Tracy S. Rudisill has been named the 2017 recipient of the Donald Orth Lifetime Achievement Award by the Savannah River National Laboratory.
The award, named in honor of former Savannah River National Lab researcher Dr. Donald Orth, is the highest honor given by the laboratory for technical excellence and leadership.
This annual award recognizes an individual who best personifies Orth’s leadership, character and contributions.
Rudisill is a principal investigator in the lab’s Separations and Actinide Science Group, leading a team developing chemical engineering flowsheets for the dissolution of used nuclear fuels and other nuclear materials.
Earlier this year, Rudisill received the 2017 Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award, given annually to recognize a U.S. scientist or engineer who has made outstanding and lasting contributions to the development and application of actinide separations processes and methodology.
“Tracy is a world-renowned expert in actinide materials, who time and again has demonstrated his ability to provide practical solutions to our nation’s most difficult and pressing problems,” Dr. Terry A. Michalske, the director of Savannah River National Laboratory, said in a news release. “He is personally involved in many national and international programs but always makes it a priority to mentor and help develop the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
During his more than 30 years with SRNL, Rudisill’s accomplishments include developing chemical engineering flowsheets for plutonium metal finishing, scrap recovery, dissolution of plutonium materials and the recovery of enriched uranium from research reactor fuels.
Rudisill also worked with the team of scientists and engineers that made the first successful demonstration of the uranium extraction process as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cycle Technologies Material Recovery and Waste Form Development campaign.
The process is a nuclear reprocessing technique that can be used to save space inside high-level nuclear waste disposal sites by removing uranium from waste, which makes up the vast majority of the mass and volume of used nuclear fuel.