Category Archives: ANS Student Sections

2011 ANS Student Conference: April 14-17

By Brian Dyke

The 2011 ANS Student Conference, hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology, is only a week away! We’re building upon the successes of previous years, and it’s already shaping up to be the best conference to
date. If you’ve never been to an ANS Student Conference, I’d like to offer you some great reasons to attend.

If you’re looking for a full-time job, internship, co-op, or even a grad
school, we will have a nuclear-specific Exhibit Fair with dozens of
companies, organizations, and universities specifically looking to recruit
students in the nuclear field. Many companies will be conducting on-site
interviews, so there’s a chance you could leave Atlanta with a new job! The
Student Conference is also a great opportunity to hear talks and view
posters of cutting-edge research undertaken by your student colleagues from around the nation.

Gwyneth Cravens

We’ll also be hosting the 2nd annual public forum on nuclear energy, a new student conference tradition started last year by the University of Michigan. A broad panel of nuclear experts representing specific areas of interest to the industry (utilities, regulation, nonproliferation, Department of Energy national labs, public advocacy) will answer questions posed by you and other members of the public. ANS Vice President/President Elect Dr. Eric Loewen will serve as moderator for the forum, and the keynote will be delivered by prominent nuclear energy advocate and author of Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy,  Gwyneth Cravens.

Ocean Ballroom at the Georgia Aquarium

Be sure also to catch our “Nuclear in the Arts” night on Thursday with a nuclear-themed gallery opening by PopAtomic Studios and a special performance of “Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie.” To top things off, our Saturday night awards banquet will be held in the Ocean Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, and will be catered by Wolfgang Puck.

With most of your meals being covered by your registration and travel
reimbursement available, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t come enjoy
Atlanta with us this April. The conference will take place from April 14-17
at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. For more information, please visit

Thank you and we hope to see you next week!

Brian Dyke

Brian Dyke is the Publicity Committee chair for the 2011 ANS Student Conference. He is a fourth-year undergraduate in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering. Much of his interest in nuclear science can be attributed to growing up in South Carolina, where many of his neighbors worked at the Savannah River Site.  After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in the power generation side of the nuclear industry.

ANS and Fukushima

By Joe Colvin

In the days since Japan’s earthquake and tsunami combined to create the situation at Fukushima, nuclear professionals across the country have been united in our deep concern over the events in Japan and have contributed countless hours working to ensure that information provided to the public and media was based on fact and reason rather than hysteria and misinformation. I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the many ANS members who stepped forward to support the efforts of the Society in this time of great need.

The Society has played—and is continuing to play—a major role in addressing the scientific and technical aspects of the accident at Fukushima with the public, policy makers, and the media. ANS headquarters, the ANS corporate officers, and our media, social media, and federal consultants have worked diligently, with the support of many members, to improve the public understanding of the situation in Japan. Within several hours of the events at Fukushima, ANS initiated the Crisis Communications Team, which has met daily by conference call since the accident to coordinate the Society’s activities, including media outreach. Though ANS members could not be everywhere, we have had a significant and positive effect.

ANS members have participated in more than 150 interviews in venues such as The Today ShowCBS Evening NewsNBC Nightly NewsCBS Morning News and local affiliates, CNNNPRGood Morning America, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal—to name a few. Over one hundred members volunteered their services after Candace Davison, ANS Public Information Committee chair, explained the urgent need for media resources.

Thanks to your efforts, ANS members reached more than 81 million people through proactive media outreach. That’s over one in four U.S. households—a truly remarkable effort!

While some ANS members could not serve as media spokespersons due to company restrictions, they provided essential analysis of the ongoing technical events in Japan. That analysis helped to formulate documents such as the Japan Backgrounder and the ANS Talking Points. ANS Social Media Group members actively engaged in positive, proactive media outreach—something they have done so successfully in the past. They identified and shared media opportunities and formed the backbone of the early media efforts.

Those who could not speak helped those who could by lending information, analysis, and advice.

The ANS Nuclear Cafe blog site was repurposed as an information clearinghouse during the early morning hours of March 11. As ANS members shared links to factual, non-alarmist information provided on the blog, traffic to the site increased by a factor of 100.

The strength of the Society is rooted in our membership and catalyzed by effective and talented expertise. ANS Student Sections, Nuclear Engineering Departments, and Local Sections have engaged in efforts across the country to reach out via public forums, webinars, presentations, conversations with friends and colleagues, and social networks. ANS Professional Divisions have put together technical briefs and fact sheets, and our commercial publications, such as Nuclear News magazine, are focusing articles on the Fukushima events. You can also visit the ANS website to be inspired by the wealth of activities catalogued under ‘Featured Content.’

ANS members have engaged in the vital grassroots efforts that drive greater understanding—and thus greater acceptance—of nuclear science and technology.

