John J. Brennan Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Award

The John J. Brennan Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Award honors and recognizes an undergraduate student in the Nuclear Engineering program for academic excellence, as evidenced by a high grade point average and other academic successes to be determined by MNE faculty members.

This award was endowed through a gift from John J. Brennan, a nuclear engineering alumnus (’65 MS NucE) who also holds a B.S. in nuclear science from the State University of New York Maritime College and an M.S. in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Brennan serves on the Leonhard Center Board and was named an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus in 1998.


Consideration for this award will be given to all undergraduate students purusing a degree in nuclear engineering.

Nomination Process

Recipients of this award will be selected by a committee appointed by the department head. Selection will be based on the five students with the highest grade point average, with the final recipient determined by additional academic merits as determined by the selection committee.

Past Recipients

  • Sean Clees (2018)
  • Josh Larimer (2017)
  • Jacob Hirschhorn (2016)
  • Kelly McClure (2015)
  • Daniel Abercrombie (2014)
  • Alex Punzi (2013)
  • Adam Crimboli (2012)
  • Philip Sahd (2011)
  • Christopher J. Ulmer (2010)
  • Jennifer Jarvis (2009)


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