Daniel Jordheim : Academy of Distinguished Engineers - 2022

Portrait of Daniel Jordheim.
Award Year
Graduation Year
Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics
Nominating Department
Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics
B.S., Nuclear Engineering, 1987
M.S., Nuclear Engineering, 1991
Manager, Fuel Design Neutronics

Daniel Jordheim transferred to Oregon State from an engineering school in the upper Midwest in 1984 to pursue a degree in nuclear engineering. He chose Oregon State because of its strong full-scope program, and its location — near towering, glacier-robed, volcanic peaks, lush green forests, the scenic Pacific Coast, and in a smaller city.

Jordheim entered nuclear engineering with an open mind, prepared to become anti-nuclear if that was where a better technical understanding of things led. He considers himself intellectually curious — especially about anything controversial — and was naturally eager to learn more about the field.

Jordheim has worked in a variety of roles over the years, including in engineering, in supervision, in sales and marketing, as part of an operations crew in a nuclear power plant control room, and as a manager in a multinational organization. He grew up on a farm and never imagined he would have a career with so much international travel and engagement, but he has travelled to Germany, France, and the Republic of China, and he has worked with an assortment of nationalities.

Jordheim articulates that humans are predominantly driven by emotions and emotional appeal, not by factual information, data, or science. He cites bizarre claims about vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic as a recent example, but he says that he sees this same behavior frequently when anything nuclear or radioactive is the topic. As a nuclear power professional, he is proud to be part of the largest source of carbon-emissions-free energy.

“The diversity of perspectives at Oregon State helped spur my intellectual growth and curiosity and helped me learn to challenge my own viewpoints and perspectives based on accurate, pertinent, and complete information.”

One of his most memorable accomplishments is the collaboration with German colleagues to develop the most advanced and most efficient boiling water reactor nuclear fuel product on the market.

Jordheim has also enjoyed being on the industrial advisory board for the School of Nuclear Sciences and Engineering for nearly 12 years and welcomes opportunities that bring him back to the Oregon State campus. His wife is also an alum, and their daughter recently completed her sophomore year there.