Health Physics Society
Northern California Chapter

Burton J. Moyer Fellowship

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Memorial Fellowship

The prestigious Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship was established by the Northern California Chapter of the HPS to memorialize the late Burton J. Moyer and to encourage his ideals in the study of the safe use of radiation for the benefit of all people. Many Northern California Chapter members have contributed their time, talent and money to the success of the Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship Award since its inception over three decades ago. One of the most highly regarded awards for education in radiological protection, the Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship consists of a cash award of $10,000. The fellowship is accompanied by a travel grant to be used for attending the HPS annual meeting. The Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship supports a full-time entering or continuing student enrolled in bona fide U.S. graduate programs in health physics or a closely related field. This is the most prestigious and generous fellowship in health physics. NCCHPS contributes annually half of the money and the rest is matched by the HPS. The Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship has been continuously awarded since 1985 for 31 years.


Burton J. Moyer (1962)
BURTON J. MOYER WAS BORN in 1912 in Greenville, Illinois, where his father was professor of chemistry at Greenville College. He was greatly influenced by his parents, both deeply religious persons, who instilled in him a great sense of responsibility and service. Moyer received his undergraduate degree at Seattle Pacific College and completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1939.

He returned to Greenville College as professor of physics but was soon lured to Berkeley to work under Ernest Lawrence in the growing field of radiation physics. After joining the Radiation Laboratory in 1942, Moyer initially worked on the separation of uranium isotopes; his research eventually encompassed topics in both nuclear and high-energy physics. A series of papers soon established him as one of the world's leading highenergy physicists. Perhaps his best known paper, "High Energy Photons from Proton Nucleon Collisions" (1950), announced the discovery of the neutral pi meson - a milestone in the field of particle physics.

Moyer did not sequester himself away in the lab, however. He enjoyed teaching, particularly mechanics, and was appointed associate professor in the physics department in 1950 and professor in 1954. He directed the thesis research of 62 students, generating a steady stream of important papers. In both his writing and lectures, Moyer was notable for his clarity, precision, thoroughness, and expert analysis.

MOYER'S OUTSTANDING INTELLECT and sense of ethical responsibility made him uniquely well suited to respond when, in 1947, Lawrence requested that he establish a professional health physics group at the Radlab (now Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). The successes of early proton synchrotrons had led to a radiation crisis that needed prompt attention - technically difficult work that was of vital importance for the safety of his colleagues.

Moyer accepted the challenge, and established a standard that would be adopted by accelerator laboratories around the world, as independent health physics groups consulted with accelerator designers on matters of radiation safety. In 1962, he successfully installed shielding at the Bevatron designed to reduce radiation intensities by a factor of 100. This "Moyer Model" subsequently served in the design of many accelerator shields.

Moyer continued to direct the health physics activities at the Laboratory until 1970. Throughout his tenure, he made significant decisions that shaped the health physics profession. His research and publications led in large measure to present understanding of radiation protection problems; he was a key figure in establishing the dosimetry of accelerator radiation fields and in developing modern radiation transport codes.

IN SPITE OF HIS HEAVY COMMITMENT at the Laboratory, Moyer was active on several campus committees as well as on the Statewide University Radiological Safety Committee (1959­60). In 1962, he accepted the chairmanship of the physics depart- ment at Berkeley and became a trusted administrator who successfully weath- ered the campus tumult of the 1960s. "At the time of the worst student unrest, he was one of a handful of people who managed to gain the confidence of both the administration and of the rebellious students," recalled Emile Segré in 1993.

Moyer was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and had wanted to spend time in missionary work in China. Although various events prevented this, in 1965 he traveled to the India Institute of Technology at Kanpur, where he spent a year teaching, aiding the research program, and helping to create a viable technical school.

In 1968, Moyer retired from the physics department chairmanship and returned to research and teaching, as well as to work with the National Science Foundation and Atomic Energy Commission. In 1971, he accepted the position of dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Oregon, where his sound judgment and good humor helped guide the University through that institution's worst budgetary crisis. He died in Eugene, Oregon on April 21, 1973.

AS A SUPERVISOR, MENTOR, and friend, Professor Moyer was admired as a man of generous and serene goodwill and absolute integrity. The Burton J. Moyer Fellowship honors his legacy of service to our fellow men everywhere.

Material for this biography was gathered from In Memoriam, by E. Segré, E. D. Commins and A. C. Helmholz; the G. William Morgan Lecture Accelerator Radiological Protection--A Personal and Privileged Odyssey, by Ralph H. Thomas; and A Man and his Contribution to Radiological Protection--A Tribute, by Ralph H. Thomas.
Written and designed by Linda Schmidt.

How to Apply

The national Health Physics Society administers the awarding of the B. J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship. Each year the application form may be obtained from the HPS October Newsletter or from the HPS web page Applications are typically due in February and awardees are notified in April. For additional information, please contact any of the NCCHPS board members.

Previous Recipients

1985 Anthony Greenhouse, University of California, Berkeley
1986 Mark Joseph Rudin, Purdue University
1987 Chwei-jeng (James) Liu, Texas A&M
1988 John Copeland, University of Massachusetts Lowell
1989 Christine L. Hartmann, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1990 Marty A, Tries, University of Massachusetts Lowell
1991 Philip C. Fulmer, Texas A&M
1992 Brian Scott, University of Florida
1993 Mark Nell, University of Missouri, Columbia
1994 H. Justin Mohler, Colorado State University
1995 Jay M. Thompson, Texas A&M University
1996 Loren M. Thomsen, University of Florida
1997 Lionel G. Bouchet, University of Florida
1998 Jennifer Jacobs, University of Florida
1999 Kenneth G. Veinot, Georgia Institute of Technology
2000 Heather Gepford, Georgia Institute of Technology
2001 Chengyu Shi, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2002 Yayum Song, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2003 Baodong Wang, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2004 Jonathan Saleeby, University of Massachusetts Lowell
2005 Nino Chelidze, Idaho State University
2006 Scottie Walker, University of Florida
2007 Maia Avtandilashvili, Idaho State University
2008 Jerri L. Walters, Colorado State University
2009 Matthew Mille, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2010 Nicole Martinez, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
2011 James Uhlemeyer, Texas A&M University
2012 Alexandra Robinson, University of Massachusetts Lowell
2013 Mathew Riblett, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2014 Deepesh Poudel, Idaho State University
2015 Andrew Owens, Colorado State University

NCCHPS Burton J. Moyer Fellowship Committee

The Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship (BJMF) Committee consists of a Chairperson and at least 2 Members. Under the supervision of the NCCHPS Board of Directors, the Committee is responsible for all activities relating to the Burton J. Moyer Fellowship Fund, including fundraising, BJMF Funds investing, steering of the BJMF Fund investments, announcements, selection of nominees and any other activities authorized by the NCCHPS Board of Directors. The BJMF Fund is administered in accordance with the NCCHPS Bylaws. The Burton J. Moyer Fellowship Committee in collaboration with the Academic Education Committee of the HPS reviews all applications for the Burton J. Moyer Fellowship and recommends suitable candidate for the Burton J. Moyer Memorial Fellowship Award.

Radoslav Radev, Ph.D., CHP
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue, L-186
Livermore, CA 94550

William (Bill) Vermeere, MS

Chad Hopponen, MHP
Mirion Technologies, Inc.
3000 Executive Parkway
Suite 222
San Ramon, CA 94583