National Nuclear Security Administration

Annual consortium opens doors for new wave of nuclear nonproliferation experts

April 30, 2018

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Panel participants engage students from various universities.
Panel participants engage students from various universities.
Consortium panelists, from left: Dr. Karl Pazdernik and Dr. Glen Warren from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Consortium panelists, from left: Dr. Karl Pazdernik and Dr. Glen Warren from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Warren shares his thoughts on working at a national laboratory.
Dr. Jeffrey Favorite from Los Alamos National Laboratory interacts with students about their interest in specific research areas.
Dr. Jeffrey Favorite from Los Alamos National Laboratory interacts with students about their interest in specific research areas.

The Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) met earlier this year at North Carolina State University for a workshop to showcase the scientific achievements of students, faculty, and partners in areas related to nuclear nonproliferation.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for students to interact with representatives from several national laboratories. This year’s meeting featured a session with panelists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

During the panel session, students asked experts for advice on identifying research opportunities as well as practical career guidance such as preparing for summer internships. The interactive discussion provided panelists with a better appreciation for the role their organizations play in the consortium.

“The session helped me understand the questions students have with regard to expectations or assumptions about a future in nuclear security,” said David Williams, a panelist from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Established through a grant in 2014, the consortium is composed of seven universities and DOE/NNSA national laboratories. The annual meeting helps NNSA evaluate the consortium’s progress toward creating a preeminent research and education hub dedicated to the development of enabling technologies and technical talent in nuclear nonproliferation.

NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development funds three consortia to address basic research challenges in nuclear sciences and engineering, as well as nuclear nonproliferation and security applications that are complementary to national laboratory-based applied research. The consortia are also a conduit for students to obtain research positions at the national laboratories.