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On the month anniversary of her passing, BHP Billiton has commemorated the many achievements of esteemed former Board Director, Dr Gail de Planque.

Dr de Planque joined the BHP Billiton Board in September 2005 and served until her retirement due to ill-health in January 2010.

BHP Billiton Chairman, Jac Nasser paid tribute to Dr de Planque’s unparalleled scientific achievements and invaluable contribution to the BHP Billiton Board.

“Dr de Planque’s scientific knowledge and significant experience with regulatory issues, particularly as they relate to safety, health and the environment were of great benefit to the BHP Billiton Board. She was an outstanding nuclear scientist and greatly respected by all who knew and worked with her,” Mr Nasser said.  

“We have lost a respected colleague and we extend our condolences to Dr de Planque’s family, friends and colleagues,” he added.

Her career in the field of nuclear energy and industry regulation spanned more than 35 years after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Immaculata University, a Masters in Science degree in physics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from New York University. Dr de Planque was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow and past President of the American Nuclear Society, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and served as a Commissioner with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and as Director of the United States Department of Energy's Environmental Measurements Laboratory.

She was the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her groundbreaking achievements, including the Outstanding Woman Scientist of the Year award from the New York Metropolitan Chapter of the Association for Women in Science in 1991.

Dr de Planque died on 8 September 2010.

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