In response to your overwhelming feedback, ANS established the ANS Japan Relief Fund to help our friends, colleagues, and their families in Japan who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. This fund symbolizes how the international nuclear community stands together to help one another.

ANS will continue to play a key role in placing the Fukushima incident into perspective, as well examining the factors that have contributed to the incident. We are in the process of outlining the important role that the Society can play in developing a greater understanding into the scientific and technical issues surrounding the accident at Fukushima. Nuclear professionals will continue to set the bar high for nuclear energy, which remains the safest source of electricity generation.

I look forward to working with you, the dedicated and passionate members of this Society, as we continue to promote the awareness and understanding of nuclear science and technology.


Joe Colvin is the 56th president of the American Nuclear Society. He has been an ANS member since 2001 and has worked to obtain senior nuclear utility expertise on ANS committees and the Board of Directors. Colvin is President Emeritus of the Nuclear Energy Institute, and he serves on the boards of Cameco Corporation, the world’s largest uranium company, and US Ecology, a hazardous and radioactive waste disposal company. He also is on the boards of non-profit organizations such as the Foundation for Nuclear Studies, which was set up by NEI to help provide the U.S. House and Senate with information on nuclear technology.

ANS president-elect Eric Loewen visits City College of New York

American Nuclear Society president-elect Eric Loewen on February 17 visited the City College of New York (CCNY). Loewen presented a talk during the noon hour on “Nuclear Reactor Physics at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl” to an audience of about 40 engineering faculty members and students. Most students were from CCNY’s mechanical or chemical engineering programs and have taken, or are currently taking, at least one of the college’s nuclear engineering concentration courses:

  • Reactor physics
  • Thermal hydraulics
  • Nuclear Power Plant Safety
  • Nuclear power plant design/operation

Following the presentation, Loewen met with the students in the nuclear program, answered their questions, and gave them individualized advice on how to set a path for a career in the nuclear industry.  Loewen’s presentation was part of a lecture series that has included other speakers in the past and will include other speakers in the future.

“I’ve received nothing but praise about Eric’s presentation,” said Charles Sosa, a nuclear engineering student who invited Loewen to the college. “I’ve spoken to all nuclear engineering concentration students at CCNY, including other engineering students and faculty who are not involved in the nuclear program, and all were thoroughly impressed by the mixture of science and humor that Eric incorporated into his presentation.”

Loewen speaks at CCNY

The concentration program

In spring 2010, the CCNY Grove School of Engineering started the concentration in nuclear engineering for its mechanical and chemical engineering  students. The program is run by CCNY Professor Masahiro Kawaji. An ANS Student Club was formed in 2010 as a direct result of the enthusiasm expressed by students to expand education beyond the classroom by attending ANS conferences and hosting talks by scientists and engineers in the nuclear industry. CCNY is currently working to get the student club recognized as an official ANS Student Section.

Loewen and CCNY engineering faculty and students (Sosa is standing furthest left)

The seeds for Loewen’s visit were sown in 2010, when Loewen gave a talk at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) about his nuclear fuel cycle work for GE-Hitachi. Sosa was a student researcherat GISS under the NASA MUST (Motivating Undergraduate and Science and Technology) program and briefly met with Loewen before his fuel cycle presentation.

Afterward, Sosa entered the nuclear engineering concentration program in conjunction with his CCNY mechanical engineering studies. Students in the concentration program are encouraged to bring industry experts to give lectures, and so Sosa reached out to Loewen, informed him about the newly formed nuclear program at CCNY, explained that the student body is enthusiastic about nuclear energy, and invited him to visit.

Future activities

The Grove School of Engineering

The concentration program and the CCNY ANS students are planning to continue a guest lecturer series highlighting the nuclear industry. John Yoshinari, chief operating officer of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, on February 24 presented “The Technical and Financial Aspects of the Nuclear Business.” The nuclear concentration program is planning two nuclear energy plant visits—to the Indian Point and Salem facilities. A visit to Brookhaven National Laboratory is also being scheduled.

The power of the social network

By Samuel Brinton


When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004, it can be assumed that he did not imagine himself becoming Time’s 2010 Person of Year;  he simply wanted to make friends. As a member of the generation that has fully embraced the use of Facebook, I can proclaim that social networking has become a strong part of how I develop my connections with those I meet, both inside and outside the nuclear industry. That Facebook exists only so that teenagers can post whatever floats into their heads—as some Facebook detractors believe—is a huge misconception. On the contrary, I hope that this post helps to explain why we must use social networking sites such as Facebook to our advantage in the new era of nuclear power and technology.

