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Nuclear nonproliferation Consortium for Verification Technology meets in Michigan

Ian Baughman, left, University of Michigan, discusses his research to optimize the signatures of uranium in laser ablation spectroscopy during the poster presentation session.

From left, students Mark Walker, Princeton University; Jayson Vavrek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and David Goodman, University of Michigan, were chosen as giving the best oral presentations at the workshop.As part of the Consortium for Verification Technology, NNSA works closely with partner universities and national laboratories to support research and development of new technologies that strengthen the nation’s nonproliferation efforts.

The consortium consists of 12 leading universities and nine national laboratories that work together to deliver new instruments, methods, and human capital for nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards, and arms control treaty verification.

The consortium meets annually to discuss recent research achievements. This year’s workshop was held at the University of Michigan on Nov. 28 and included more than 30 scientific presentations, poster exhibitions, and talks on research and trends in nonproliferation and nuclear security.

Workshop attendees, including the University of Michigan's Michael Bondin, had the opportunity to explore virtual and augmented reality environments adapted to applications in nuclear nonproliferation as part of technology demonstrations.

National laboratory partners provide students with a conduit to leading researchers and opportunities to perform experiments using high-tech instruments and other lab resources through visits and internship programs. Lab representatives highlighted how research from consortium students directly contributes to current work at the laboratories.

Allen Seifert, left, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, discusses research opportunities with Christopher Dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, during a student-national laboratory engagement luncheon.The consortium supports basic research directly impacting nuclear nonproliferation, bridges the nuclear nonproliferation knowledge base between academia and the Department of Energy’s national laboratory system, and develops post-graduate opportunities for students at the national laboratories or other research organizations doing work in nonproliferation and nuclear security.

This academic and laboratory partnership is key to the shared goal of developing the next generation of nuclear security and nonproliferation leaders.

Funding for consortium-supported research comes from a five-year, $25 million award granted by NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development.

James Miller, middle, Los Alamos National Laboratory, discusses research opportunities with graduate student David Goodman, University of Michigan, left, and other students attending the workshop.