Bill completed 26 years with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps as an Engineering Officer. He spent 13 years at the National Institutes of Health and 13 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. From 1990 to 2000 he was the radiation safety training officer and was honored for outstanding achievement and exceptional service for the training portion of the radiation safety program at NIH. He received numerous awards for his training program both nationally and internationally for producing outstanding radiation safety training videotapes. During his time at EPA he worked on criteria and standards for the management of low-level and high-level radioactive wastes. He was known throughout government and nuclear industry as an expert and served as U.S. Representative at conferences in Paris and Vienna. He authored more than 100 papers, articles, book chapters as well as workshops, short courses and symposia on the many subjects of waste management and radiation training. Prior to his USPHS career he spent 14 years working in the areas of reactor fuel reprocessing, fuel fabrication, reactor waste management, and reactor support with Argonne National Laboratory, Aerojet-General Corp, the Nevada Test Site and Idaho National Laboratory.
Bill and his wife Virginia retired in February 2000; shortly thereafter Virginia passed away. In 2002 Bill set up an endowment for the Chemical Engineering Department to honor his 41 years of marriage and for the value and love his wife gave to their sons, Craig and Eric, and for her inspiration to be compassionate conscientious citizens and lifelong students and her support of Bill’s chemical engineering career. Bill and his wife believed that education and its institutions are essential ingredients in development of the compassion and strength that benefits all of humanity. Bill believed that Professor Shires and the department provided him with the tools for a successful and rewording career and the desire to make a difference as well as a living.
Bill received the AIChE Nuclear Division 1999 Robert E . Wilson Award in Nuclear Chemical Engineering “In recognition of his outstanding contributions to Nuclear Chemical Engineering in radioactive waste management, fuel processing and fabrication, government regulatory activities and radiation safety training.”
Testimonial by Dr. Rockstraw:
Bill and Virginia Holcomb have been grande supporters of the CHME program, having endowed a scholarship that has supported many students (including 7 in the 2016-2017 academic year alone). Bill continues to to fund an endowment the couple started and has recently provided tens of thousands in current use funds during a time when CHME needed it most. These contributions have helped CHME weather a period of financial crisis across the university and come out of the storm stronger.
submitted on 10/25/2016