September 8, 2021
Bernard Wehring, former Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Director of the Nuclear Reactor Program (NRP) during 1984-1989, passed away peacefully on September 3rd, 2021. He was a friend, teacher, and mentor to many in the nuclear engineering community.
Bernie graduated with a BSE in Physics/Mathematics from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and MS in Physics and PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He was an international expert in the fields of experimental neutron physics and radiation detection. He spent nearly 20 years at UIUC where he became a Professor of Nuclear Engineering. His work, with his students, on the measurement of fission product yields stood for a while as the standard in the field and was awarded the Mark Mills award by the American Nuclear Society.
In 1984, Bernie moved to North Carolina State University, where he was appointed as Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Director of the NRP. During this time, he managed various research and training activities at the NRP and the PULSTAR reactor and was awarded the rank of Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. In 1989, Bernie moved to the University of Texas-Austin (UT), where he supervised the establishment of the new TRIGA reactor and the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory (NETL). In addition, he served as the Director of the Nuclear Engineering program. During his work at UT, Bernie demonstrated the feasibility of various instruments at the reactor including a unique cold neutron source.
In 2000, Bernie retired from UT and returned to NCSU, where he became a research professor. He spent much of his time contributing to NRP projects such as the ultracold neutron source, teaching, and student mentoring.
Bernie was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Margaret Wehring, and son Jimmy Wehring. He is survived by his daughters Mary Wehring (Raleigh, NC) and granddaughter Emma Lowman, Susie Wehring (Ruskin, FL) and granddaughters Haley Maxwell and Shelby Maxwell, and Barbi Wehring-McKnight (Jacksonville, NC) and husband Brandon McKnight.