PSNES Outstanding Early Career Award

Purpose of the Award

  1. To identify, recognize, and publicize high achieving Nuclear Engineering alumni who are no more than 10 years since the completion of their formal education.
  2. To demonstrate, particularly to students, that Penn State Nuclear Engineering alumni can succeed in exceptional fashion at an early stage of their professional careers.
  3. To stimulate an increased level of activity and identity between prominent recently graduated alumni and the NucE Department and College of Engineering, particularly students, faculty, and administration, including the Radiation and Engineering Science Center.
  4. To add a dimension to the academic curriculum not otherwise available in the traditional college classroom by fostering close connection among prominent recent graduates, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, alumni, Department administrators and staff, the Radiation Science and Engineering Center, and the College of Engineering.
  5. To provide an additional means of recognizing underrepresented alumni constituencies.


This award recognizes a nuclear engineering graduate (at any level, i.e. B.S., M.S., Ph.D.) from Penn State who has demonstrated exemplary contributions in the engineering profession since graduation. These contributions can include (but are not limited to): technical or research advancements, leadership contributions, academic achievements, community involvement, humanitarian contributions. The award will recognize a graduate who is less than ten years beyond the receipt of his or her terminal degree (from any institution, as long as [at least] one of their degrees was in nuclear engineering from Penn State). For this year’s nominations, anyone who was eligible as of December 31, 2020, will still be considered eligible for 2021 nominations, since the awards recognition process was temporarily suspended due to COVID.

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations for the PSNES Outstanding Early Career Award (OECA), which can be made without the nominee’s awareness or consent, are to be submitted to the PSNES Selection Committee at and please Cc Hilary Ruby at Nominations are solicited from PSNES, the Department faculty, staff, students, student-led organizations, NucE alumni, and industrial partners who are active in department or Radiation Science and Engineering Center projects.
  2. Nominations are open as of October 1, 2021. The nominator can submit their nominations via the available form, as well as including any supporting documentation they see fit by sending to the specified email.
  3. The PSNES Selection Committee will convene (in person or via teleconference) to review nominations and recommend a candidate.
  4. The Chair of the Nuclear Engineering Program will (subsequently or concurrently) review and approve the Committee’s recommendation.
  5. The award recipient will be notified of his or her selection by the office of the Chair of the Nuclear Engineering Program, in conjunction with the PSNES President.
  6. The recipient will be invited to return to the University Park campus for special recognition activities. Expenses for travel and lodging for the award recipient and guest(s) will be borne by the recipient, unless otherwise subsidized by the department or PSNES organization.
  7. The award will be made public via posting on the NucE Department website’s PSNES landing page and promoted in the PSNES LinkedIn group.

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The Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the top ranked nuclear engineering programs in the United States. The department distinguishes itself with a strong focus on experimental research. The actively growing department leads four educational programs for students pursuing a bachelor of science, a master of science, a master of engineering, or a doctoral degree. The Radiation Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) facilities, including the Breazeale Reactor, are available to nuclear engineering faculty and students at Penn State for research and instruction. RSEC houses the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, the country’s first and longest operating licensed nuclear research reactor. Having access to an operating research reactor is a key strength for the department and enables Penn State to harness research and educational opportunities that are unique in the United States. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

Department of Nuclear Engineering

206 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6222