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Washington D.C.-The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) has selected Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, PA for award consideration of a cooperative agreement to run a university traineeship in Robotics. The 5-year cooperative agreement valued at up to $3M, will train graduate students in specific disciplines aligned with DOE science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce needs in the area of Robotics, particularly as they apply to the mission of EM. CMU was selected following a competitive process.

The award will support the training of the next generation of STEM professionals who will accomplish complex scientific and technical work supported by DOE and carried out by the DOE laboratories, colleges and universities, and the private sector. It will establish a DOE-sponsored University-led traineeship as a mechanism for graduate-level training critical to DOE mission-driven workforce needs, accomplished through a focused academic graduate program that delivers unique, innovative curriculum, coupled with a rigorous thesis/dissertation research requirements in Robotics.

This program will strategically address identified STEM workforce training needs in the area of Robotics as they apply to environmental remediation; radioactive waste retrieval, treatment, processing, storage, transportation, and disposal; stewardship of spent nuclear fuel and special nuclear materials; nuclear facility and infrastructure operations, maintenance and sustainment; facility/infrastructure deactivation and decommissioning; occupational (worker) safety; industrial and nuclear facility safety; and other activities related to the handling and management of high-hazard, high-consequence materials and waste.

The CMU Robotics Traineeship program will significantly advance the program objectives because it has a well-established Robotics Institute for graduate students as well as an established program aimed at younger students to encourage an interest in STEM, particularly in Robotics. In carrying out this work, CMU will team with two DOE National Laboratories: Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, SC and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.

The mission of the Office of Environmental Management is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.