The Department of Nuclear Engineering honored the inaugural class of the Nuclear Engineering Hall of Fame during the department’s spring 2017 awards banquet. The Hall of Fame recognizes nuclear engineering graduates or those with a sustained positive relationship with the department. The 2017 inductees all have made exceptional contributions to the nuclear engineering community through their technical innovations, scholarly activities, and leadership.
The first class includes Pietro F. Pasqua, Wayne Coleman, Hash Hashemian, Ken Piety, and Jessie Hill Roberson.
Pasqua was the founding head of the department in 1957 and served from 1957 to 1988. He is fondly remembered by faculty, staff, and students not only for his scholarly accomplishments and outstanding leadership, but also for his integrity, kindness, and dedication to teaching and learning. Members of his family accepted the award and former department head H.L. Dodds spoke about Pasqua.
Coleman earned his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1963, a master’s degree in 1965 and a PhD in 1969, all from the University of Tennessee. Coleman’s career in the nuclear industry spans almost forty years, including his time with the Army Nuclear Defense Laboratory. Coleman devoted more than thirty-five years of dedicated leadership to Science Applications Internal Corporation. He spent many years on the Board of Advisors for the Tickle College of Engineering and has given generous service in multiple capacities to UT.
Hashemian earned his first degree in 1974 from Iran University, a BS in physics. His educational and professional career took him to the United States where he earned his MS degree in nuclear engineering at the UT. Since then, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to the nuclear power industry, specifically as founder and president of Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation, which provides equipment, training and services for testing the instrumentation and control of nuclear power plants worldwide. He also continued his education, earning a doctorate in electrical engineering from Lamar University in 2009; a PhD in nuclear engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, in 2010; and a PhD in computer engineering, University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2011.
Piety earned his BS in nuclear engineering in 1970 and his PhD in 1976, both from UT. Piety has led a career of outstanding research and development of reliability enhancing technologies since his time as a student. In the early 1980’s, he co-founded Computational Systems, Inc. (CSI), which provides multiple services and products based on Ken’s research and expertise to industrial manufacturing facilities globally. He served CSI more than 25 years in multiple roles as the company became a subsidiary of Emerson Electric. He also provided exceptional service to Azima DLI for around 10 years as vice president of technology. His pioneering work in vibration analysis and other predictive maintenance technologies has resulted in more than thirty patents and crucial innovations in diagnostic and reliability technologies in industrial manufacturing.
Roberson received her BS in nuclear engineering in 1981, and has since demonstrated impressive service to the US government and the nuclear energy industry. Early in her career she worked at EI Dupont and Georgia Power and later served as the youngest and first female manager for DOE’s Rocky Flats Field Office. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be a member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB); nominated by President George W. Bush as assistant secretary of the DOE; nominated as Vice Chairman of the DNFSB by President Barack Obama, who also nominated her to serve as commissioner for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Roberson’s career has been defined by dedicated corporate leadership and government service to the nuclear engineering field in waste management, reactor operation, environmental restoration, and project management.