAMS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Presented to GEORGE J. VARGO, JR. by the American Board of Health Physics at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Cleveland, Ohio, June 10-14, 2001
(click here for acceptance photo)
The American Board of Health Physics is proud to present the William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award to George J. Vargo, Jr. This award is given annually to a certified health physicist who has made significant contributions towards the advancement of professionalism in health physics and to the health physics certification process. The strength of the profession and the certification process relies on the leadership and dedication of the people who serve the Board, the Examination Panels, the American Academy of Health Physics, and the Health Physics Society.
George's service to the profession of health physics has been impressive. He has served terms of office in the Western New York and Columbia Chapters, as well as on the Membership, Manpower and Professional Education, and International Relations Committees of the Health Physics Society. George is currently an Associate Editor and Software Editor for the Health Physics Journal and has written numerous book reviews. George has been selected as an official delegate to the IRPA Congresses in Montreal, Vienna, and Hiroshima. He was awarded the title of Fellow of the Society for Radiological Protection in 1998 and Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2000.
George was certified by the American Board of Health Physics in comprehensive practice in 1984 and in the power reactor specialty in 1986. In 1989, George was granted the Certificate of Competence in Applied Health Physics by the Society for Radiological Protection in the United Kingdom.
George has been active in the ABHP's examination process for fourteen years. He participated on the Power Reactor Certification Examination Panel as a member, Vice Chair, and Chair. This was followed by a 5-year term on the American Board of Health Physics, during which time George served as Board Member, Parliamentarian, Secretary, Vice Chair, and finally as Chair in 1998.
While serving on the Board, George became convinced that the Part II examination process needed to be revisited in light of the cost required to produce a quality examination on a yearly basis. George led the effort to contract with an examination consultant to conduct a comprehensive job task analysis for the professional health physicist and to prepare a set of examination specifications for the Part II Exam. George has dedicated a significant amount of time to improving the Part II examination process, and he currently chairs the Part II Ad Hoc Examination Panel in preparing questions for the proposed new format of the exam.
George serves as the ABHP delegate to the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards and was instrumental in the preparation and submission of the Board's application for accreditation with the CESB. Accreditation was granted to the ABHP earlier this year.
George developed an interest in health physics during his high school days while working on a science fair project. His project examined the structure of crystals, and George wanted to make measurements of crystal lattice size using x-ray diffraction. In order to obtain the needed measurements, George was referred to the Physics Department at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where several faculty members offered to assist him. Before George could use the equipment, however, he was required to complete a detailed radiation safety indoctrination on the potential hazards of the x-ray diffraction equipment and receive permission from the University's Radiation Safety Officer.
During the afternoons he spent around the Physics Department at Duquesne, George had the opportunity to meet Dr. Allen Brodsky, who had recently established an undergraduate program in radiological health. George was intrigued by the broad scope of the radiological health curriculum. He took classes at Duquesne during his senior year of high school, and enrolled in the radiological health program as soon as he was eligible following his high school graduation. After graduating from Duquesne with a B.S. degree in radiological health, George joined the staff of Radiation Service Organization in Laurel, Maryland, in 1978 as the Radiation Safety Officer. The following year, he headed north to the New York Power Authority's FitzPatrick Plant to pursue a career in power reactor health physics.
George spent the next ten years at the FitzPatrick Plant, holding a variety of positions with responsibilities for health physics training, emergency preparedness, respiratory protection, ALARA, and dosimetry. George also obtained a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Senior Reactor Operator license and, in addition to his regular health physics duties, routinely participated in shift operations for eight years.
While at FitzPatrick, George became interested in innovative source term reduction strategies to reduce the relatively high collective dose at the plant. George convinced senior management to invest in chemical decontamination of the reactor coolant system, which resulted in savings of over 700 person-rem and established a world record decontamination factor for a dilute reagent chemical decontamination. He also participated in and coordinated other source term reduction activities including hydrogen water chemistry, feedwater zinc addition and cobalt reduction programs. To achieve a better understanding of the contribution of various nuclear power plant radiation sources to worker dose, George developed a passive directional radiation probe using an array of TLDs. In 1992, he was granted a United States patent for this invention.
Along the way, George completed a Master of Science degree in Health Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Columbia Pacific University. George stayed involved in education as an adjunct associate professor of nuclear engineering and engineering physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At RPI, he supervised a number of senior projects for undergraduate students in the radiological engineering option and served on committees for several M.S. students. Despite the great distance from Richland, he still remains active at RPI and returns to New York to teach classes and give seminars.
In 1991, George left New York Power Authority and joined Battelle at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a Staff Scientist. George was invited to join the DOE's International Nuclear Safety Program, where he assumed a lead role in projects to develop a nuclear and radiation safety regulatory infrastructure in the Russian Federation and to improve emergency preparedness. This program has required George to spend significant amounts of time in the Ukraine, as well as many other countries of the former Soviet Union.
George managed the Chernobyl Dose Reduction Project, whose goal was to transfer and upgrade health physics technology at the Chernobyl Shelter. George also recently edited a book on the Chernobyl accident. The book, titled The Chernobyl Accident: A Comprehensive Risk Assessment, originated from a compilation of Ukrainian technical papers, and included assessments of the risks posed by the shelter and damaged reactor, waste management, environmental impacts, and medical effects.
Somehow, in addition to this impressive list of professional activities, George finds time to engage in such hobbies as photography, amateur radio, and model rocketry. He also has been active in organizing the Tri-Cities' annual Tumbleweed Music Festival.
Today, the American Board of Health Physics and American Academy of Health Physics would like to recognize George for his leadership and accomplishments in the field of health physics and in the certification process. I take great pride and privilege in presenting the 2001 William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award to George J. Vargo, Jr.
Kathryn H. Pryor, Vice Chair ABHP