George Wicks has been involved for more than 25 years in many areas of materials science, including vitrification and management of high-level radioactive wastes (development, processing, testing and assessing of waste glass forms), development of sol-gel composites, and nuclear disarmament activities. He has worked extensively in many areas of glass science and studied the properties and structure of glasses for a variety of applications at both Harvard and MIT, where he received advanced degrees.
Wicks developed the first slurry feeding system for vitrification of the 34 million gallons of high-level waste. He is also co-developer of the SRS Kinetic Leachability Model, describing leaching behavior of the complex 40-component SRS waste glass system. He is also co-inventor of Sol-Gel Indicators, a new class of composite materials that can be fabricated into special sensors and integrated into important fiber optic, analytical monitoring devices for environmental measurements and medical applications.
Wicks is co-inventor of Sol-Gel Metal Hydrides, composites which can store a large amount of hydrogen. He is co- inventor of a new hybrid microwave rechnology that can remediate hazardous components and reclaim reusable metals. He has more than 150 publications and 11 patents, has co-authored four books, written six chapters in texts and encyclopedias, and served as co-chairman for seven international workshops and symposia on nuclear waste management in France, Belgium, Germany and the United States.
Wicks served as chairman of the Nuclear Division of the American Ceramic Society and president of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers. He has also served on the U.S. Materials Review Board and was an adjunct professor at Clemson University and University of Florida. He is currently chairman of the SRS Creativity Committee, chairs the Senior Professionals IRD Proposals Evaluation Panel, and chairman of the SRTC Mentoring Committee.
Wicks has served on the DuPont Corporate Ceramics Board and testified on technical aspects of waste management for various committees, including those of the National Academy of Sciences. He also currently serves on two International Scientific Advisory Boards involving radioactive waste management activities in France (CEA) and also the European Communities (EC).
Wicks is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and has received three George Westinghouse Signature Awards for technical excellence, including the Gold Corporate Award and the Westinghouse Innovators Award.