Steve Biegalski has been named interim chair of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, effective September 16. Biegalski is currently the chair of the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics (NRE/MP) program at Georgia Tech, a position he has held since 2017. NRE/MP is housed within the Woodruff School.
Biegalski takes over for Samuel Graham, who is leaving Georgia Tech later this semester to become the new dean of the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.
“Steve has done a great job leading NRE/MP for the last four years, while also expanding his influence as one of the nation’s top nuclear engineering researchers,” said Raheem Beyah, dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “I’m grateful for his commitment to guide the Woodruff School as we search for the ideal candidate to fill Sam’s position as chair.”
Biegalski’s research focuses on nuclear applications within engineering and the development of advanced nuclear reactor technology. He holds leadership positions within both the Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation (ETI) and the Consortium for Monitoring Technologies and Verification (MTV). These consortia are supported by the National Nuclear Security Administration and focus on nuclear non-proliferation research. He is also the Georgia Tech lead within the NEXT Research Alliance for the design and licensing of a molten salt research reactor.
“I look forward to working with the excellent faculty, staff, and students within the Woodruff School in my new role,” said Biegalski. “There are many challenges we will have to tackle together in the upcoming months as we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic. I’m confident in the ME community’s collaborative spirit as we pursue our goals as two of the nation’s top ranked mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering programs.
Prior to coming to Georgia Tech four years ago, Biegalski was a faculty member at the University of Texas for 15 years, holding the position of reactor director for the university’s TRIGA reactor. Early in his career, he was the director of Radionuclide Operations at the Center for Monitoring Research. His responsibilities included leading international efforts to develop and implement radionuclide effluent monitoring technologies. This work supported both U.S. national capabilities and international treaties.
Biegalski has been very active in the Nuclear Engineering Department Head Organization (NEDHO). He was elected to serve as chair of NEDHO from 2019 to 2020 and is now on the NEDHO Executive Committee. Biegalski is also active within the American Nuclear Society (ANS), where he is currently chair of the Isotopes and Radiation Division (IRD) and a member of the External Affairs Committee.
The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
With approximately 3,000 students,100 faculty members, and 70 staff members, the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech is one of the largest mechanical engineering programs in the country. The school is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 mechanical engineering programs in the U.S. at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The school offers degrees in both Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at the undergraduate level and engages in strong interdisciplinary research activities at the graduate level, leading to the awarding of over 600 B.S., 200 M.S., and 65 Ph.D. degrees annually.