- Number 329 |
- January 24, 2011
A passion for keeping things in service
When meeting Bob Sindelar in the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) at the Savannah River Site (SRS), his personality and mindset instantly begin to show. He apologizes for his office, pointing to the papers and journals squeezed between books in an overflowing case and a broken piece on a still-working, shining espresso machine, from which he hospitably offers a cup. “I don’t like to just throw things away,” he says. “I’m a believer in reuse and recycling.”
Dr. Sindelar is the recent recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award sponsored by the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA), a large educational organization that provides information on nuclear subjects. As an accomplished scientist with nearly 30 years of experience in a broad range of materials disciplines and a dedicated speaker and teacher, who has received many such awards, he could spout a long list of accomplishments, but he doesn’t. How has he achieved success in so many areas of study? His answer: “Whatever I find myself involved in, I try to do the best.”
“What was first interest and excitement evolved and grew to passion. I wanted to do a job that would solve problems and keeps things in service,” he said.
His early work at SRS prepared him for a career in which he could do just that, on a large scale. As the materials technical lead for the structural integrity demonstrations for the SRS nuclear materials production reactors, he led experimentation and analysis tasks in programs to predict and extend their service life.
He is recognized as an expert in the Life Management of other nuclear systems, structures and components also, including those for used fuel storage, nuclear materials separations facilities and high level waste storage. Sindelar has been the technical driver for many programs and activities that, for example, have enabled SRS to receive and provide extended storage for used nuclear fuel (UNF) from foreign and domestic research reactor sites; to store and transport breached fuel; to recover fuel from underwater, oversize isolation cans and to guide safe dry storage of aluminum-based UNF.
Away from the lab, however, Sindelar also recognizes the importance of writing and speaking to promote effective and beneficial communication on these subjects. He has made key contributions to technical literature that have been cited and applied across the world. “I try to write technical publications with longevity,” he said.
He also uses his technical knowledge and communication skills to achieve longstanding impact in his work as an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Carolina, a lecturer, an author and editor, a mentor for numerous junior and senior personnel and a well-renowned consultant.But as accomplished as he is, what you’ll remember most after meeting him is his honestly caring personality, a quality that has led him to strive for excellence and results in all he has done.
Submitted by DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory