Professor Howard Hall

and his Nuclear Security research group



UT hosts Moroccan delegation on nuclear security curricula

UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the UT Institute for Nuclear Security hosted a delegation of six leading academics from Morocco on January 30, 2013, at the Baker Center.  The Moroccan delegation is visiting several US universities as part of an exchange on developing nuclear security curricula within the university environment.

Professor Hall in a rare coat and tie sighting.

Professor Hall in a rare coat and tie sighting.

Following the exchange meeting, the Moroccan delegation participated in the UT Nuclear Engineering colloquium.  Following their visit to UT, they will next go to North Carolina State University, the ANS Conference on Nuclear Training and Education (in Jacksonville, Florida), the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Georgia.

Participants in the INS-Morocco exchange meeting.  From left to right:  Sayouty El Hassan, Scott Bruce, Howard Hall, Nathan Rowe, Natalie Manayeva, Bill Toth, Steve Skutnik, Tom Handler, Amina Kharchaf (kneeling), Jeremy Townsend, Lahoussine Erradi, Tarek El Bardouni (kneeling), Oum Keltoum Hakam, Joe Stainback, Teresa McKinney, and Oum Keltoum Bouhelal.

Participants in the INS-Morocco exchange meeting. From left to right: El Hassan Sayouty (Mor.), Scott Bruce (CRDF), Howard Hall (UT), Nathan Rowe (ORNL), Natalie Manayeva (UT), Bill Toth (ORNL), Steve Skutnik (UT), Tom Handler (UT), Amina Kharchaf (Mor., kneeling), Jeremy Townsend (UT), Lahoussine Erradi (Mor.), Tarek El Bardouni (Mor., kneeling), Oum Keltoum Hakam (Mor.), Joe Stainback (Y-12), Teresa McKinney (ORNL), and Oum Keltoum Bouhelal (Mor.).

 


INS Annual Report just released

2012 Annual Report_Page_01I’m pleased to announce that the 2012 Annual Report of the UT Institute for Nuclear Security has been released.  The report is available here, and documents our efforts over the last year and developing a comprehensive approach for enhancing and sustaining nuclear security.

We are also close to the launch of the INS website.  As soon as that goes live, I’ll announce it here as well.


International Nuclear Safeguards Policy and Information Analysis Course

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS) will hold the International Nuclear Safeguards Policy and Information Analysis Course June 3-7, 2013, in Monterey, CA.  This Next-Generation Safeguards Initiative-sponsored course presents an overview of the international safeguards system, focusing on policy issues and state-level safeguards analysis.  For current or aspiring young professionals at the National Laboratories or government agencies, the course provides a good introduction to the needs and methods of the IAEA, the history of safeguards, and current challenges.

Further information on the course, including how to apply, can be found here.


Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Summer Boot Camp

The University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation is now recruiting participants for their next summer program on public policy and nuclear threats.

The summer workshop in residence at UC San Diego, known as the PPNT boot camp, aims to give participants the knowledge and analytic tools to contribute to the debate on future U.S. nuclear policy.

The boot camp features lectures, discussions, debates, policy simulations, and on-site visits to nuclear facilities. Participants attend talks by distinguished researchers, academics, policy officials, and operational specialists from the University of California system and other leading universities, the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and federal government agencies dealing with nuclear policy, threat, detection, and safeguard issues.

This program is open to both graduate students and faculty.  Contact Laura Martin at UCSD for more information.  You can also talk to Lily Crabtree in our group — she was a Summer 2011 participant.

The application deadline is March 15, 2013.


Call for papers for 2013 INMM meeting

 

Abstracts for the 2013 Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Annual Meeting are due February 1, 2013.  See the Call for Papers for more details.

Remember that student support to attend the meeting has been available in the past, both from INMM and the Provost’s office.  To receive INMM support, the student must be a member of both the National INMM and the UT student chapter.


