Dr. Paul Cloessner Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

November 9, 2020

AIKEN, S.C., November 9, 2020 – Savannah River National Laboratory’s (SRNL) Dr. Paul Cloessner has been named the 2020 recipient of the Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award.

Presented annually by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA), the award named after the scientist who was president of the University of Georgia for 19 years and served as Chairman of CNTA’s Board of Directors from 1994 until his death in 2004, recognizes scientists or engineers of the southeast who have made exceptional scientific contributions during their careers.

Dr. Cloessner, Laboratory Fellow, has worked at the Savannah River Site (SRS) for 36 years and 32 of those years he spent at SRNL.

Over his career, he has contributed to a number of projects including the startup of the High-Level Waste (HLW) treatment and Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) processes where he directed the development of process control analysis and glass waste form certification analysis. He then led the establishment of the reservoir surveillance program, fielding new reservoir technology, and supported the startup of the Tritium Extraction Facility. Along the way, he has contributed to the SRNL intelligence and nonproliferation programs as his expertise allows.

Close colleagues of Dr. Cloessner note that his dedication to the nation’s missions is unapparelled, making him deserving of the award.

“I have worked closely with Paul for the last 15 years,” said Greg Cefus, Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for National Security. “Paul’s devotion to the United States national security mission has helped guide national-level programs ranging from our nation’s nuclear deterrent to intelligence to nonproliferation.”

Currently, Dr. Cloessner is working to establish new capabilities at SRNL to produce plutonium pits for the nuclear stockpile stewardship program. In addition, he serves as a mentor, working alongside new employees and coaching them to think creatively to make their own significant scientific contribution.

For Dr. Cloessner, receiving this award reflects the lasting relationships he has built over his career.

“Being recognized for what I have done by the people who know me and have worked with me is quite an honor,” said Dr. Cloessner.

Dr. Cloessner received his Doctorate in nuclear chemistry from Florida State University and Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Louisiana State University.

The United Stated Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is a multiprogram research and development center that puts science to work to protect the nation by providing practical, cost-effective solutions to the nation’s environmental, nuclear security, nuclear materials management, and energy manufacturing challenges. SRNL is managed for DOE by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell.

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) has named Savannah River National Laboratory’s Fellow, Dr. Paul Cloessner, the 2020 Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award recipient..


Media contact: SRNL Media Relations