Hertel Named President-Elect of Health Physics Society

Dr. Nolan Hertel, Professor of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering in the George W. Woodruff School at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was recently named president-elect of the national Health Physics Society (HPS), an internationally recognized nonprofit scientific organization whose mission is to promote excellence in the science and practice of radiation safety. The Society’s nearly 4,000 members represent all scientific and technical areas related to radiation safety including academia, government, medicine, research and development, analytical services, consulting, and industry.

Dr. Hertel’s term will last three years: one year as president-elect, one year as president and one year as past-president. In his capacity as president-elect (starting July 2017), Hertel will visit the approximately 40 local chapters of HPS across the country to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Society, as well as the profession of health physics, and make national committee appointments for the following year. As president-elect, Hertel will also assist the Society president in administering the affairs of the HPS, and will automatically take office as president in July 2018.

The HPS president serves as chair of the organization’s board of directors and the executive committee and presides over all HPS meetings, keeping the Society informed of developments in the field of radiation and providing guidance in the formulation of constructive activities. The president also represents the HPS to other professional societies, government officials, educational institutions, industry and stakeholder groups, and the public.

“I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the challenges faced by the Health Physics Society and delivering effective solutions to existing needs,” says Hertel, “In order to grow the Society’s membership and expand its impact, we need to understand the current environment and the interests of Millennials. The solutions of the twentieth century no longer meet the needs of the present – and that requires action and thinking with a new set of boundary conditions.”

Dr. Nolan Hertel has been a member of HPS for over 35 years and has served the society through his participation on the board of directors. After receiving his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979, Hertel was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1993, he moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Associate Professor in the Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics Program. While at Georgia Tech he has held numerous positions in the institution including Chair of the Health Physics and Radiological Engineering Research Group, Radiological Safety Officer, Director of the Neely Research Center, and Research Fellow of the Sam Nunn Security Program of the Georgia Tech School of International Affairs. He is currently serving as the interim Associate Chair of the Woodruff School as the Chair of the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering/Medical Physics Programs.  Dr. Hertel also holds a joint faculty appointment in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and currently is the Acting Director of their Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge.

Past HPS Presidents include former Georgia Institute of Technology Nuclear & Radiological Engineering faculty Karl Z. Morgan (1955-1957), Melvin W. Carter (1979-1980), and John W. Poston (1986-1987) and alumni Dade W. Moeller (1971-1972), John A. Auxier (1977-1978), and Kenneth R. Kase (2003-2004). Armin Ansari, Health Physicist in the Radiation Studies at the CDC and adjunct faculty member in NRE was the HPS president from 2012-2013.

Formed in 1956, HPS is the largest radiation protection society in the world with members in 48 countries and has established 42 chapters in the United States, 2 chapters in non-U.S. countries, 15 student branches, and 9 technical sections. Today its members represent all scientific and technical areas related to radiation safety, including academia, government, medicine, research and development, analytical services, consulting, and industry in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Society is chartered in the United States as an independent nonprofit scientific organization and, as such, is not affiliated with any government or industrial organization or private entity.