Tawfik Raby Memorial Scholarship

Tawfik M. Raby had a long and distinguished career in advocating the use of research reactors.  He was a founding member of the National Organization for Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR), served as Chair a total of five times, and served for many years on its executive committee.  His strong leadership and outspokenness forged the way for unifying the voices of the US research reactor community in advocacy and regulatory issues.

He immigrated to the United States from Iraq in 1947 after receiving a scholarship to study at the University of California at Berkeley; earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from Berkeley in 1953, a master’s in those fields from the University of Utah in 1954, and a doctorate in physics from Columbia University in 1959; was employed as a nuclear engineer by Allis-Chalmers and ALCO Products from 1960 to 1966, participating in and leading many reactor criticality activities, including activities for the U.S. Army nuclear power program and directed the startup of the Wright-Patterson reactor facility.  In 1967, he became a consultant to the National Bureau of Standards ([NBS] — now the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST]) as the NBS Reactor first reached criticality in 1968 and joined the bureau as Chief of Reactor Operations, directing the start-up of NBSR to full power operation in 1969.  He was named a NIST Senior Fellow in 2002 and retired from federal service in 2005.  Tawfik was also a faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a member of the Senior Executive Service from 1989 until his retirement.  He was the recipient of many honors, including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1992 and the ANS Standards Service Award in 1996.

Past Recipients

Garrett Wendel is the winner of the 2019 Tawfik Raby Memorial Scholarship. He is a highly motivated and dedicated student operator at the Penn State Breazeale Reactor. His contributions to the facility include Xenon reactivity modelling based on recent reactor power history as well as significant work in the design and implementation of a coupon positioning system for the neutron transmission beam port. Compliments of Garrett have included, “The reactor facility benefits from every minute that he is here. His enthusiasm, good attitude, dedication, and telent will take him far.”  These descriptions embody the spirit and memory of the contributions Tawfik Raby made to the research reactor community.

Congratulations to Mr. Wendel!

Sarah Stevenson is the inaugural winner and 2018 recipient of the Tawfik Raby Memorial Scholarship. She has spent over three years with the Kansas State University TRIGA MK II Nuclear Reactor Facility as well as doing internships at Idaho National Laboratory. She has served as President of her school’s ANS chapter and is involved in various other organizations. Others have said of Sarah, “She has a sense of duty to both her job and her country. She is also remarkably compassionate and keeps an eye out for her colleagues.” and “Sarah is an exceptionally talented student and devoted, hardworking employee… [with] an unbridled commitment to safety culture.”

Congratulations to Ms. Stevenson!

The Scholarship


A monetary award will be given to an undergraduate who demonstrates initiative and excellence in operations or research use of a university reactor.   Emphasis should be placed on how the student’s work best exemplifies the promotion of the use of a research reactor.  The award-winning student should also present a summary of his or her work at the annual meeting of the National Organization of the Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR).

Applications will be accepted for review starting March 1, 2020. The deadline for application is April 15!

Awards will be announced in early May.

Eligibility and Application

Any undergraduate at a university with an operating research reactor.

The following items are required for application:

  1.  Short essay (about 1 page) describing the student’s work and contribution to the research reactor.
  2. Letter of recommendation from the reactor supervisor or faculty member.
  3. Current transcript

Scholarship Application

  • Max. file size: 195 MB.
  • Max. file size: 195 MB.
  • Max. file size: 195 MB.