Skip Navigation

Roberts named recipient of Health Physics Society’s 2011 Elda E. Anderson Award

July 12, 2011

Sarah Roberts receiving Elda E. Anderson Award from Howard Dickson of the Health Physics Society

Howard Dickson (right), chair of the Health Physics Society Awards Committee, presented the Elda E. Anderson Award to ORAU Vice President and Director of Independent Environmental Assessment and Verification Sarah Roberts during the 56th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society in Palm Beach, Fla. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun. Click image to enlarge.

PALM BEACH, Fla.—Sarah Roberts, vice president and director for Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ Independent Environmental Assessment and Verification program, is the 2011 recipient of the Elda E. Anderson Award—an honor bestowed by the Health Physics Society each year to one its members for excellence in research or development; discovery or invention; or for significant contributions to the health physics profession.

As chair of the Health Physics Society Awards Committee, Howard Dickson presented the Elda E. Anderson Award to Sarah Roberts during the 56th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society in Palm Beach, Fla., June 26-30.

“Sarah’s extensive knowledge of the health physics industry is impressive,” said Dickson. “Coupled with her numerous professional contributions and achievements, we are confident that Sarah is a role model in this industry and a worthy recipient of this award.”

Roberts was recognized by the society for her technical expertise in decommissioning work. Under her leadership, ORAU reached a major milestone in 2010 by completing radiological and chemical characterization at 34 structures located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory—a project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Roberts is also leading efforts to assist the U.S. Department of Energy in reducing the Oak Ridge Reservation footprint by 20,000 acres. In addition to site characterization and independent verification activities, Roberts also manages ORAU’s professional training programs, which have provided specialized health physics training for more than 60 years.

Roberts was selected to lead ORAU’s IEAV program in April 2010. Before becoming director, Roberts served as associate director for IEAV. She also held the position of survey projects manager, where she led a team of health physicists in performing independent verification survey activities at DOE and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission sites.

Before coming to work with ORAU, Roberts worked as a radiological safety manager at the Rocky Flats Building 771 deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) project. She has also worked as a radiological engineer and health physicist at various commercial nuclear reactor D&D projects across the country.

As an active member of the national Health Physics Society since 1994, Roberts has served many leadership roles in the professional organization. From 2008-2010, she was the secretary and treasurer of the Decommissioning Section. In 2010, Roberts was elected to the Health Physics Society Board of Directors and currently serves as president-elect to the Decommissioning Section. She has been a member of the Health Physics Society’s East Tennessee Chapter since 2005 and previously served on the program committee for the 2006 Health Physics Society Mid-year Meeting in Knoxville, Tenn.

Roberts holds an M.S. in health physics from Colorado State University, a degree she completed in 1996 after receiving a DOE Applied Health Physics fellowship to attend graduate school. In 1993, Roberts received her B.S. in biology and medical technology from Ohio University. She is certified by the American Board of Health Physics. As part of her Elda E. Anderson Award, Roberts received $2,000, all of which will be donated to Colorado State University’s radiation health scholarship fund.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Elda Emma Anderson

1899—Born in Green Lake, Wis.

1924—Earned her master’s from University of Wisconsin.

1934—Became chairman of the physics department at Milwaukee-Downer College.

1941—Received her doctoral degree; became a staff member of the Office of Scientific Research and Development at Princeton University in New Jersey.

1943—Became a member of the Manhattan Project & moved to Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

1945—Was present at the Trinity Event, or the explosion of the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert.

1947—Left New Mexico determined to protect people and the environment from radiation.

1949—Moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn., to become the first chief of education and training in the Health Physics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

1955—Became a founding member of the Health Physics Society.

1959—Elected president of the Health Physics Society.

1960—Helped formally establish the American Board of Health Physics.

1961—Died in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Source: Health Physics Society


Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953