Sara Pozzi, a professor in the U-M Department of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences (NERS) and director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Michigan Engineering, has received the E. Gail de Planque Medal from the American Nuclear Society (ANS).
The E. Gail de Planque Medal recognizes exemplary accomplishments by a woman in the fields of nuclear science and engineering. The award is intended to recognize outstanding lifetime or singular achievements by women that have resulted in tangible benefits to the field. Pozzi was recognized for her sustained, significant scientific contributions to nuclear nonproliferation and security through a combination of detection system advancement and multi-institutional leadership.
According to ANS, this award was established in honor of the late E. Gail de Planque, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission commissioner and first female president of ANS, who achieved many firsts for women in nuclear science. Dr. de Planque was actively involved in a variety of organizations for the peaceful advancement of nuclear energy.
“It’s a great honor to receive the ANS award named after Dr. de Planque. She was a leader in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and an inspiration for us in the field of nuclear nonproliferation,” said Pozzi.
Pozzi is the founding director of several consortia for nuclear nonproliferation, including the Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, & Verification (MTV), each of which is comprised of 14 universities, dozens of faculty members, and hundreds of students engaged in research projects.
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security gave a team led by Pozzi $1.9 million to research what to look for when neutrons slip through the shielding around nuclear contraband and induce nuclear reactions.
Pozzi is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the College of Engineering where she recently led the process of creating plans for how to educate all members of the College community on DEI starting with a focus on race, ethnicity, and bias.
Among Pozzi’s many contributions to safeguards, she developed new techniques for neutron measurements that are being adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for nuclear safeguards applications. She is a co-developer of the MCNPX POLIMI, a Monte-Carlo code for correlation measurements, now being used in over 50 institutions worldwide.
Pozzi holds dozens of awards, including the Edway R. Johnson Meritorious Service Award and Vincent J. DeVito Distinguished Service Award, both from the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM). She is a Fellow of the INMM, ANS, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Over her career thus far she has authored or coauthored over 415 peer-reviewed journal publications and conference proceedings, delivered over 100 invited presentations in the U.S. and several other countries, and was the principal investigator in over 2 dozen funded research projects.