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Biden administration Office of Nuclear Energy nominee visits School of Engineering

February 7, 2022 - by Kim Delker

photo: Kathryn Huff

Kathryn Huff, who has been nominated by President Biden as the head of the Department of Energy’s nuclear energy program, visited the UNM School of Engineering on Jan. 25.

Huff is currently the senior advisor in the Office of Nuclear Energy. While in the Albuquerque area, she visited Sandia National Laboratories as well as several areas at UNM, including meeting with Department of Nuclear Engineering Chair Hank Lee and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Anil Prinja, Provost James Holloway and Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing Christos Christodoulou. In addition, she met with student groups, department faculty and visited various nuclear engineering labs.

Huff is now leading the DOE’s nuclear energy program in an acting capacity. If confirmed into the permanent job, she would continue to play a key role in the Biden administration's climate agenda, as well as on issues around nuclear waste storage, supporting the existing nuclear fleet, and research and development of next-generation nuclear power.

Prior to her current role, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. Before joining the Department of Energy, she was a faculty member Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she led the Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles Research Group. She was also a Blue Waters Assistant Professor with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

She received her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Chicago.