Dr. Chauncey Starr
Dr. Chauncey Starr Bueche Award
President Emeritus, Electric Power Research Institute
More Info
  • Bueche
Awards
Arthur M. Bueche Award
Go To Award
Biography

Dr. Chauncey Starr founded the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in 1973, after a lifetime of work in academia, industry, and government. From the outset, EPRI has fostered a non-traditional approach to technology development. Dr. Starr's vision was that of a "virtual" organization with minimal investment in laboratories and physical plant while making the best use of scarce human resources. This approach has enabled the integration of societal and technical structures, harnessing science and technology to improve quality of life.

From 1967 to 1973 Dr. Starr was Dean of the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, following a 20-year industrial career, during which he served as Vice President of Rockwell International and President of its Atomics International Division.

Chauncey Starr received an electrical engineering degree in 1932 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1935 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He then became a research fellow in physics at Harvard University.

During World War II, Dr. Starr worked for the Manhattan District, focusing on isotope separation technology. Following World War II, he pioneered in the development of nuclear reactor designs, including the first non-military reactor and the first reactor in space.

While at UCLA, he led a research effort on societal safety in technical systems. This work led to a paper titled "Social Benefits versus Social Risks," published in the Journal Science in 1969. This paper was the first to be based on holistic, quantitative methods, and is now generally considered to have founded the interdisciplinary field of Risk Analysis. His work has earned him numerous awards, including the Walter H. Zinn Award, the United States Energy Award, the Distinguished Contribution Award of the Society for Risk Analysis, and in 1990, the National Medal of Technology awarded by then President George H. Bush.

Dr. Starr is a member and past Vice President of the National Academy of Engineering, and a founder and past President of the American Nuclear Society. He is also a member and past Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and an Officer of the French Legion of Honor.

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Awards
  • Bueche
  • 2006
  • Leadership in the development of nuclear power, contributions to the creation of the field of risk analysis and leadership in electric power R&D as the founding president of EPRI.