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Campus alumnus slated to give May 3 commencement address

Commencement speaker Spring 2013, Alan J. Blamey '84
Speaker Alan J. Blamey '84

Alan J. Blamey ’84, a Penn State alumnus who has made significant contributions to the commercial nuclear power industry and who has helped transform the safety focus of organizations in the private and public sectors, will speak at the forty-third annual commencement ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 3. Currently, Blamey is a branch chief in the Division of Fuel Facility Inspection at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region II Offices in Atlanta, Georgia.

The son of a local businessman, Blamey attended West Hazleton High School. He began his college career at Penn State Hazleton and later transitioned to University Park where he earned a baccalaureate degree in nuclear engineering with a minor in mathematics. After graduation, he moved to East Moline, Illinois, and began his professional career as an engineer at Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station. 

During his thirteen years there, he held positions of increasing responsibilities in the engineering and operations departments. In 1990, after nearly a year of classroom and simulator training, Blamey successfully obtained a Senior Reactor Operator License. He was instrumental in significantly improving the reactor engineering training and led an assessment that restored safety margin at the facility. In addition, he transformed the engineering department through the development of an engineering plant response team that provided real-time engineering support and strong engineering presence in solving emergent issues.

In 1997, he and his wife, Cheryl, also a 1984 Penn State graduate with a degree in medical technology, decided to return home when Blamey accepted an appointment with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the Philadelphia Regional Office. He performed safety oversight at the Susquehanna Nuclear Plant in Berwick, as well as licensed reactor operators at nuclear power plants throughout the northeast. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, he was selected to verify that commercial nuclear power plants across the country would be able to maintain critical spent fuel cooling if they sustained severe damage.

Blamey’s next assignment came in 2007 when he accepted a promotion to assist in the establishment of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Center for Construction Inspection in Atlanta, Georgia. His duties included hiring the engineering staff and developing the infrastructure needed to inspect new reactor construction in the United States.

In March 2011, he volunteered to support the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to the Japan earthquake. He was dispatched to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo where he provided leadership to assist in stabilizing the damaged reactors. At the request of the U.S. economic minister, he also developed an integrated business process that helped identify, procure and transport critical humanitarian and technical aid from around the world.

He is a founding member of the Penn State Hazleton Engineering Advisory Board, a group of select engineering alumni from around the country who advise the campus engineering department on academic issues, current trends and future directions in engineering.

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