Kazys Almenas

Garbės daktaras / Honorary Doctor (Suteiktas vardas 2013-06-12)

Prof. Kazys Almenas is a prominent expert of nuclear engineering, a writer, physicist, publisher and former member of the VMU Reestablishment Senate. He is a member of the cultural-political diaspora federation Santara-Šviesa, an active organizer and participant of diaspora events.

Kazys Almenas graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1957, received a doctorate in physics in Warsaw in 1968. Since 1969, he has been the professor at the University of Maryland.

He is a member of public political diaspora federation Santara-Šviesa, one of the founders of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania support fund, the organiser and one of the authors of the series of adventure novels about Lithuanian past called Skomantas.

He found a publishing house Literrae universitatis, worked at Energy Institute; organised translation and publishing of higher education textbooks at Vytautas Magnus University. Between 2008 and 2010, he has been the member of the Vytautas Magnus University Council. He has always been an active member of VMU community and organiser as well as participant of diaspora events.

Almenas is one of the first diaspora scientists who contributed to ensuring the safety of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. In 1992, he initiated Ignalina Safety Analysis Group, the main purpose of which was to gather Lithuanian scientists who were able to conduct assessments and analyses of the safety of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. Thanks to Almenas, the scientists of this group had a chance to do internships in the USA, Sweden, Japan, Germany, IAEA and other international nuclear research centres. His activity in ensuring the safety of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant has been appraised by granting him the Lithuanian Science Prize in 2005.

In the context of diaspora, Almenas as a writer is categorised as belonging to “The Silent Generation” and by Lithuanian literary critics he is considered to be the representative of “The Divided Literature”. Emigration experience of the writer presupposed patriotic and educational implications in his works as well as creation and development of the
“National culture endurance theory”.

In his works, Almenas depicts everyday life of Americans and Lithuanian emigrants and relationship between young people. He wrote historic, detective novels.