Richard Lester, the Japan Steel Industry Professor and Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, has received the 2015 American Nuclear Society Special Award for “demonstrating the value of nuclear energy to a wide audience”. He is recognized for playing an outstanding role in the necessary research and analysis, and in the interpretation and leadership associated with furthering the overall understanding of nuclear science and technology.
Established in 1962, the ANS Special Award is given to an individual or individuals for especially meritorious contributions in research and/or developing understanding in important areas of current activity. A different topic is determined annually by the ANS Board of Directors.
As head of NSE and chair of MIT’s Industrial Performance Center, Lester has met with heads of state and other political leaders around the world to discuss the role of nuclear power and nuclear innovation in meeting global energy needs. He has written and lectured extensively on these topics and, at MIT, he has encouraged NSE students to develop and apply their communication skills to professional and public discussion of the role of nuclear energy in society.