As a college student with 2340 friends on Facebook, I have worked to create a social network where I can both inform my friends and learn from them simultaneously. With each new post on my profile, literally thousands of people have a glimpse into my world—and then the comments start flooding in. Whether I am posting about where to eat Italian food in New York City or how the new START Treaty will reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the United States, I am always sure to get quite a few comments with questions or arguments to my statement. Regarding the comments that I post on nuclear issues, my readers are learning about the technology without my having to make a case for it. It is simply part of my daily life, and they know about my schooling in nuclear engineering, and they accept that my comments are based on a solid foundation.

Most important Facebook message of my life

I have had employers both block Facebook and encourage Facebook. I understand both decisions. Social networking can be addictive, and with more than 2300 Facebook friends, I am being bombarded with messages and posts every minute of every day.

I can, however, count one Facebook message to be the most important one I ever received: I was offered my senior-year internship through Facebook!

I had been connected with my contact at Argonne National Laboratory for a few years, and one day as I was checking my messages he asked me what I was doing for the summer. After a short electronic conversation, I was jumping up and down with excitement knowing that I was going to be working at a preeminent research facility, partly due to the contacts I had strengthened through Facebook.

I don’t expect Facebook to become the job offer Web site for the nuclear industry, but I want to reinforce the idea that as my generation begins to enter the workforce, we will bring with us the new tools of social networking. Perhaps a Web site used today for finding friends will be used one day for solving challenges that may emerge for the nuclear industry.


Samuel Brinton is a student at Kansas State University studying mechanical and nuclear engineering and vocal music performance, with a minor in Chinese language. He is in his senior year and will be going to graduate school in nuclear engineering with a concentration in technology and policy. He wants to study the international nuclear fuel cycle as a system and its political and economic factors.

He is the president of his student chapter of ANS and serves on the Public Information Committee and Student Sections Committee.

Registration opens for 2011 ANS Student Conference

The ANS 2011 Student Conference, Living in the Heartland of the Nuclear Renaissance, will be hosted by the ANS Student Section from Georgia Institute of Technology at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, April 14-17, 2011. Registration for the conference is now open.

The 2011 Student Conference will provide attendees with a full range of opportunities to attend paper presentations by students, hear world-class speakers from the nuclear industry, participate in tours of nuclear facilities, experience workshop presentations, network with recruiters, attend social events, explore Atlanta, and enjoy the closing awards banquet at the Georgia Aquarium. Students and professionals will both find value in the conference.

The registration fee is $25 for student members and $70 for non-members during the early registration phase.  Early registration ends on Friday, March 4th. Early registrants will receive a free round-trip MARTA pass for travel between the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Hyatt Regency.  Tour capacities are limited and will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, so register early to guarantee a spot.

For more information about the conference and access to the registration page, please visit Further information and updates on the Georgia Tech ANS Student Section can also be found on Twitter —@GeorgiaTechANS—and Facebook.

The U.S. and the world in the nuclear power race

Excelsior College on Wednesday, January 26, is hosting a webinar, Can the U.S. Catch the World in the Nuclear Power Race? which will bring together scholars and nuclear technology practitioners from across the United States for a panel discussion on the subject matter. The event is being held in conjunction with National Nuclear Science Week.

The webinar, sponsored by Excelsior College’s School of Business & Technology, will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. EST and is available online here. Please take time to send an RSVP e-mail to Excelsior College’s Tina Perfetti.

Excelsior College, in Albany, N.Y., is one of 41 schools nationwide that has a student chapter of the American Nuclear Society, and is the only distance learning institution with an ANS student chapter.

U.S. engagement in nuclear energy production

The webinar will open with a look at recent claims by China of a major breakthrough in nuclear fuel reprocessing, as a starting point for discussion on America’s international engagement in nuclear energy—the technology that was pioneered in the United States—and the consequences of falling further behind France, Russia, Japan, and other nations that continue to expand their investments in nuclear power generation.

The panel will include:

  • Gilbert Brown, professor, Nuclear Engineering Program, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Faculty Committee member, Excelsior College, Fellow, American Nuclear Society
  • Byron Thinger, senior nuclear engineer, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, Faculty Committee member, Excelsior College
  • Jay James, nuclear engineer (retired), Faculty Committee member, Excelsior College
  • Anthony DeAngelo, health physicist, Instructional Faculty, Excelsior College, president-elect of the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Health Physics Society
  • Patrick Berry, director, Training and Development, Entergy Nuclear, Industry Advisory Council, Excelsior College
  • Peggy Caserto, Instructional Faculty, Excelsior College
  • Randy Fromm, senior consultant, The Westwind Group, Inc., Instructional Faculty, Interim Program director, Excelsior College

To follow along on Twitter, search the term #NukeWeb.

This post appeared on the ANS Nuclear Cafe.

