INL News Release
Dec. 14, 2011

Teri Ehresman, 208-526-7785, 
Ethan Huffman, 208-716-4594,

Note to Editors:  A high resolution photo of David Petti is available at INL's official Flickr page.

American Nuclear Society honors researcher with top award

IDAHO FALLS, ID — An Idaho National Laboratory researcher is one of 16 individuals honored by the American Nuclear Society for extraordinary contributions and achievements to nuclear science and technology.

David Petti, INL Fellow and technical director of the Very High Temperature Reactor Technology Development Office, was selected as a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society at the annual meeting recently in Washington, D.C.

Petti was honored for his exceptional leadership in the development and demonstration of advanced fuels and materials for fission and fusion systems, in particular the very successful re-engineering and re-establishment of industrial fabrication capability and irradiation testing and demonstration of high burn-up particle fuels for High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors.

Eric Loewen, a former INL employee and current ANS president, praised Petti and the others honored. "On behalf of everyone in the Society, we offer our thanks to these individuals who have worked so tirelessly to push forward nuclear science and technology," he said.

In nominating Petti for the honor, James Lake, former ANS president and retired former INL associate laboratory director for Nuclear Programs, said, "I hold Dr. Petti's technical expertise and leadership skills in the highest regard. Through disciplined, methodical technical leadership, Dr. Petti has never failed to advance the technology over technical hurdles, and to produce a successful performance outcome. The Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Development and Qualification Program is just such a program."

In addition to his leadership and involvement in the Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Development and Qualification Program, Petti was selected to receive (jointly with his Oak Ridge National Laboratory colleagues) the 2010 Gordon Battelle Prize from Battelle Memorial Institute. He is also the recipient of the ANS Materials Science & Technology Special Achievement Award (2009), the ANS Fusion Energy Outstanding Technical Accomplishment Award (2001), and is one of five initial INL Laboratory Fellows selected in 1998 by a National Academy of Science panel.

Co-sponsoring Petti's nomination to Fellow were Phillip Finck, INL chief nuclear research officer; Peter Lyons, assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy with the U.S. Department of Energy; Michael Corradini, chair of Engineering Physics Department at University of Wisconsin-Madison and chair-elect of the American Nuclear Society; Richard Hobbins, retired INL researcher; Farrokh Najmabadi, professor and Center for Energy Research director at the University of California, San Diego; and Heinz Nabielek, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Julich, Germany.

Petti has a master's degree and bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Sc.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT.

Established in 1954, ANS is a professional not-for-profit organization of engineers and scientists devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its 11,600 members come from diverse technical backgrounds covering the full range of engineering disciplines as well as the physical and biological sciences. They are advancing the application of these technologies to improve the lives of the world community through national and international enterprise within government, academia, research laboratories and private industry.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE's strategic goal areas: 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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