Per Peterson appointed executive associate dean
Per Peterson, the William and Jean McCallum Floyd Professor in the nuclear engineering department, has joined the college’s leadership team as executive associate dean.
Peterson succeeds Fiona Doyle, who became dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division on January 1. In his new role, Per serves as Dean Shankar Sastry’s right hand in all matters of the college’s administration. In particular, he will be involved in academic personnel matters (working with Associate Dean Masayoshi Tomizuka), the college’s ABET accreditation and donor relations.
In a related move, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón has assumed oversight of Engineering Student Services as associate dean for student affairs.
Peterson earned his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 1988 and joined the nuclear engineering faculty in 1990. He became a full professor in 1998. His research and teaching focus on fission and fusion energy systems, the safety and security of nuclear materials, and next-generation nuclear reactors.
“With his administrative experience, deep understanding of Berkeley’s public mission and dedication to our students and faculty, Per is a superlative addition to the college’s leadership team,” said Dean Sastry.
Peterson is regularly called upon to offer his expertise on national energy policy matters. He was named by the White House to the U.S. Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which released its report in 2012.
Peterson had this to say about his experience on the Blue Ribbon Commission: “Listening is a critical ingredient to making wise decisions, and as engineers who are charged with creating solutions, we also really need to listen. This will be my template for what I try to do going forward.”
He also served as a scientific adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu after the Fukushima accident and has served on various advisory panels for the nation’s energy laboratories. In addition, he is now in his fourth term on the State of California’s Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.
Closer to home, he chaired Berkeley Engineering’s nuclear engineering department twice: from 2000–05 and from 2009–12. He has also chaired the interdisciplinary Energy and Resources Group as well as the campus’s Radiation Safety Committee.