Engineering at Illinois Announces Barclay Jones as Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Barclay G. Jones, Professor Emeritus and former Department Head of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering, has received the College of Engineering at Illinois Distinguished Alumni Award.
Jones has been cited for his leadership and commitment in guiding nuclear engineering education over the past 50 years at the University of Illinois. He will be recognized along with seven additional Engineering at Illinois alumni during the Student and Alumni Awards Ceremony on April 1, 2017.
Jones has been a guiding force in nuclear education not only at Illinois but worldwide throughout his career. His leadership, research, and commitment to the field of nuclear engineering have been unwavering.
He arrived on the Illinois campus during the fall of 1958 to attend graduate school. What he thought would be only a short stay while working on his degree became a 45-year career. As a professor emeritus, Jones and his family continue to call Champaign-Urbana home.
Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1954 from the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to helping on his family’s homestead farm, Jones spent his undergraduate summer months in the Canadian Air Force as an officer training to be a pilot. He received his wings and served as a pilot in the Canadian Air Force during this time and after. Following these years, he became a licensed commercial pilot in Montreal, Canada.
Prior to attending graduate school at Illinois, Jones worked at several different organizations. He began his career at Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. However, later he took a job with the English Electric Company where he worked as an Athlone Fellow. He went on to work at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment where he became a trained reactor operator. Then he returned to Canada to work at Canadair and eventually left that position to go to Westinghouse Atomic Power in Pittsburg.
He enrolled in graduate school at Illinois in 1958. While earning his degree, Jones worked for Prof. Bei Tse Chao in mechanical engineering. In 1960, Jones started work on his PhD and was encouraged to continue studying in the nuclear engineering department. In 1963, he began his teaching career at Illinois and was hired as a full time faculty member. Jones worked under Professor Chao conducting research on heat transfer. In fact, when Chao left the country for several months, Jones took over teaching his peers in graduate-level courses in heat transfer. In 1966, Jones finished his PhD program and became an assistant professor with the department. He was promoted to an associate professor in 1968 and full professor in 1972.
Jones served as the associate chair of the Nuclear Engineering Program from 1981-1986, and was acting head of the newly formed Nuclear Engineering Department for a year, then became the permanent department head for 13 years. In 2008, when the department celebrated its 50th anniversary, Jones was honored as one of the founders.
His research interests have included thermal-hydraulics, reactor safety, multiphase flow, boiling heat transfer, turbulence measurement and modeling, flow-induced vibrations and aeroacoustics, human-machine interfaces for reactor control and simulation, and food irradiation safety. Among his contributions were the development of an experimental apparatus to look at the behavior of suspended particles in turbulent pipe flow, and the development of an instrument measuring local fluctuating static pressure. Jones also led the design of the reactor coolant system for the University’s Advanced TRIGA Reactor.
Jones is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, a faculty initiate of Tau Beta Pi, and an Honorary Member of Alpha Nu Sigma. Along with being acknowledged as a Engineering at Illinois Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, his honors include the 2010 NPRE Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2000 Glenn Murphy Award from the American Society of Engineering Education, the 1998 NPRE Outstanding Professor Award, the 1991 Power Engineering Educator Award from the Edison Electric Institute, and the 1982 Halliburton Education Leadership Award.
Jones was so beloved by NPRE alumni that they successfully forged a grassroots campaign to establish a graduate fellowship in his name, with the first Jones Fellow being named in 2010.