The purpose of this award is to recognize accomplishments in applying nuclear technology, advancing education in nuclear technology, increasing public awareness of the benefits of nuclear technology and in promoting and defending the safe and effective use of nuclear technology.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
CNTA presents this award to a person who has made significant contributions in the advancement of nuclear. The award has a very broad reach with all-inclusive consideration outside of traditional scholarly, academic nuclear science and technology, to include non-technical fields. Areas of considerations are many, including but not limited to education, training, management, leadership, applied engineering, medicine, energy, health protection, public relations, journalism, communications, safety, environmental impact and remediation, national security, and workforce development. Candidates may also make contributions in multiple areas over an extended period of time.
The award is presented annually at the fall CNTA Teller Lecture & Banquet.
2023 Nuclear Service Award Recipient
Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2023 Nuclear Service Award is William (Bill) Wabbersen. This prestigious award was formally announced on October 24, 2023, at the 32nd Annual Teller Lecture held in Aiken, S.C.
Bill Wabbersen graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. Following service in the U.S. Navy, he enjoyed a three-decade career at the Savannah River Site (SRS) with both the M&O Contractor and the Department of Energy (DOE). His dedicated service extended beyond the Site’s boundaries to our community’s classrooms where he championed all things nuclear to the rising generation through hundreds of classroom presentations.
Wabbersen developed several teaching tools including the Isotope Discovery Kit and the “Journey to the Center of the Atom” classroom guide. He developed the Interactive Nuclear Display that was exhibited at Fort Discovery in Augusta for many years. He led a group of students at the University of South Carolina – Aiken (USCA) in the development of the Interactive Isotope App that is on the American Nuclear Society website. Recently, Bill volunteered his time and talents as the Subject Matter Expert on the conceptual design and construction of the Heavy Water (D20) display at the SRS Museum.
Wabbersen has served as an Honorary Trustee of the National Museum of Nuclear Science & Technology since 2020 and has been a Volunteer Science Education Demonstrator at the USCA Ruth Patrick Science Education Center since 1994. Previous nuclear outreach activities include serving twice as the Local Section Chairman for the American Nuclear Society, a Counselor at the South Carolina Academy of Science, and membership on several CNTA committees including the Essay Contest Committee, the Education Committee, and the Speakers Bureau.
“I know of no one who better personifies the mission and goals of CNTA through the nuclear service he has brought to the CSRA,” said CNTA Board of Directors Chairman Stephen Sheetz. “From tossing ‘neutron’ cookies around the room to exploring ‘radioactive’ Fiestaware with Geiger counters, there’s never a dull moment. It’s his passion.”
Describing a presentation that Wabbersen made to a liberal arts class at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Travis W. Knight, Director of the Nuclear Engineering Program, recalled that, “It was very encouraging to see the students’ transition from skeptical and hesitant to engaged and curious. The activities and tools that Bill created to teach students are both creative and engaging.”
“Bill has a true passion to educate, teach, and share his knowledge of the nuclear industry with students and the public,” wrote SRS Museum Board of Directors Member Susie Ferrara. “He volunteers selflessly. We are forever grateful to Bill.”
2023 Call for Nominations
Eligibility requirements for candidates are:
• Candidate residence preferably should be or should have been in the Southeast region, defined as Georgia or South Carolina, at the time of the accomplishment(s)
• The award emphasizes recognition of accomplishment(s) benefiting, or having an impact on, the CSRA
• Accomplishment(s) could include sustained contribution over an extended period of time, or a single outstanding accomplishment
• Candidate can be either actively employed or retired
• There are no education or degree requirements
Nominations were due to CNTA by July 31, 2023.