Virginia Commonwealth University Scholar to Lead the World Nuclear Association

Sama Bilbao y León, a longtime professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering, has been appointed director general of the World Nuclear Association. Headquartered in London, the World Nuclear Association is the largest international organization that supports the global nuclear industry. As director general, Dr. Bilbao y León will oversee the agency’s mission to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers.

Professor Bilbao y León’s association with VCU’s mechanical and nuclear engineering program dates to 2007 when she was a nuclear safety analysis engineer with Dominion Energy and taught the university’s first nuclear engineering course. She worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, before returning to the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011. Dr. Bilbao y León took a leave of absence from VCU in 2018 to serve as head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics at the Nuclear Energy Agency in Paris.

“While I very much look forward to the opportunity to lead WNA, I do not want to lose my connection to VCU’s nuclear engineering program, the faculty, the students and the alumni,” said Dr. Bilbao y León, who will continue to serve on VCU’s nuclear engineering advisory board. “I am incredibly proud of the great achievements of this program and would love to contribute in any way I can.”

Dr. Bilbao y Leónis is a graduate of the Escuela Technica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales de Madrid in Spain. She earned a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and engineering physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds an MBA from Averett University in Danville, Virginia.

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