Under this project, GWU and VT organized the first International Workshop on US-Ukraine Cooperation on Education in Advanced Nuclear Science and Engineering (August 8-9, 2019). Click here for further information on this workshop.
NEH was established in 2018 by Prof. Andrei Afanasev (George Washington University) and Prof. Alireza Haghighat (Virginia Tech) through a grant from the Office of International Nuclear Policy and Cooperation, US Department of Energy, for the purpose of education of Ukrainian citizens in Nuclear Science and Nuclear Engineering.
Thus far, NEH has developed curricula tailored for the Ukrainian citizens, identified and established dialogue with key stakeholders in the US and Ukraine, and identified the needs and interests of the stakeholders through a workshop which was held on Aug. 8-9, 2019. The main outcome of this workshop is as follows:
>>More students are needed in the areas of physics, engineering and nuclear sciences. A theme throughout the two-day meeting was the decline of students entering these critical fields and the need for recruiting the next generation of nuclear scientists.
>>The Nuclear Education Hub provides an opportunity to strengthen the existing education and research programs in nuclear sciences and engineering, as well as adding the study of safety, security, regulations and policy.
Further detail about the workshop is given below.
Because of the pandemic the follow-up trip to Ukraine had to be postponed. However, considering the new Biden administration’s goals for resetting the US international role, the recent agreements on nuclear energy between several Eastern European countries, and the end of pandemic in sight, NEH has expanded its mission by including other new nuclear countries.
With its new mission, NEH not only would engage in and facilitate education of cadre of nuclear experts, but also will directly contribute to the export and deployment of the US nuclear technology and reactor systems, and therefore effective participation in setting safety and security standards for the next generation nuclear reactor designs.
To address the global needs, the NEH co-directors have decided to establish the NEH nonprofit organization (see a white paper on NEH's mission), which seeks partners from the US educational institution, industry, and national laboratories. If interested in this opportunity, please contact either Prof. Afanasev (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Prof. Haghighat (email@example.com).
Workshop (August 8-9, 2019)
1. Organization & Schedule
2. Summary report
The workshop was opened by a brief welcome message by the organizers, Prof. Andrei Afanasev (GWU) and Prof. Alireza Haghighat (VT). This was followed by a statement by His Excellency Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Mr. Valeriy Chaly. Ambassador Chaly emphasized the importance of developing a strong collaboration between US and Ukraine in the nuclear field, in particular in the exchange of knowledge and technology for safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology. The Ukrainian ambassador thanked the U.S. Department of Energy for many years of cooperation, in particular, to the DOE's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Energy Security and Multilateral Affairs, Dr. Tommy Joyce.
After introductory talks by Prof. William Briscoe (GWU) and Dr. Robert Emmet (VT) on each university's interest and engagement in international education and research, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Tommy Joyce, gave an opening remark on the importance of the NEH project in support of DOE's initiative on establishing a strong US-Ukraine collaboration, and promoting engagement of the US nuclear industry in Ukraine.
This was followed by talk by Prof. Oleksandr Bakai of National Science Center Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology (NSC KIPT) who gave an overview of the current status of the nuclear energy and technologies in the Ukraine. In the following talks the leadership of the Ukrainian universities that provide majority of Ukraine’s graduate in the field of nuclear science and engineering introduced their capabilities and discussed their needs and interests. The speakers included Profs. Vil Bakirov and Igor Girka of Karazin Kharkov National University, Prof. Sergii Pelykh of Odessa National Polytechnic University, Prof. Ihor Kadenko of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and Prof. Yevgen Pysmennyy of Igor Sikorskiy Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.
Then, Profs. Afanasev (GWU) and Haghighat (VT) overviewed the vision and mission of the NEH, and elaborated on the existing educational and existing research activities in the area of nuclear science (GWU) and nuclear engineering (VT). Prof. Timothy Kotek, former director of the University of Maryland (UMD) research reactor, gave a talk on the capabilities of the reactor and the UMD's interest in participating in the NEH activities. Dr. Newton, Director of NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), gave a talk on the capabilities of the Center and their interest in participating at the NEH activities. The first day of the workshop ended by a talk by Ms. Elizabeth Benavides, EPRI, who introduced a novel platform for distance training.
The 2nd day of the workshop was opened with a talk by Prof. Mykola Shulga, Director General of National Science Center KIPT, followed by a talk of Dr. Sergei Popov, Director of Personnel Training at Ukraine’s nuclear utility, NAEK Energoatom. Next, Dr. Igor Bolshinsky of Department of Energy gave an overview of NSC KIPT Neutron Source, a new major facility built in Ukraine with direct support from US. The workshop continued with presentations from US nuclear industry including Mr. Edward Pheil (Elysium), Mr. Seth Grae (Enfission), Mr. Tom Deponty (Framatome), Ms. Tammy Morin (Holtech Int), Dr. Everett Redmond (NEI), and Mr. Jeffrey Bradfute (Westinghouse), who voiced their approval for training workforce for nuclear industry and suggested specific forms of partnership with NEH project.
In the afternoon on the 2nd day, the participants visited the VT Northern Virginia Center (NVC). Prof. Kenneth Wong, Associate Dean of Graduate School, welcomed the participants, and discussed the university's ambitious expansion of its activities in the northern Virginia.
This was followed by Mr. Seth Grae on the Enfission's activities in the area of design, construction and deployment of advanced metallic fuels, and Prof. Haghighat who gave a talk on the RAPID code system and its VRS environment. After the talk, participants visited the MARS (Multiphysics for Advanced Reactor Simulation) Center, and Prof. Haghighat gave a demonstration of the VRS-RAPID web application for real-time simulation and visualization of nuclear systems, and Mr. Anze Pungercic (visiting scholar from the Jozef Stefan Institute of Slovenia) gave a demonstration of the JSI's TRIGA reactor simulator and virtual environment.
The workshop was concluded by Profs. Haghighat and Afanasev who gave a summary of the workshop and offered a path forward that resulted in discussions and a number of recommendations including organization of a follow-up meeting in Ukraine, later this year.
The main outcome of the workshop is summarized below:
What is clear from the proceedings and resulting discussion is that more students are needed in the areas of physics, engineering and nuclear sciences. A theme throughout the two-day meeting was the decline of students entering these critical fields and the need for recruiting the next generation of nuclear scientists. The Nuclear Education Hub provides an opportunity to strengthen the existing education and research programs in nuclear sciences and engineering, as well as adding the study of safety, security, regulations and policy. A second meeting, this time in the Ukraine, is planned for later this year to continue building this important collaboration.
3. Workshop picture