Rita Baranwal Nominated As US Nuclear Energy Unit Head
US President Donald Trump recently signed a new legislation to speed up the development of advanced reactors. Trump has now nominated Rita Baranwal, an Indian-origin nuclear expert, to head the country’s nuclear energy unit.
The US Senate has to now take a final call on her nomination. If approved, Baranwal will be an assistant secretary of energy. She will be responsible for nuclear technology research and the development and management of the department’s nuclear technology infrastructure, the White House said in a statement.
Things to know about her
- Baranwal holds a B.Sc in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has also pursued an M.Sc and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
- Further, she went on to complete an executive management program at Duquesne University’s Beard Institute.
- Baranwal currently works at the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL) Nuclear Science & Technology directorate. Here, she serves as the Director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative.
- For GAIN, she is responsible for providing the nuclear industry and other stakeholders access to US Department of Energy’s research and expertise.
- Before INL, Baranwal served as director of Technology Development and Application at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Cranberry, Pennsylvania. She also worked as director of Core Engineering and manager of Materials and Fuel Rod Design here.
- She has previously worked as a manager at Bechtel Bettis, Inc.
- Baranwal is the vice chairperson on the ANS Materials Science and Technology Division Executive Committee. She is a member of the Board of North Hills Community Outreach.
- Apart from her great career, she holds a deep interest in diving. She is a rower and a certified scuba diver.
- If appointed as the head of the nuclear division, Baranwal will be significantly responsible for development of nuclear infrastructure.
Baranwal is the second Indian-American to make the right news this week. On Monday, October 1, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the appointment of Gita Gopinath as its new chief economist.