Dr. Peter Winokur PHY’68

Dr. Peter Winokur was appointed by President Bush in 2006 to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) and by President Obama in 2010 to serve as its third Chairman for a term expiring in 2015. The DNFSB provides independent analysis, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy to ensure adequate protection of public and worker safety at nuclear facilities operated for national security. Upon his retirement from federal service in 2015, Peter formed a consulting business that provides important perspectives on balancing mission and safety, worker protections, and industrial and process safety. He was also honored to be designated as Chairman Emeritus, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

Peter spent the first fourteen years of his career as a research physicist at the Harry Diamond Laboratories.

In 1983, he joined Sandia National Laboratories where he led efforts to develop radiation-hardened technology for use in military and space systems. From 2001-2004, he served as an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Congressional Fellow in the Office of Senator Harry Reid, where he crafted energy policy for renewable energy.

Peter and Karen Winokur with Senator Harry Reid AIPAC banquet in 2003

Dr. Winokur has won numerous awards including the 2000 IEEE Millennium Medal, IEEE Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Merit and Shea Award, R&D 100 Award, Industry Week’s Top 25 Technologies of Year, and Discover Award. He is the author of 150 peer-reviewed publications, including more than 30 invited papers, book chapters, and presentations.

A Fellow of the IEEE and the American Physical Society, he was selected as one of the most highly cited researchers in Engineering by the Institute for Scientific Information, which lists the 250 most highly cited researchers in the world in given scientific fields.

In 2018, Dr. Winokur was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Peter received his B.S. in Physics from The Cooper Union in 1968 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland in 1974.

He is the 2009 recipient of the CUAA Gano Dunn Award awarded At the 2009 Founder’s Day Dinner Dance held on April 17, 2009, at the Ritz-Carleton Bowery. At that same event, The Cooper Union Hall of Fame was first revealed and Dr. Winokur was one of the first 150 members to the Hall of Fame.

2009 Founder’s Day Awardees: From left: Abbott Miller A’85, Stan Allen AR’81, Dr. Peter Winokur PHY’68, John Huddy AR’85 and Rocco Cetera CE’99