Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Chauncey Starr
Electric Power Research Institute


"For visionary leadership and physics contributing to the establishment of a worldwide nuclear power industry for peaceful purposes."


Dr. Chauncey Starr was the founding President, and later Vice Chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute. After serving for more than a decade, he was appointed President Emeritus, the position he currently holds. From 1967 to 1973 he 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.

Dr. 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, working with Nobelist P.W. Bridgman in the field of high pressures. From 1938 to 1941, Dr. Starr was a Research Associate in cryogenics at the Bitter Magnet Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During World War II, he served with the Bureau of Ships, U.S. Navy, and the Manhattan District at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory and Oak Ridge Tennessee. He has received honorary Doctorate Degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Tulane University.

For his work in the peaceful uses of atomic power, he received the Atomic Energy Commission Award, in 1974; the Walter H. Zinn Award, in 1979; and the Henry D. Smyth Award, in 1983 as a pioneer in the field. He received a Distinguished Contribution Award from the Society for Risk Analysis in 1984. The United States Energy Association selected him as the 1990 recipient of the United States Energy Award for exceptional contributions to energy and to international understanding. Dr. Starr received the 1992 Rene Dubos Environmental Award for his contributions to the understanding of the interactions of energy and the environment.

In November 1990, Dr. Starr was awarded The U.S. National Medal of Technology. He was chosen for his outstanding career in industry and education, including his founding and leadership of EPRI, and major contributions in nuclear power, risk assessment, and energy studies.

In addition to numerous professional memberships, 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.

Selection Committee:

Stephen Laderman (Chair), Mark B. Ketchen, Hendrik Brugt, Gerhard Casimir ('99 Recipient), Hans J. Coufal (Vice Chair), Federico Capasso