Roy Axford named ANS Fellow
The 11,000-member organization reserves Fellow designation as its highest membership recognition. Axford was cited “for dedicating over 50 years to the pursuit of teaching excellence, for molding two generations of leaders in nuclear engineering education and research, and for instilling in his students the technical knowledge, ethical fortitude and social responsibility necessary for developing and maintaining this country’s national nuclear security operations.”
Axford was the first person to earn a doctorate in nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD 1958). His academic journey, from helping to design MIT's nuclear reactor, to his faculty positions at Texas A&M, Northwestern University and, since 1966, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, mirrors that of the evolution of nuclear engineering education in this country.
Axford retired from NPRE in 2017 after 51 years of outstanding service, and after having taught almost every nuclear engineering student who went through the program over that period. He has been recognized with numerous departmental, College of Engineering and Urbana campus awards for his teaching excellence. He advised 23 master’s degree and 53 PhD students during his career.
While at Illinois, Axford served as a consultant at Los Alamos National Laboratory for over 40 years. That work, and his mentorship of generations of students who joined the lab upon earning their degrees have been instrumental in assuring the viability of the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile.
Axford's dedication to teaching and wonderful relationship with his students have led to the creations of both a Fellowship fund and a Scholarship fund in his name. To support these funds, please go to: https://npre.illinois.edu/make-donation-online.
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