Steve Rhyne

Steve graduated in 1969 from West Point, where he studied nuclear engineering. He was Phi Kappa Phi and received the Brigadier General Clifton C. Carter Academic Award for excellence in engineering. Steve then served as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army for 5 years, with tours in Vietnam and Europe. Steve served in various assignments, including platoon leader, company commander and battalion operations officer and received several valor citations.

Steve left the Army to begin law school.  He graduated from The George Washington Law School in 1977 with high honors and was editor-in-chief of The George Washington Law Review.  After law school, he clerked for Judge Roger Robb, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after which he returned home to North Carolina to begin practicing law with the firm of Kennedy, Covington, Lobdell & Hickman, which merged with K&L Gates in 2008.

Steve was a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers & acquisitions and private equity and was regularly recognized in editions of the Best Lawyers in America.  He also held various management positions with Kennedy Covington, including being a member of the executive and management committees, co-chairing the corporate department and chairing the firm’s compensation committee.

In 2008, Steve began devoting more time to nuclear industry activities outside of his efforts to commercialize the NuGen engines.  He served as the Co-Chair, “High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors: Strategy and Overview,” 2014 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP); was a member of the American Nuclear Society and served on its Special Committee on Generic Licensing Issues for Small Modular Reactors; was the Chair, Public Policy Task Force for the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster; was a panelist, Roundtable on Export Markets and Export Challenges of Small Modular Reactors, April 2011; and co-authored in 2009 and 2010 legal articles on Small Modular Reactors and their licensing.

Steve also began in 2008 an active role in researching, speaking and writing about climate change. In addition to his efforts as a member of K&L Gates climate change practice group, he was the author of two chapters in The Encyclopedia of Sustainability (Berkshire Publishing) regarding climate change disclosure; author and speaker of “SEC Climate Change Disclosure Requirements,” at the American Gas Association 2010 Legal Forum; author of several other legal articles regarding the then newly adopted SEC release on climate change disclosure; and the speaker or moderator at several local conferences regarding climate change.

Steve has actively pursued the design, development and commercialization of the NuGen engines since their conception in 2001. This includes his own work and analysis related to these concepts, as well as discussions with several universities, national laboratories and research facilities, including work with Texas A&M beginning in 2010. Steve retired from K&L Gates and the practice of law at the end of 2016 with the goal of devoting more time to NuGen and climate change.