UF students attend conference to explore future of nuclear power
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As nuclear power returns to the national energy agenda, the need for engineers and scientists in all sectors of the field becomes more pressing.
Eight undergraduate and five graduate University of Florida students will attend this year’s American Nuclear Society (ANS) national student conference, to be held March 30-April 1 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. The conference will offer a glimpse at the future leaders in academia, government and industry, while featuring presentations from experts currently working in these arenas.
“This is an annual student conference that is held at different schools following a selection process,” said Alireza Haghighat, UF nuclear engineering department chair. “Our students will participate; they will present five papers and two posters on different aspects of nuclear power.”
UF is sending a record number of participants compared to previous years.
The theme of the conference is “Nuclear Power: A Look at the Future.” More than 300 of the top nuclear engineering students from across the country will present their research and participate in panels about nuclear energy, nonproliferation and international safeguards.
“These are some of the students who will emerge as the next generation of leaders in the field,” says Don Steiner, director of Rensselaer’s nuclear engineering program. “The Department of Energy has been encouraging utilities to seriously consider new nuclear power plants, and there are going to be large numbers of retiring nuclear engineers in the coming years. The students are plugged into these issues, and that makes them very excited about the future of nuclear engineering.”
Students from some of the top engineering programs in the country will present their research in a variety of areas, from reactor safety to waste management to nuclear applications in biology and medicine. To attend, students must be active in the ANS or choose to present their research at the conference.
The event, which is organized by Rensselaer engineering students, also features talks from a number of prominent professionals in these fields.
The conference also will feature several panels and workshops led by international experts, including a panel on the future of the nuclear power industry, and a workshop geared toward helping burgeoning nuclear scientists and engineers use their technical expertise to develop strategies for preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
- Meredith Jean Morton
- Alireza Haghighat, firstname.lastname@example.org, (352) 392-1401