President Bush nominates UT engineer to Nuclear Regulatory Commission

AUSTIN, Texas—President Bush has nominated Mechanical Engineering Professor Dale Klein as a commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a federal agency that regulates nuclear reactors, materials and wastes. Klein is on leave from The University of Texas at Austin and serves as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.

If the U.S. Senate approves Klein’s appointment, President Bush intends to designate him as the chairman of the commission. Klein would be the commission’s principal executive officer and spokesman, and would be responsible for the administrative, organizational, long-range planning, budgetary and certain personnel functions of the agency. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission formulates policies, develops regulations governing safety of nuclear reactors and nuclear materials, issues orders to licensees and adjudicates legal matters.

Klein is assistant to the secretary of defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs. He assists with formulating policy and plans for those programs. He is also responsible for matters associated with nuclear weapons safety and security, chemical weapons demilitarization, and smoke and obscurants.

He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and researched radioactive waste disposal, thermal analysis of nuclear shipping containers, nuclear weapon dismantlement and nuclear power. He then served as vice-chancellor for Special Engineering Programs at The University of Texas System from 1995 to 2001. He was also chairman and executive director of the Amarillo National Research Center, where he oversaw more than $45 million in funding for plutonium research and nuclear weapon dismantlement issues.

For more information contact: Becky Rische, College of Engineering, 512-471-7272.