2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award: Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar, professor of nuclear engineering and associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Idaho State University, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award by the Penn State College of Engineering. 

Dunzik-Gougar earned her bachelor of science in chemistry from Cedar Crest College. She then earned her master of science in environmental engineering and doctorate in nuclear engineering from Penn State University in 1997 and 2004, respectively. Her nuclear career spans 25 years, during which time she has conducted research in various aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including waste form development, spent fuel pyroprocessing, spent particle fuel qualification for disposal, fuel and material development and characterization (pre- and post-irradiation), development of a waste minimization plan for a next generation nuclear reactor design and fuel cycle modeling.  

Dunzik-Gougar’s research has led to national and international collaborations, including a year-long position with PBMR Ltd in South Africa and a consulting contract with EDF energy of France. She has served as a consultant and subject matter expert for subsequent projects coordinated by the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. She has led multi-institutional teams of researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory and through ISU.  

To share her expertise with a new generation of researchers, Dunzik-Gougar developed and teaches several senior and graduate level courses on the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Before going to graduate school, she taught high school science and mathematics for seven years in the U.S. and the U.K. In addition to her scholarly and technical activities, she has been a contributing member of the American Nuclear Society at local and national levels for 25 years. In 2019, she was elected to serve as vice-president/president elect for ANS, and she completed her term as president in June 2021. 


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