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Lawrence Townsend.

Lawrence W. Townsend

Chancellor’s Professor and Robert M. Condra Professor Emeritus


Radiation physics, transport, shielding and risk assessment; nuclear and radiological engineering; theoretical nuclear physics.


PhD, Physics, University of Idaho, 1980

  • Dissertation Title: “Isobar Production in Heavy Ion Collisions”
  • Dissertation Advisor: Philip A. Deutchman

MS, Physics, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, 1970

  • Thesis Title: “The Detection of Protons Scattered by High Energy Electrons.”
  • Thesis Advisor: John N. Dyer

BS, Physics, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 1969

Professional Service

American Nuclear Society, 1995–present; Fellow, 2005

Oak Ridge/Knoxville Section, Chair 1999-2000, Vice Chair/Chair Elect, 1998-99, Board Member, 1997­1998, Scholarship Committee Chairman 1997–1999; Radiation Protection and Shielding Division, Executive Committee 2003–2009

American Physical Society, Member, 1977–present

Division of Nuclear Physics; Southeastern Section; Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics

Health Physics Society, 1995–present; Fellow, 2006

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2010–present

Neutron Scattering Society of America, Member, 1999–present

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, Senior Member, 2002–present

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), 1990–present

Distinguished Emeritus Member of Council, 2010–present

Council Member, 1998–2010

Scientific Committee 75 (member), 1990–2000

Scientific Committee 1-7 (chairman), 1995–2006

Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)

Scientific Sub-Commission F2-Radiation Biology, 1990–present

COSPAR Nominating Committee (North American Rep.), 1998–2002

HUGS at CEBAF International Advisory Committee, 1986–1995

Medium Energy Nuclear Data Working Group (US DOE), 1986–1988

NASA NSCORT Review Panel, 1996

NIOSH/FAA Flight Attendants Exposure Study Peer Review Panel, 1996

NASA Space Radiation Health Review Panel, 1997, 2000

NASA Mars 2003/2005 Space Radiation Health Panel (Chair), 1999

NASA Task Group to Examine Radiation Issues for Manned Lunar and Mars Missions, 2004

NASA Mars Human Precursor Science Steering Group, 2004

NAS/NRC Workshop Organizing Committee on Solar and Space Physics and the Vision for Space Exploration, 2005

NAS/NRC Committee on the Evaluation of Radiation Shielding for Space Exploration, 2006-2008

Awards and Recognitions

Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (elected in 2005)

Fellow of the Health Physics Society (elected in 2006)

Engineering Faculty Research Fellow (UT) 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008

Engineering Faculty Teaching Fellow (UT) 2007

Robert M. Condra Professorship (UT) 2001–2003, 2009–present

University of Tennessee Research and Creative Achievement Award 2001

Moses E. & Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award (UT) 2001

Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award (UT) 1998–1999

University of Tennessee Nuclear Engineering Professor of the Year 1995–1996, 1999–2000, 2002–2003, 2007–2008

NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal 1993, For outstanding contributions to the understanding of nuclear interactions of cosmic radiation with matter and its implications for space-radiation exposure and shielding

NASA Group Achievement Award (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Team) 2010

NASA Langley Group Achievement Award 1990

NASA Langley Special Achievement Award 1984, 1992

NASA Langley Superior Accomplishment Award 1990, 1991

NASA Langley Technical Excellence Award 1992

NASA Langley Space Directorate Best Paper Award 1992

NASA Langley Aero—Gas Dynamics Division Best Paper Award 1997

Sigma Xi 1980–present; Sigma Xi Outstanding Research Paper (Idaho Chapter) 1981

Whittenberger Fellow 1979–1980

American Men and Women of Science


Anderson, J.A.; and Townsend, L.W.: LET Comparisons for the CRaTER Instrument on LRO and HETC-HEDS. 2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, March 5-12, 2011.

Wilson, J.K.; Spence, H.E.; Kasper, J.C.; Golightly, M.J.; Blake, J.B.; Mazur, J.E.; Townsend, L.W.; Case, A.W.; and Looper, M.D.: First Cosmic Ray Proton Albedo Map of the Moon. 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 13-17, 2010.

Kim, M.Y.; Schwadron, N.A.; Townsend, L.W.; and Cucinotta, F.A.: Simulation of Earth-Moon-Mars Environments for the Assessment of Organ Doses. 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 13-17, 2010.

Lawrence Townsend.

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