In Los Angeles in June of 1965, the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) was formed in response to the growing desire of global professionals to have a world-wide body. Playing a crucial role in this formation, was radiological protection pioneer Rolf Maximilian Sievert. At one point serving as its Chairman, this was just another lasting contribution Sievert made to the profession. To honour his contributions, IRPA established the Sievert Award ahead of IRPA 3 in 1973, where the winner, former ICRP Chair and Scientific Secretary Bo Lindell, was also to deliver the Sievert Lecture to open the quadrennial congress.
Considered to be the most prestigious award in radiological protection, its past winners have undoubtedly secured a legacy in the field for generations to come. As 2020 nears, the Sievert Award Committee has announced that the honouree and Sievert Lecturer at IRPA 15 in Seoul, Korea, will be ICRP Emeritus Main Commission member Professor Eliseo Vañó.
Eliseo joined ICRP Committee 3 as a member in 2001, becoming Chair (and as a result joining the Main Commission) in 2009. After being re-elected in 2013, he retired from this post in 2017, receiving his recognition as an Emeritus Main Commission soon thereafter. During his tenure, Professor Vañó authored and/or collaborated on numerous task groups, working parties, and publications including, and certainly not limited to; Publication 105 on Radiological Protection in Medicine, Publication 113 on Education and Training in Radiological Protection for Diagnostic and Interventional Procedures, and, Publication 120 on Radiological Protection in Cardiology.
In addition to his work at ICRP, Eliseo is an Emeritus Professor of Medical Physics in the Department of Radiology at Complutense University in Madrid, where he promoted the creation of the Medical Physics Expert Degree. He was the Head of the Medical Physics Service for 34 years at San Carlos University Hospital in Madrid, and was appointed as an advisor to the Spanish Ministry of Health for Radiation Protection in 2008. He has led more than 30 research projects, 15 of them funded by the European Commission, and authored more than 300 scientific publications.
In addition to being a consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Eliseo has led and participated in global engagement missions in many Latin American, Asian, African, and European Countries. He has contributed to many of the IAEA training packages for radiological protection in medicine. Professor Vañó is an honourary member of the Spanish Society of Medical Physics, the Spanish Society of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, and the Spanish Society of Radiological Protection. He also received the Barclay Medal of the British Institute of Radiology in 1996 and the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine Award of Merit in 2018.
IRPA 15 will take place from 11-15 May, 2020 in Seoul.