Jim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for over 40 years, a war gamer for over 50, and an avid reader of science fiction for even longer. His experience in nuclear engineering and power systems began as a naval officer, shortly after surviving one of Admiral Rickover’s infamous interviews, aboard USS Long Beach (CGN-9). Experience after the USN includes design, construction, inspection, enforcement, and assessment with a nuclear utility, an architect engineering firm, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments at the USNRC included senior resident inspector (both for construction and operations), inspection team leader, and senior enforcement specialist before serving as the policy assistant for reactors to three different USNRC Commissioners and earning the agency’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.
Duties of those policy-level posts included substantial research into alternative and speculative energy sources, as well as energy forecasts. Some of those other sources were coal, oil, hydro, geothermal, tidal, solar, wind, fracking, space-based, heavy water reactors, breeder reactors, fusion, and even anti-matter (mostly for the math and atomic equations). These studies were a necessary aspect for reviewing energy proposals, assessing technical reports, and drafting speeches.
Baen Books (baen.com) has published four of his non-fiction articles:
– “Our Worldship Broke!”
– “Case Studies in Handwavium”
– “From Corvus to Keyhole — Shipyards: Past, Present, and Science Fiction”
– “Radium Girls of Science and Science Fiction”