INMM Central Region Chapter social and membership drive

From INMM CRC President Shirley Cox:

I’d like to invite all our members and potential members to an informal holiday gathering December 14, 2012, at the Smoky Mountain Brewery at the Turkey Creek location , 11308 Parkside Drive, Knoxville, TN.  We will gather in their large bar/sports area at 5:00 p.m. (or whenever you can get there), and have fun as long as you wish.  Our Chapter will provide appetizers for everyone to share while we visit and get to know members you may not know very well.  We should also use this as an opportunity to bring any of your colleagues or friends who may have an interest in learning more about INMM and meeting some of our membership.  We will not have a reserved room, but the manager assures me we can pretty much take over the large bar area, which includes a lot of tables, adjoining the dining room without a commitment of participants if we arrive early.  We’ll have an assortment of appetizers, and everyone can buy the drinks of their choice.

Please note that student members and potential student members are welcome.  This is a great opportunity for our students to meet some of the professionals in INMM in our area.


Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards Graduate Fellowship Program

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is announcing the Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards Graduate Fellowship Program for the 2013-2014 award cycle.

This program is designed to meet the needs of the NNSA  for appropriately trained personnel in research and development in areas pertinent to Nuclear Nonproliferation and International Safeguards (NNIS). This fellowship seeks to build collaboration between the leading nuclear technology programs and the schools studying the policy aspects of nuclear nonproliferation. The primary emphasis of this fellowship is to produce doctoral graduates who are familiar with both the technical and policy aspects of nonproliferation and international safeguards.

The program description, electronic application, and associated forms can be found on www.scuref.org.

Prof. Hall is UT’s point of contact for this fellowship program.  If you are applying, please be sure to let him know.


Prof. Hall named Fellow of the AAAS

Governor’s Chair Howard Hall Named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow

For Immediate Release

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.–Dr. Howard Hall, Governor’s Chair in Global Nuclear Security and a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Hall, an internationally respected expert in nuclear security, currently directs a research group at UT whose interests focus on the application of science, technology, and public policy to international nuclear security needs and challenges. Specific areas of research for the group are nuclear forensics; nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry; and nuclear security policy in the interface between technology, policy, and legal frameworks, including treaty verification and arms control, counterterrorism, and nuclear nonproliferation. Hall and his group work in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities —  all located in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Hall was a co-recipient of the Department of Homeland Security/Science & Technology Undersecretary’s Award for Science in 2005, and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in 2010. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Hall is also a Senior Fellow in the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, where he directs the Center’s Global Security Program.  Since 2011, Hall has also served as Director of the UT Institute for Nuclear Security.

AAAS is an international non-profit organization, founded in 1848, dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. AAAS works with over 261 affiliated societies and academies of science and serves 10 million individuals. The global organization has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, U.K., and award-winning news correspondents reporting from numerous countries.

Each year, the AAAS Council elects members whose efforts on the behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished as Fellows.

Hall will be inducted as an AAAS Fellow on Saturday, February 16, 2013, in a ceremony at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Mass.

For more information, contact Kim Cowart in the Engineering Communications Office at (865) 974-0686/kcowart@utk.edu.


Building the Next Generation

In November, I presented an overview of UT’s nuclear security educational program at the winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society meeting in San Diego.  My slides are attached here, and the following is a summary of the talk.

Developing an Educational and Experiential Pipeline for the Next Generation of Nuclear Security Professionals

Howard L. Hall*, Bruce R. Shelander Jr., James N. Sumner1, Alan Icenhour1, Joseph Stainback2, Chris Clark2, Chris Robinson2, Eric Abelquist3, Cathy Fore3, Arlene Garrison3, Steven E. Skutnik1, and M. Dawn Eipeldauer1

Institute for Nuclear Security, Pasqua Engineering Building, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2300.  1Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.  2Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, TN.  3Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN.  *Corresponding Author: Howard.Hall@utk.edu

Introduction

Securing the future against nuclear threats is a daunting challenge and a critical area in which national and international programs must provide sustainable actions and agreements to lessen nuclear threats.  With the coming nuclear renaissance around the world and the expected retirement of a high percentage of technical nuclear experts in the near future, it is more important than ever that we develop a pipeline that is capable of producing the next generation of nuclear security professionals.  We need to attract, recruit, and train top university students and transitioning professionals in the field of nuclear nonproliferation, international safeguards, and related nuclear security fields.  Such students, whether focused on technology or policy, will require an interdisciplinary education that includes a solid grounding in policy, science, and technology.

