Joseph A. “Buzz” Miller
Inducted in 2015
The career arc of Joseph A. “Buzz” Miller has led him to lead an ambitious project to build and start the first two nuclear reactors in the United States in more than 30 years, an effort that will supply power to the Southeast for generations.
As president of nuclear development for Southern Nuclear and executive vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power, both subsidiaries of Southern Co., Miller oversees construction of what are called Vogtle 3 and Vogtle 4, two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.
After graduating from Auburn University in 1983 with a degree in chemical engineering, Miller began his career in Alabama in the oil-field and power-plant service industries before joining Alabama Power, also a part of Southern Co., in 1986 in the chemistry and environmental support section of nuclear generation.
After a series of assignments at Alabama Power and Southern Nuclear, he became federal regulatory affairs manager of Southern Co. in the District of Columbia, where he also served one year at the Nuclear Energy Institute as acting vice president of legislative affairs. In 1998, he was named assistant to Bill Dahlberg, CEO, president and chairman of Southern Co. A year later, he was elected vice president for government relations, responsible for managing the company’s Washington staff and its efforts with Congress and agencies of the executive branch. In 2006, he was elected to his current position.
To meet future energy demands, Southern Co. is expanding its nuclear-power generation at Plant Vogtle, and Miller has been asked to lead the effort. The $14 billion project is groundbreaking in its goal to expand nuclear power in the U.S., and Miller is pioneering ways to get the job done. He has spearheaded the effort every step of the way. His management and leadership resulted in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issuing the first nuclear combined construction and operation license in more than three decades.
His activity in the project ranges from directing negotiations for the first contracts for the nuclear plant to implementing organizational designs and models for nuclear development that ensure continued success of the project’s safety, quality, cost and schedule. He also created project controls to ensure performance and cost recovery. He interacts directly with the Public Service Commission’s construction monitor who oversees the site, and he maintains positive relationships with Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Miller also supports engineering education at Auburn. He helped establish the Nuclear Power Generation Systems program in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, where he also serves on the Auburn Engineering Alumni Council. He is also a member of the Ramsay Circle for his philanthropic contributions to Auburn engineering.
Miller and his wife, Donna, live in Atlanta, Georgia. They have two children.