|Born||December 10, 1906
|Died||February 14, 2000
|Institutions||University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory
|Alma mater||Queen’s University
Columbia University (Ph.D) (1934)
|Notable awards||Atoms for Peace Award (1960)
Enrico Fermi Award (1969)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1970)
Life and work
Zinn worked on the Manhattan Project, and is credited with starting the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear reaction by withdrawing a control rod from the world’s first nuclear reactor on December 2, 1942 at the University of Chicago.
After his work on the Manhattan Project, he became the director of the Argonne National Laboratory from 1946-1956. He developed and built several new reactor designs, including Experimental Breeder Reactor I - the first nuclear reactor to produce electric power on December 20, 1951.
Zinn received multiple awards for his work, including a special commendation from the United States Atomic Energy Commission (1956), the Atoms for Peace Award (1960), the Enrico Fermi Award (1969), and the Elliott Cresson Medal from The Franklin Institute (1970).
Walter H. Zinn Award
The American Nuclear Society (ANS), Operations and Power Division, annually awards their "Walter H. Zinn Award" to recognize an individual "for a notable and sustained contribution to the nuclear power industry that has not been widely recognized." This award was created in 1976.
- "Walter Zinn 1907 - 2000". Canadian Nuclear Society. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- "A Brief History of the American Nuclear Society". American Nuclear Society. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- "Franklin Laureate Database - Elliott Cresson Medal Laureates". Franklin Institute. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Walter H. Zinn Award". American Nuclear Society. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- "Walter H. Zinn Award recipients". Honors and Awards, Recipients. American Nuclear Society. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- Walter Henry Zinn, from the Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, by Alvin M. Weinberg