2011 ANS Student Conference at Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech Student Section of the American Nuclear Society will host the 2011 ANS Student Conference on April 14-17, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

The conference is the nation’s premier venue for student professional development in nuclear science and technology. Students working in these disciplines gather with industry professionals to share and exchange research and ideas that are critical to the growth of the industry. The conference is an ideal occasion for students to interact with professionals, hear world-class speakers, network with recruiters, and gain real-world perspectives.

Conference participation by students and professionals has surged in recent years. In fact, the 2010 Student Conference at the University of Michigan had a record-setting 665 attendees. This increasing interest in the conferences provides unique opportunities for industry and academic collaboration and partnership. Integrating the successes of previous conferences with the opportunities available to Georgia Tech, the 2011 conference’s officers plan to take it one step further.

Below is a preview of the 2011 conference:

  • Seminars and workshops – A variety of technical and non-technical sessions focusing on unique topics will be offered throughout the conference.
  • Exhibit fair – The best recruitment and advertising opportunity is the student conference exhibit fair. Interact with more than 500 of the brightest students in the nation.
  • Student research presentations – Students will be showcasing their research through a variety of topic tracks mirroring the ANS divisions.
  • Professional keynote addresses – Talks and presentations from prominent industry professionals and scientists will bring distinct perspectives to the conference.
  • Second-annual public forum on nuclear energy – Expanding on the success of the University of Michigan’s conference, a public town-hall style meeting will be held with a panel of leading industry professionals to answer questions about and encourage the support of the nuclear industry.
  • Nuclear facility tours – Come see the nuclear renaissance at work!  Tours will include the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Technical Training Center, the Vogtle nuclear power plant, and the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility.
  • “Nuclear in the Arts” night – A gallery showing of nuclear-themed art and a special performance of “Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie.”
  • Closing awards ceremony and banquet – Join us on Saturday night for a truly unforgettable experience at the Georgia Aquarium’s Oceans Ballroom.

For more information, visit the ANS Student Conference Web site. Student abstract submission is currently open. Registration will begin in early January.  We look forward to seeing you in April.

The conference committee chairs are:


Tim Cahill, General Conference co-chair, is a first-semester graduate student who became interested in nuclear science during his freshman year of high school after participating in a career research project.  Currently, Tim works in Dr. Nolan Hertel’s research group at Georgia Tech, and he would like to get involved in nuclear detection and nonproliferation upon graduation.


Amy Varallo, General Conference co-chair, is currently in her fourth undergraduate year at Georgia Tech. Her interest in nuclear engineering was born when she attended a lecture her sophomore year of high school given by Dr. Alan Waltar, about his book Radiation and Modern Life: Fulfilling Marie Curie’s Dream. Upon graduation this spring, she will remain at Georgia Tech for her Master’s degree in Medical Physics. One day she hopes to enter the field of operational nuclear forensics and non-proliferation studies.


Katherine Dextraze, Finance Committee chair,  got involved in nuclear engineering when she enrolled at Georgia Tech. Her interests turned to nuclear medicine when she took the Diagnostic Imaging Physics class. After finishing her undergraduate degree in NRE, she plans to enroll in a Medical Physics program with special interest in nuclear medicine for diagnostic imaging.


Brian Dyke, Publicity Committee chair, is a fourth-year undergraduate. Much of his interest in nuclear science can be attributed to growing up in South Carolina, where many of his neighbors worked at the Savannah River Site. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in the power generation side of the nuclear industry.


Briana Ferguson, Web Media chair, became interested in engineering in eighth grade after attending an “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” presentation at Georgia Tech, and was later inspired to focus on nuclear engineering by her calculus professor. After graduation, she aims to work for the NRC.

Tripp Jones, Technical Chair, received his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2007, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Medical Physics. His research focuses on applications of gold nanoparticles to radiation-based therapy and imaging, and he is developing a fluorescence-based imaging modality to detect high-Z substances in small animals.  He hopes to find a job doing clinical research in radiation therapy.

Richard Meshell, Transportation chair, became interested in the nuclear field while he was studying physics and engineering at Auburn University. While his interests were mainly in nuclear physics, he also enjoyed the engineering aspects of his studies. He then decided to finish out his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech in nuclear engineering. After graduation, Richard plans to attend graduate school and pursue a Ph.D in nuclear engineering.


Christina Neesen, Social Committee chair, has been interested in nuclear science since 8th grade when her class did a project on the pros and cons of nuclear power. After she gets her undergraduate degree, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and work with law makers to help increase the presence of nuclear power in the United States.

Alexandria Stephenson, Hospitality chair, was enticed by nuclear engineering after electing to take a physics class—and immediately switched out of her management major. Alexandria still has no idea what she wants to do with her life but is sure she’ll be happy as long as it involves the nuclear industry.