The Scholarship

Bob Maher spent his 48-year career at the Savannah River Site in technical and managerial assignments. He was a tireless and able manager who died September 14, 2002. At the time of his death, he was Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Planning and Mission Development for Washington Savannah River Company. Bob Pedde, President of WSRC said, “Bob Maher was a phenomenal resource to me and to everyone who preceded me.” Early in 2002, Mr. Maher was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by the South Carolina Governor at the time, Governor Jim Hodges.

Starting in 2003, CNTA has awarded college scholarships in memory of Bob Maher. Winners are honored at one of CNTA’s many fall events.


To award annually a $5,000 scholarship to a student who demonstrates outstanding college level academic achievement in nuclear science/engineering or a related field.

Financial Need

Financial need will be considered. The candidate may submit evidence of unmet need as part of the application.


  • Candidate must be enrolled as a junior or senior in a university or college within the states of South Carolina or Georgia.
  • Candidate must have a “B” average overall grade and a “B” average in science/engineering and mathematics for college level course work.
  • Candidate must be pursuing a B.S. degree in nuclear science, nuclear engineering, or an engineering or science discipline, with coursework and/or research directly related to the nuclear field. Examples include: nuclear applications associated with chemistry or chemical engineering, environmental science or environmental engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, etc. The candidate may also demonstrate their interest and involvement in the nuclear field by describing a summer research project or their junior/senior thesis topic (see page 3 of application).
  • Candidate must be a U.S. Citizen.

Application Process

The application (including transcripts, letter of recommendation, and answers to questions on page 3 of the application) must be received by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, Inc. (CNTA) by July 1, 2022.

The complete application is available here: 2022 CNTA Maher Scholarship Application

2022 Maher Scholarship Winner

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) and Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) has announced University of South Carolina (U of SC) student Robert Demuth as the winner of the 2022 Robert Maher Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is sponsored by SRMC, the liquid waste contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

Demuth, who is from Gray Court, S.C., is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in nuclear engineering. He is also pursuing an accelerated Master of Science in nuclear engineering.

CNTA Executive Director Jim Marra said CNTA is proud to award this $5,000 scholarship to such an ambitious, enthusiastic, and deserving student.

“Robert has a great passion to pursue nuclear research and grow his knowledge and experience in the field,” Marra said. “All these go-getter qualities make him the ideal candidate to award this scholarship. No doubt Robert will be an exemplary addition to the nuclear industry.”

In 2019, Robert was offered a position as an undergraduate research assistant and began training in U of SC’s Advanced Nuclear Materials Laboratory.

In 2020, he began his first independent research project in a joint collaboration project between U of SC, Savannah River National Laboratory, and Idaho National Laboratory. This project involved engineering-scale spent nuclear fuel drying tests, which were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of two distinct drying processes on spent nuclear fuel in preparation for long-term dry storage.

In 2021, he assisted in a Westinghouse research study of the cracking behavior of uranium and Advanced Doped Pellet Technology (ADOPT) fuel.

In 2022, he undertook the lead position in a research endeavor between U of SC, DOE, and Westinghouse. This project aims to provide a robust solution to analyzing the safety of long-term spent fuel storage. His portion of the project entailed designing a proprietary nuclear fuel drying system capable of testing Westinghouse equipment under commercial nuclear fuel drying conditions.

He is currently the lab manager for the Used Fuel Storage and Disposition Laboratory at U of SC.

“Ever since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by outer space and witnessing mankind extend its reach into the universe,” Demuth said. “Now I desire to actively participate in this endeavor while ensuring that safety and public health remain a top priority, along with reducing the environmental impact of our actions. I strive to accomplish this goal with a career at NASA in the nuclear field. My interests are primarily in Nuclear Space Reactors and Nuclear Thermal Propulsion. These two highly advanced technologies present unique challenges that I wish to assist in overcoming.”

He has been involved in many school and community activities, including local chapter of the American Nuclear Society as Communications Officer, Habitat for Humanity, and many church activities, such as the praise band, food pantry, and mission trips.

For a list of previous winners, check out our archive