CNS’s Alicia Swift joins elite group of UTK graduates

  • Posted: Friday, February 17, 2023, 7:47 am

Y-12’s Alicia Swift

Y-12’s Alicia Swift has been named to the 2023 University of Tennessee Volunteer 40 under 40 Class.

Swift is director of Nonproliferation and Arms Control at Consolidated Nuclear Security. She joins an elite class of young professionals who have excelled since completing their degrees at UT Knoxville.

Swift received her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from UTK in 2016.

“I am honored to have been nominated by CNS and then ultimately selected for the award,” Swift said. “I am proud to represent CNS as part of the 2023 class. I think this is indicative of the important work we all do in support of the mission and the nation.”

This latest recognition should not surprise anyone. Her relatively short career is already filled with superlatives. From 2012 to 2013, she served as a nonproliferation graduate fellow within the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Global Threat Reduction.

She is past chair of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Division of the American Nuclear Society and an associate editor of the Journal of Nuclear Materials Management. She currently serves on the board of directors for the American Museum of Science and Energy.

Swift, who grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, says she owes her love of science to a high school physics teacher, Mr. Murray. Swift said he made physics extremely accessible and fun.

“He was always bringing in exciting topics for us to study, like black holes and astrophysics,” she said.

He also made the class challenging.

“Physics requires thinking outside the box and a different mindset,” Swift said. “I think I also liked the expansive nature of thinking about things in new ways. A big cause of personal growth is choosing things that are difficult and not being afraid to fail or ask for help,” she added.

“Ultimately my love of science stems from the ability to help others and society and to discover new frontiers,” Swift said.

The 2023 class was honored at a ceremony at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, earlier this month. She was excited that her parents and sister were there to share the moment.