Dr. Richard Slember ME’55

Dr. Richard Slember grew up in Glen Head, NY. He graduated from The Cooper Union with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1955. He continued his education at the University of Pittsburg where he earned both his Masters and PhD degrees, also in Mechanical Engineering. He became an expert on nuclear power technology. Dr. Slember retired as President and interim CEO of Asea Brown Boveri’s (ABB) Americas Region in 1996.

Dr. Slember retired from ABB on 3/31/1996 and enjoyed 3 days of retirement before receiving a phone call from Percy Barnevik, ABB’s chairman in Zurich, asking Dr. Slember to come out of retirement and help the company. On April 3, 1996, ABB Inc. chairman, president and chief executive Robert E. Donovan was on an air plane that crashed near Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dr. Slember served as interim CEO of Asea Brown Boveri’s (ABB) Americas Region until September 1996.

In 1990 he became President of ABB Power Plants, maker of power plants throughout Eastern Europe, China, and the Far East.  He retired in 1996. 

Prior to this position he was vice president and general manager of Westinghouse’s Energy Systems, which he joined in 1955 as part of their graduate student program.  Under his leadership, Westinghouse developed the Nuclear Fuel Business Unit, which earned the company the first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, presented by President Reagan. 

Dr. Richard Slember also developed the first probabilistic risk assessment for nuclear plants.  He has authored numerous articles for technical and business journals and contributed to the ASME code for nuclear vessels. 


  • Under Dr. Slember’s leadership, Westinghouse was presented the first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award by President Reagan in 1988.
  • In 1989, Dr. Selmber received the Westinghouse Order of Merit for long-standing commitment to quality performance
  • In 1997, Dr. Slember received The Secretary’s Open Form Certificate of Appreciation (United States Department of State)
  • Dr. Richard Slember received the Pitt School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.
  • Dr. Richard Slember received the 1992 CU President’s Citation and the 2000 CUAA Gano Dunn Award.

Dr. Richard Joseph Slember passed away on July 27, 2021

Additional Links

  • Richard Joseph Slember, Bucktrout Funeral Home of Williamsport, PA Link
  • When Life After Death is the Company’s Lot, New York Times, March 29, 1989. Link