Seminar: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Joint)

Event Date: November 30, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Sue Abreu
Time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: GRIS 103
Contact Name: School of Nuclear Engineering
Contact Phone: 765-494-5739
Contact Email:
Open To: Graduate Students and Undergraduate Students
Priority: No
School or Program: Nuclear Engineering
College Calendar: Show

Sue H. Abreu, M.D., J.D.
Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP)
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Rockville, MD

“Things you can do with your engineering degree besides be an engineer: from engineering to being an Administrative Judge at the NRC”


Who would imagine that a B.S. in engineering could lead to a full career as a nuclear medicine physician, and a second career as an administrative judge?  The skills learned in engineering apply to many professions. An engineering education teaches how to sort information, clarify the problem, apply facts toward the solution, and determine knowledge gaps to fill.  This problem-analysis framework can be applied in areas you may not have realized.

My engineering education is invaluable in my work as an administrative judge, a job I never imagined when I started on my circuitous life path.  I began at Purdue by exploring different fields of engineering, ending in Interdisciplinary Engineering where I created a program in biomedical engineering (before it had its own school).  But while I was doing that, my work as a student athletic trainer at Purdue triggered my going to medical school. Work-life balance choices led me to specializing in nuclear medicine. After a full career in the U.S. Army and nuclear medicine, I recently went to law school so that I could better understand the language of lawyers. While working on a class project, I discovered a job announcement for administrative judges at the ASLBP, a job I had never heard of.  This work utilizes all of the areas I have studied and experienced.  I was selected to be a “technical” judge based on my engineering and nuclear medicine expertise.  Although very helpful, my law degree wasn’t even a job requirement.

During this seminar, I will discuss the applicability of an engineering education other professions. I will explain the role of the ASLBP’s technical (non-lawyer) administrative judges in the regulation of the civilian uses of nuclear materials.


Sue H. Abreu, M.D., J.D., FACNM, appointed as a part-time technical judge with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission) in 2015, is an engineer, nuclear medicine physician, and attorney. A Purdue University interdisciplinary (biomedical) engineering graduate, Dr. Abreu was a member of Purdue’s Army ROTC, Mortar Board, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Tau, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi. She continued her education at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (M.D.) and then specialized in nuclear medicine.  A retired colonel, she served in multiple positions during her twenty-four year United States Army career, including as the Nuclear Medicine Consultant to the Army Surgeon General. Recently, she has focused her consulting work on nuclear medicine accreditation and product development. A Fellow of the American College of Nuclear Medicine, Dr. Abreu was recognized with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Purdue University honored her as an Outstanding Interdisciplinary Engineer in 2001 and inducted her into the Tri-Service ROTC Hall of Fame in 2004. Dr. Abreu has co-authored numerous medical publications and is often invited to speak at nuclear medicine conferences.

2016-11-30 15:30:00 2016-11-30 16:30:00 America/New_York Seminar: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Joint) GRIS 103