University of South Carolina

USC leads in energy research, names new SmartState chair

Contact: Wes Hickman

whickman@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-5400

The University of South Carolina added to its growing portfolio of energy research Tuesday (Feb. 21), naming Dan Gabriel Cacuci chair of the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Nuclear Energy Science and Engineering.

“We can now boast one of the nation’s most comprehensive energy research programs covering not only nuclear energy, but also clean coal technology, hydrogen economy, fuel cells, photovoltaics, smart grid and micro grid, batteries, and biomass,” said Tony Ambler, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.

“We intend to make this college a national resource for energy matters when we couple this with the expertise in other colleges at USC that can address energy policy, public health and environmental impact, legal issues, and communications.”

USC President Harris Pastides said the timing is right for the center, which will conduct research to develop strategies for improving and enhancing the use of nuclear energy.

“We need to look to the future and find sustainable, safe methods to fuel our country,” Pastides said.

Partnerships Bring Center to Life

The SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Nuclear Energy Science and Engineering is funded by $1.2 million in private giving from six donors: Duke Energy, Progress Energy, SCANA, the Shaw Group, Studsvik, and Westinghouse. The amount will be matched with $3 million in state funds.

The funding partners were represented at the presentation by Steve Nesbit, director of nuclear policy and support, Duke Energy; Greg Disher, manager of engineering management, Progress Energy, and a graduate of USC’s College of Engineering and Computing; Jeff Archie, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of SCE&G and senior vice president of SCANA, also a graduate of USC’s College of Engineering and Computing; Bill Fox, vice president and project manager from The Shaw Group and a graduate of USC’s College of Engineering and Computing; Lewis Johnson, president of Studsvik Inc. and a graduate of USC’s Darla Moore School of Business; and, Cary Alstadt, plant manager from Westinghouse’s Columbia facility.

Dr. Dan Gabriel Cacuci

In a letter read by Ambler, Cacuci thanked USC, the State of South Carolina, and the partners for making the center possible.

“It is my distinct honour and pleasure to acknowledge and express my thanks to the founders and sponsors of this endowed chair,” Cacuci wrote. “The creation of this first Endowed Chair for Nuclear Science and Energy required not only a visionary boldness in the face of uncertainty, but also an unusually staunch commitment to recognize openly that nuclear energy has been, and will continue to be, an irreplaceable contributor to the energy mix of the U.S. and the world.”

Cacuci earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Columbia University in 1978. He has previously held academic appointments at North Carolina State University, University of Tennessee, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, the French National Institute for Nuclear Sciences and Technologies in Paris, the University of Karlsruhe, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

Since 1984, Cacuci has served as editor of Nuclear Science and Engineering –The Research Journal of the American Nuclear Society.

He also has served as senior section head at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, institute director at the Nuclear Research Center Karlsruhe in Germany, and scientific director of the Nuclear Energy Directorate/Sector, Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique in France.

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Posted: 02/21/12 @ 6:45 PM | Updated: 02/21/12 @ 6:53 PM | Permalink