Award History

The Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award is given annually to honor scientists or engineers from the region whose lifetime scientific contributions have been exceptional. The award was first presented at CNTA’s 13th Annual Edward Teller Lecture and Banquet on November 18, 2004.

Dr. Fred C. Davison was Chairman of CNTA’s Board of Directors from 1994 until his death in 2004. It is no exaggeration to say that Fred’s stature and influence were largely responsible for CNTA’s growth and success during those ten years. Fred attended Emory University before obtaining a Veterinary degree from the University of Georgia and later a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Pathology from Iowa State University. While in Veterinary School he met Dianne, who became his beloved wife. Dianne also obtained her Veterinary degree.

Fred was one of those rare people who was admired and loved by everyone privileged to know him. He was a leader in the best meaning of the word. He had enormous intellect, yet empathized with and befriended everyone, regardless of station. His friendly demeanor and great humor were ever present and graced every meeting with him.

After Fred’s retirement from the University of Georgia, he moved to Augusta and almost immediately became a highly effective community leader. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Science Center Foundation, funding innovative secondary education in science and mathematics. He was President of the Georgia-Carolina Boy Scouts Council. He was an active Rotarian and an elder of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, where he taught an adult Sunday School class.

Much has been said and written about Fred’s enormous contributions to his alma mater, the University of Georgia, where he served as President for 19 years. Under his leadership, the University of Georgia became one of the strongest graduate and research institutions in the United States. Student enrollment grew from 15,600 to 25,000 and graduate enrollment more than doubled. He viewed enhanced education in Math and Science as important to the future of our nation. Everyone who knew Fred was pleased that before his death he was

able to attend the dedication of the Fred C. Davison Life Sciences Complex in Athens GA, a 257,000 square foot facility for biotechnology research.

Because of Fred’s enormous contributions to CNTA, the annual Distinguished Scientist Award was renamed the Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award. We believe Fred would be pleased by this, because he believed that our recognition of outstanding local scientists was an important thing to do.

2019 Award Winner

Dr. Dan Gabriel Cacuci (University of South Carolina)

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 Fred C. Davidson Distinguished Scientist Award is Dr. Dan Gabriel Cacuci.

Dr. Cacuci is the SmartState Endowed Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the SmartState Center of Excellence in Nuclear Science and Energy at the University of South Carolina. He received his M.S. in Nuclear Engineering at Columbia University in 1973, his M.Phil. in Applied Physics and Nuclear Engineering at Columbia University in 1977, and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering from Columbia University in 1978. Dr. Caruci’s areas of scientific expertise include the analysis of large-scale physical/engineering systems; large-scale scientific computations; nuclear reactor physics, dynamics, and safety; and sensitivity analysis, data assimilation, and predictive uncertainty quantification for large-scale systems.

Dr. Cacuci is a prolific author and researcher and is widely recognized in his field. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed articles, written numerous books, edited the five-volume Handbook of Nuclear Engineering, and edited the “Nuclear Science and Engineering” journal since 1984. He has made over 700 invited lectures and presentations at leading universities, government institutions and laboratories, and industrial and private organizations, and has mentored and graduated more than 50 doctoral students in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Cacuci received the Alexander Humbolt Prize for Senior Scholars in Germany in 1990, the Ernest Orlando Lawrence award from the U.S. Department of Energy in 1998, the Glenn Seaborg Medal from the American Nuclear and European Nuclear Societies in 2000, and the Arthur Holly Compton award from the American Nuclear Society in 2011. He became a member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. He has managed several large research projects and centers, including Institute Director at the Nuclear Research Center Karlsruhe (1993-2004), Scientific Director at the Nuclear Energy Pole of the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (2005-2009), and General Coordinator for establishing a Sustainable Nuclear Fission Technology Platform with 22 European partner organizations (2006-2008).

“Professor Cacuci is a leader in the development of nuclear technology, pioneering applications to develop experimentally validated predictive models of nuclear facilities, radiation detection, and other nuclear national security applications,” wrote Dr. David LaGraffe of the National Nuclear Security Administration. “It is ground breaking and technical work such as Processor Cacuci’s that continues to advance science while demonstrating the technical rigor we strive to achieve at our Nation’s DOE and NNSA National Laboratories.”

For a list of previous winners, check out our archive