Dr. Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar is professor of Nuclear Engineering and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Idaho State University. She has a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering and a master of science in environmental engineering from Penn State University and a bachelor of science in chemistry from Cedar Crest College. Her nuclear career spans about 25 years, during which she has performed research in various aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including waste form development, spent fuel pyroprocessing, spent TRISO particle fuel qualification for disposal, fuel and material development and characterization (pre- and post-irradiation), development of a waste minimization plan for a next generation nuclear reactor design, and fuel cycle modeling.
Dunzik-Gougar’s research has led to national and international collaborations, including a year-long position with PBMR Ltd in South Africa and a consulting contract with EDF energy of France. She has served as consultant/ subject matter expert for subsequent projects coordinated by the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. She has led multi-institutional teams of researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory and through Idaho State University.
To share her expertise with a new generation of researchers, Dunzik-Gougar developed and teaches a number of undergraduate and graduate level courses, from basic nuclear physics to more advanced topics in the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Before going to graduate school she taught high school science and mathematics for seven years in the U.S. and the U.K. In addition to her scholarly and technical activities, she has been a contributing member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) at local and national levels for about 30 years. In 2019, she was elected to serve as vice-president/president elect for ANS and she completed her term as president in June 2021. In 2022, she began service on the advisory committee for the Nuclear Fuels and Materials Complex at the Idaho National Lab. Also in 2022, she was honored to be named an Outstanding Engineering Alumna by the Penn State College of Engineering.