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David Senor
Dr. David Senor works at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where he manages the science and technology portfolio of the Tritium Technology Project | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Dr. David Senor ’88, ’89, ‘92, distinguished former student and member of the advisory council of the nuclear engineering department at Texas A&M University, has been appointed an adjunct professor for the department. Senor received all three degrees in nuclear engineering. Following his graduation, Senor joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and in 2020 he was recognized as a PNNL laboratory fellow, a noteworthy accomplishment. 

At PNNL, Senor is the national technical lead for science and technology for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Tritium Modernization Program and guides a variety of activities, including irradiation experiments at the Advanced Test Reactor and lead use assemblies of tritium-producing burnable absorber rods in the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. His involvement with these initiatives helps to assure the viability of the tritium stockpile, something that closely relates to national security.

Senor has drawn on his expertise and experience at PNNL to mentor students in the nuclear engineering department’s senior capstone design course. Each year, graduating students are given a year-long challenge to tackle a real-world, tritium-related issues.

“Through Dr. Senor’s technical guidance, students are being exposed to out-of-the-box thinking and projects that are meaningful to the nuclear industry and the nation as a whole,” said Dr. Michael Nastasi, nuclear engineering department head.

It was his involvement with the design course that encouraged Senor to give back to the department. Senor’s wife, Denise ’85, also received her degrees from Texas A&M and together they have established the David ’88 and Denise ’85 Senor Scholarship to provide one or more scholarships to full-time undergraduate students in the nuclear engineering department.

“Dr. Karen Kirkland and Dr. Yassin Hassan allowed me to mentor design teams in NUEN 406 and NUEN 410 over the past eight years,” Senor said. “That involvement with undergraduate students provided motivation that ultimately led my wife and I to endow the scholarship.” 

As an adjunct professor, Senor will continue to collaborate with the senior design course as well as participating in lectures and serving programs that continue to support the department.

 “Aggieland is home,” said Senor. “That’s really the bottom line. We like to give back and help out wherever possible. Being offered the appointment of adjunct professor is a great honor. I appreciate the department for thinking of me and supporting me in the way they do.”