He received the award at the 2014 UCLA Engineering Awards Dinner on Nov. 21, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Garrick earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Brigham Young University and attended the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology before coming to UCLA, where he received his master’s degree in nuclear engineering (’62) and his doctorate in engineering and applied science (’68).
“UCLA Engineering is a great school, and my decades-long affiliation with it has been very fruitful and rewarding,” Garrick said. “I am honored to receive the award.”
Garrick’s areas of expertise include quantitative risk assessment and nuclear science and engineering. He is the author of the book “Quantifying and Controlling Catastrophic Risks,” co-editor of the book “The Analysis, Communication, and Perception of Risk” and has published more than 250 technical papers and reports on risk, reliability, engineering and technology.
A founder of the international engineering and management consulting firm PLG, Inc., Garrick retired as president, chairman, and chief executive when the company was acquired in 1997.
In 2004 he was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, where he served two four-year terms. From 1994 to 2004 he was on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste, and was chair for four of those years. Garrick has been on several committees of the National Academies, including as vice-chair of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident.
He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 “for making quantitative risk assessment an applied science and a fundamental part of engineering design,” and received the distinguished achievement award from the Society for Risk Analysis in 1994.
Garrick is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at UCLA and Vanderbilt University; a member of Dean’s Advisory Council at UCLA Engineering; a short-course lecturer at MIT; a member of the Leadership Council, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, BYU; and served on the National Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Vijay K. Dhir, dean of UCLA Engineering, said, “John Garrick is one of the foremost figures in the world in the area of risk science. His decades of service to the nation, continuing commitment to engineering education, and particularly his support of UCLA Engineering, make him an exceptional choice for Alumnus of the Year.”