INL News Release
Sept. 16, 2009

Teri Ehresman, 208-526-7785,
John Lindsay, 208-526-9078,

American Nuclear Society honors INL's Herring with top award

J. Stephen Herring, leader for the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory research on nuclear hydrogen production, has been named a Fellow by the American Nuclear Society.

Herring will be recognized for the honor at the ANS 2009 Winter Meeting and Nuclear Technology Expo Nov. 15-19 in Washington, D.C. The Fellow designation is the highest honor ANS can bestow on an individual and acknowledges outstanding leadership, professional accomplishment and service to the profession.

In Idaho Falls, Herring's team is pushing the limits of hydrogen electrolytic cell longevity and production rates. Their experiments have set a series of new high marks and also produced a technique that significantly lowers energy requirements for the high temperature electrolysis process. His successes hold great promise, not only in enabling more effective and less expensive upgrading of low-quality oil reserves, but in developing commercial synthetic and biofuels.

"It is totally clear to me that Herring is one of the most technically innovative and productive people I have been associated with in the nuclear field," said Phillip J. Finck, associate laboratory director of Nuclear Science & Technology at INL and ANS Fellow. Finck nominated Herring for the award. The recommendation was supported by the Idaho Section of the American Nuclear Society and seven other professionals from the nuclear energy community.

"Personal relations I had with Dr. Herring always reflected his extended range of professional knowledge, his eagerness and skills to resolve scientific and experimental issues, as well as his visionary sense of achievable performance for bringing steam electrolysis to the stage of available technology," reflected Frank Carre, deputy director for Nuclear Development and Innovation of the French Atomic Energy Commission, CEA.

But Herring's abilities are not limited to innovation and vision.

"Dr. Herring is one of the few at the top of a technologically important field with critical skills that will substantially benefit the United States," said Michael L. Corradini, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's College of Engineering, in his letter of recommendation.
"Herring has demonstrated his ability to be part of and lead a team that will have real impact in an emerging technology. Examples of his drive to succeed are not lacking. Close to the finish of his most recent experiment with hydrogen fuel cells, which had set new records for endurance, his eye was already on the next target."

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Herring completed his undergraduate education at Iowa State University and he earned a doctorate in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since coming to INL in 1979, he has achieved a continued stream of recognition, and most recently was appointed a Laboratory Fellow.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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