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El-Genk receives American Nuclear Society Reactor Technology Award

November 3, 2021 - by Kim Delker

photo: Mohamed El-Genk
Mohamed El-Genk

Mohamed El-Genk, a Distinguished and Regents’ Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at The University of New Mexico, has received the 2021 American Nuclear Society Reactor Technology Award.

This national award recognizes individuals who have made original and outstanding contributions to the advancement in the areas of design and safety in reactor technology. El Genk was recognized for “extraordinary contributions towards advancing space and microreactor technologies.”

The award will be presented during the ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo, which will be held in Washington, D.C., on December 1.

“This is for my students and members of the research staff at the UNM Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies over the years,” El-Genk said. “It would not have been possible without their dedication, innovation and hard work. It has been a challenging and enjoyable journey, indeed.”

El-Genk received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Alexandria in Egypt and spent many years in industry before pursuing a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at UNM, where he received his degree in 1978. He founded the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, and national and internationally-recognized research center within the School of Engineering and served. He has served as its director since 1984.

His primary research interests include space nuclear power; nuclear thermal propulsion; reactor thermal hydraulics and safety; nuclear fuel and high-temperature materials; design and analysis of advanced, small modular reactors and microreactors; molecular dynamics simulation of irradiation effects on materials; simulation and modeling; boiling and two-phase flow experiments and heat transfer; and cybersecurity of nuclear power plants.

El-Genk has received numerous national and international awards and honors throughout his career. He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Former students of El-Genk offered praise of his support and leadership throughout the years:

“Your influence on students and colleagues goes far beyond the technical skills that you've nurtured over many decades. We all take pride in this recognition for you that is so well-deserved.” — Bill Barattino, Ph.D. 1985

“I remember the charter year as one of your grad students. You pulled together a very diverse team through inclusion, collaboration and leadership. You are an example to us all to think with our heads, have a passion in our hearts and trust your gut. Thank you for being a mentor and my thesis advisor.” — Ted Williams, M.S. 1985

“You have always been at the forefront on these areas, and I am so glad you are finally getting this worthy recognition. It has truly been an honor for me to be associated with you on some of these past activities. You are the best!” — Dennis Pelaccio, Ph.D. 1998

” It is an honor to have the chance to study under your supervision. You are truly an inspiration.” —Huseyin Bastanci, M.S. 2001

“I'm very proud of you and for being part of the INSPS family. I consider your one of the main tutors I have ever had, and I try to continue your legacy with my own students, staff and coworkers. Those who know you know that this award is totally deserved.” — Bruno Gallo, M.S. 2008