The Demographic Challenge

There is a clear understanding that we are facing a looming problem caused by the convergence of an increasing workload for nuclear security and an aging workforce.  Several studies have demonstrated that many deeply experienced nuclear security personnel will be leaving the workforce shortly, and will take with them a vast accumulation of knowledge and hands-on experience [1-4].  We need to develop systematic methods to capture and transfer this knowledge to the next generation.

  • Approximately 25% of the current Science & Technology (S&T) workforce in nuclear security fields is retirement eligible today.
  • Approximately 40% of this S&T workforce will be retirement eligible within the next 5 years.  In certain critical subfields such as nuclear forensics, the percentage approaches 70% by 2017 [5].
  • Many of the personnel who will be retiring over the next few years serve as the corporate memory for specialized expertise dating back to the Manhattan Project and the early days of nonproliferation work. In most areas of nuclear fuel cycle expertise, there is currently no way of replacing this intimate, hands-on expertise that has been developed over many years.

These demographic-driven workplace needs impact all aspects of the nuclear security mission set, including nonproliferation/counterproliferation programs as well as international safeguards programs.

Building the Pipeline

The pipeline for developing the next generation of nuclear security professionals needs to be both experiential and educational. In addition to academic resources, an educational program for future nuclear security professionals needs to provide actual hands-on experience for the students. For instance on the scientific side, it takes years of hands-on experience and on-the-job-training to progress from being a support scientist to the level of an independent technical expert. On the policy side, it may take three to five years (or more) before a new graduate gains the needed skills, experience, and context to make a meaningful contribution.

A successful pipeline requires both an educational and experiential program to support nuclear security.  Personnel entering the nuclear security field include new graduates as well as working professionals making career shifts from other fields.  To facilitate these new entrants, both traditional academic programs and professional development training offerings need to be developed and targeted at the needs of the nuclear security field.

Conclusions

Nuclear security missions demand educated and trained professionals that understand not only the technology, but also the complex interplay of the technology with the policy and legal frameworks of nuclear security applications.   It will require a culture of partnership and collaboration across academia, government, and industry to effective create this strategic pipeline.

Within the University of Tennessee (UT) and other nuclear facilities in the east Tennessee region, a partnership has been developed based on our early work [6] to address this need and is continuing to mature under the auspices of the recently formed UT Institute for Nuclear Security [7] to address these needs in a sustainable fashion.  Specific academic coursework has been implemented across multiple academic units to foster a pipeline of new graduates, and professional development offerings are being organized and tailored across the Institute partnership for mid-career entrants.

References

  1. C.B. MOORE, et al., Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise, National Academies Press, Washington, DC (2012).
  2. R. ZEISLER, et al., “Nuclear Science Manpower and Education Panel, Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. 263(1), 103-106 (2005).
  3. D. WAGMAN, “Meeting the Training and Education Challenge: A Busy Fall Outage Season Looks to Test the Pipeline for Skilled Nuclear Plant Workers, Power Engineering. 113(6),  (2009).
  4. N.A. WOGMAN, et al., “The Nuclear Education and Staffing Challenge: Rebuilding Critical Skills in Nuclear Science and Technology, Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. 263(1), 137-143 (2005).
  5. L. CRABTREE, M. BARUZZINI, and H.L. HALL, “Nuclear Forensics Educational Needs,” Proc. Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, Orlando, Florida, Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (2012)
  6. H.L. HALL, et al., “Nuclear Engineering and Nuclear Security:  A Growing Emphasis at the University of Tennessee,” Proc. Pacific Northwest International Conference on Global Nuclear Security–the Decade Ahead, Portland. OR, Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (2010)
  7. H.L. HALL, et al., “The University of Tennessee Institute for Nuclear Security,” Proc. Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, Orlando, Florida, Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (2012)

 


INFORMATION


 

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System