Outstanding Early Career Award

Purpose of the Award

  1. To identify, recognize, and publicize high achieving Nuclear Engineering alumni who are no more than 10 years since the completion of their formal education.
  2. To demonstrate, particularly to students, that Penn State Nuclear Engineering alumni can succeed in exceptional fashion at an early stage of their professional careers.
  3. To stimulate an increased level of activity and identity between prominent recently graduated alumni and the MNE Department and College of Engineering, particularly students, faculty, and administration, including the Radiation and Engineering Science Center.
  4. To add a dimension to the academic curriculum not otherwise available in the traditional college classroom by fostering close connection among prominent recent graduates, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, alumni, Department administrators and staff, the Radiation Science and Engineering Center, and the College of Engineering.
  5. To provide an additional means of recognizing underrepresented alumni constituencies. 


This award recognizes a nuclear engineering graduate (at any level, i.e. B.S., M.S., Ph.D.) from Penn State who has demonstrated exemplary contributions in the engineering profession since graduation. These contributions can include (but are not limited to): technical or research advancements, leadership contributions, academic achievements, community involvement, humanitarian contributions. The award will recognize a graduate who is less than 10 years beyond the receipt of his or her terminal degree (from any institution, as long as [at least] one of their degrees was in Nuclear Engineering from Penn State).

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations for the PSNES Outstanding Early Career Award (OECA), which can be made without the nominee's awareness or consent, are to be submitted to the PSNES OECEA Selection Committee at PSNESEarlyCareer@mne.psu.edu. Nominations are solicited from PSNES, Department faculty, staff, students, student-led organizations, MNE alumni, and industrial partners who are active in department or Radiation Science and Engineering Center projects.
  2. The initial call for nominations will occur in December and will close on January 25.
  3. The PSNES Selection Committee will convene (in person or via teleconference) in February to review nominations and to recommend a candidate by February 15th.
  4. The Chair of the Nuclear Engineering Program will (subsequently or concurrently) review and approve the Committee's recommendation, and the awardee will be notified in January.
  5. The award recipient will be notified of his or her selection by the office of the Chair of the Nuclear Engineering Program. The recipient will be invited to return to the University Park campus for special recognition activities. Expenses for travel and lodging for the award recipient and guest(s) will be borne by the recipient.
  6. The award recipient will be recognized during the annual Senior Recognition Banquet. Award recipients will be expected to attend the banquet in person.
  7. The award will be made public via posting on the MNE Department website's PSNES landing page subsequent to the Senior Recognition Banquet.

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The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519