Hochreiter Distinguished Lecture focuses on Fukushima

Dec. 2, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Joseph E. Shepherd, the C. L. "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, delivered the 2016 Lawrence E. Hochreiter Distinguished Lecture Series in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State December 1.

His lecture, titled “Fukushima Daiichi, Spent Fuel Pools and the Expedited Transfer Decision,” focused on the frantic days following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi (1F) Nuclear Power Plant and the efforts made to keep the spent fuel pools filled with water. 

The Lawrence E. Hochreiter Distinguished Lecture Series was created by the late Dr. Hochreiter’s family to commemorate his extraordinary career. Hochreiter was a professor of nuclear engineering at Penn State from 1997 to 2008, following 25 years at Westinghouse Energy Systems Business Unit’s Nuclear and Advanced Technology Division. His daughter, Sarah, was in attendance at the event to present Shepherd with an award and certificate of appreciation.

Shepherd has been on the faculty at Caltech since 1993 and served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1986 to 1993. Prior to that, he was a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories from 1980 to 1986. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech in 1981, and his B.S. in Physics from the University of South Florida in 1976. Professor Shepherd’s research interests are fluid and solid dynamics, combustion chemistry, and thermodynamics with applications to explosions, propulsion, high-speed flight, energy technology, and medical devices.


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Chris Hennessey




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

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519