The 2006 Outstanding Civil Engineering Alumnus Award was presented at the annual awards banquet to Ronald D. Gurthrie. Ron Guthrie received his B.S. and M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from UT in 1964 and 1973, respectively. He had a long and productive career at TVA as a structural engineer and manager in the Knoxivlle office and at Brown’s Ferry, and completed his TVA career with a one-year assignment as Project Services Engineer for the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. He retired from TVA in 1988, and began a new career with Patel Engineers which became EGS Corporation which was purchased by SAIC in 1995.
At the end of his career as Assistant Vice President and Chief Engineer with SAIC, Ron became Deputy Task Manager for the Seversk Plutonium Elimination Project (SPPEP) at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh. At the end of December 2003, Ron retired (again) from SAIC and, since then, has been Senior Engineering and Construction Advisor and Assistant to the Federal Project Director for the SPPEP at DOE Germantown Headquarters.
Ron’s work with SPPEP is a joint endeavor between the USA and Russia to terminate the production of weapons grade plutonium. Inspired by the desire to avoid another catastrophe like the nuclear accident at Chernobyl twenty years ago, this project is directed toward the replacement of the Chernobyl-like reactors currently in use at Seversk and Zheleznogorsk with alternate, safer means of generating electric power. Ron sees his participation in this effort as an opportunity to “make a difference,” to make a meaningful contribution toward assuring a safer world for future generations.