William McAdams and the Outstanding Service Award
In 1989, in its thirtieth year, the American Board of Health Physics established an annual award to honor a Certified Health Physicist who had made a significant contribution toward the advancement of professionalism in Health Physics and to the Certification process. The award was named for one of the founders of Certification Process, William A. McAdams.
William McAdams circa 1960
Mr. McAdams’ career began as a ballistics engineer for E.I. duPont and Co. at Penns Grove, NJ in 1940. The following year he became the Senior Supervisor of Ballistics at the duPont Indiana Ordinance Works. In 1943, he became a Research Physicist in the Manhattan District at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago. He then moved on to Hanford where he worked for General Electric as Manager of Radiation Protection Services under Herb Parker from 1951-55. He was promoted to a Radiation Protection Consultant at Large for the GE Corporation and relocated to GE in Schenectady, NY. He ultimately became the corporate GE manager of Industry Standards.
He was a member of the Board of Directors of what it now ANSI and active in the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (he was President of the IEC from 1980 to 1983). He served for a decade (1957-67) on the NCRP.
The early actions of the HPS Board of Directors regarding the initial period are described in the HPS Member handbook. To summarize, a committee was established to study the need for certification. William McAdams served on this committee. When the committee’s recommendations were approved, the HPS appointed a temporary ABHP on November 8, 1958 and appointed William McAdams as the Chairman.
When the HPS Board of Directors formally established the ABHP through a Bylaws change, William McAdams was again appointed Chairman. The other members of the initial Board were C. Maurice Patterson, Elda Anderson, Lauriston Taylor, and John Laughlin. Mr. McAdams also was responsible for obtaining the New York State charter for the Board.
The committee that did the groundwork for the award in 1989 contacted a number of CHPs who had been involved in the early days of the certification process. Two individuals were repeatedly identified as playing the pivotal roles in the original Health Physics Society Certification Committee and the initial ABHP Board. Correspondence of the award committee stated “Elda Anderson was probably the driving spirit behind the whole movement. Bill McAdams apparently was the ramrod that made things happen.”The award recipients are:
(Click on the links or the pictures below to see copies of the Citations. On the citations pages, click on the recipients picture to see a copy of their acceptance remarks and additional pictures.)
Any CHP is eligible for the award. Nominees shall be CHPs who have served the health physics community through outstanding and extended work on the ABHP Examination Panels, ABHP Board, AAHP Continuing Education Committee, AAHP Executive Committee, other AAHP committees, teaching or other assistance in increasing knowledge of HPs, or other areas that enhance the professionalism of health physics. This award may be bestowed posthumously.
Individuals are encouraged to nominate worthy CHPs using the nomination form located on this website .