To say that Bryan Hanson’s job overseeing the nation’s largest nuclear fleet carries a lot of responsibility is an understatement. But despite the demands of his role as chief operating officer and senior vice president of Exelon Nuclear, Hanson remains fascinated by the work and encourages students to pursue the nuclear engineering field.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1988, Hanson began his career with Exelon as a technical staff member at Commonwealth Edison (Exelon predecessor). He took advantage of opportunities and grew with the company as Exelon became a world-class operator of nuclear power plants. Exelon currently has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. As the head of all nuclear generation for Exelon, Hanson is directly responsible for approximately 20 percent of all nuclear-based electricity produced nationwide and approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. electricity consumption.
Hanson, who has been with the company his entire career, has held various managerial positions within both Exelon’s Midwest and Mid-Atlantic operations, which include Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Prior to becoming chief operating officer, he was the senior vice president of operations for Exelon Generation’s six Midwest nuclear facilities.
He has fond memories of his days as a rower on the UW-Madison crew team, where he was a three-year letter winner and national champion in 1986 under rowing icon Randy Jablonic. “My days getting up for practice at 5:30 a.m. all year long instilled a work ethic that I have carried forward to this day,” he says. This work ethic, strengthened over years of grueling rowing practices, has served him well as he oversees nuclear plants that require constant attention as they run 24/7.
Hanson serves on the Department of Engineering Physics advisory board at UW-Madison. He also holds an MBA from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and is a graduate of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Senior Nuclear Plant Management Program and the Exelon Leadership Institute at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a board member of Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley.
Hanson lives in Naperville, Illinois, with his wife Julie and their teenage daughters Lauren and Jenna. They spend many weekends in Wisconsin at their lake home on Lake Wisconsin, where they enjoy waterskiing and bonfires.