Professor Emeritus Lee Dodds and former Ford Foundation Professor and Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher John Mihalczo are the 2020 recipients of the Department of Nuclear Engineering’s Hall of Fame Awards. The Hall of Fame was created to show current students that anything is possible and to honor those who have made the department proud to be Volunteer Engineers.
“It is critical to me that the inductees we select have demonstrated both significant contributions to the field and have fostered the lifelong connections to the department necessary to inspire our students,” said Nuclear Engineering Department Head Wes Hines. “Both Lee Dodds and John Mihalczo not only have extraordinary career accomplishments, but they are also Volunteers at heart and continue to be dedicated to making this department, college, and university better than ever.”
Inductees are considered and selected after careful deliberation by the Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering and the department head and board of advisors for the department.
Dodds, who is also a former nuclear engineering department head, is a three-time graduate of the department, having earned his bachelor’s in 1966, master’s in ’69, and his doctorate in ’70. He joined the department as an associate professor in 1976 after working for the Savannah River Laboratory, ORNL, and NASA. Dodds then became the department head in early 1997 and led the department to a top ten national ranking by U.S. News and World Report.
He is a past member of the Accreditation Board of the National Academy for Nuclear Training, the National Board of Directors of the American Nuclear Society, and the National Board of Directors of the Nuclear Energy Institute. Dodds has received many awards during his career including the Arthur Holly Compton National Teaching Award and the Robert L. Long Training Excellence Award. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society.
Mihalczo earned his doctorate from the department in 1970. He is an ORNL Corporate Fellow and a true US nuclear pioneer. Mihalczo worked at the Curtiss Wright Corporation from 1953-58 on nuclear propulsion and a variety of other nuclear reactor applications. He joined the Neutron Physics Division of ORNL in 1958 as a researcher at the Oak Ridge Critical Experiments Facility, staying until he joined the ORNL Instrumentation and Controls Division in 1973.
At the Critical Experiments Facility, he performed a wide variety of research related to reactor design, nuclear criticality safety, and reactor physics. His criticality experiments, development of nuclear weapons verification technologies, and other vital research is world-renown. For these contributions he was awarded Fellow of the American Nuclear Society.