Pipeline pairs universities with national labs to strengthen nonproliferation

June 9, 2011

Pipeline pairs universities with national labs to strengthen nonproliferation

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded $25 million to the University of California, Berkeley, to lead a multi-institution consortium that will support the nation's nuclear nonproliferation mission through the training and education of experts in the nuclear security field.

NNSA announced on Thursday the five-year grant to establish the National Science and Security Consortium (NSSC). UC Berkeley's College of Engineering will mark the establishment of this center today (June 10), with a kick-off meeting on campus.

The consortium, to be led by principal investigator Jasmina Vujic, UC Berkeley professor of nuclear engineering, brings together more than 100 researchers from Michigan State University; UC Davis; UC Irvine; the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) based in San Diego; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Washington University in St. Louis.

The researchers and students in the consortium will collaborate with four DOE laboratories: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. Vujic credited the decades-long relationship the University of California has with the national laboratories for the success of the grant proposal.

It will focus on the hands-on training of undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of nuclear physics, nuclear and radiation chemistry, nuclear engineering, nuclear instrumentation and public policy. The consortium's nickname is SUCCESS PIPELINE, which stands for Seven Universities Coordinating Coursework and Experience from Student to Scientist in a Partnership for Identifying and Preparing Educated Laboratory-Integrated Nuclear Experts.

The consortium will also bring in a wider network of affiliates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and their connections, and 10 primarily undergraduate colleges.