Giving back: Helping disadvantaged high school students discover nuclear engineering

April 9, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News

Charles Harper (seated) with son Jeff (right) and grandson Phillip (left). (Photo: Otis Waters)

Charles L. Harper understands disadvantage. It was his personal drive and love for learning that pushed him to leave inner-city Detroit, join the U.S. Navy, earn degrees in psychology from Wayne State University and the University of Detroit, and enjoy a successful career as a clinical psychologist. He served as a strong role model for his son Jeffrey, who is an entrepreneur and international energy executive.

The Harper men have many things in common. According to Jeffrey, “Both my dad and I share a common self-motivation and a love for learning, but the most critical thing we share is the continual quest for opportunity, which led us both to moments of predestination that changed our lives.” And now, in honor of his father, the younger Harper has used these qualities to found Charles Harper Charities (CHC) with the aim of introducing disadvantaged youth to the world of nuclear engineering.

One CHC offering helps rising high school seniors attend a summer program to prepare them for college and introduce them to nuclear engineering. This summer’s Nuclear Engineering Opportunity Program, which will be CHC’s inaugural course, will be held at the University of Michigan in conjunction with the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS) and the College of Engineering’s Office of Culture, Community, and Equity. The monthlong residential course will host rising seniors from Detroit at no cost to them and will introduce them to STEM subjects and provide tours of nearby nuclear facilities.

SRMC funds STEM scholarships for Voorhees University

April 5, 2024, 12:01PMRadwaste Solutions
SRMC’s Dave Olson (left) presents a $10,000 check to Voorhees University president Ronnie Hopkins. (Photo: SRMS)

Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), the liquid waste contractor at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, recently presented a $10,000 check to Voorhees University to fund science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarships.

UC–Berkeley, New Mexico State among universities awarded DOE grants

March 27, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News

The University of California–Berkeley and New Mexico State University have each received financial assistance grants for radioactive waste management projects as part of the Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP), an initiative of the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management. A total of seven minority serving institutions (MSIs) are to be awarded an estimated total of $24,761,831 in MSIPP grants for the three-year period from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2027.

Radiation workshop and reactor tour a big draw for educators

March 15, 2024, 12:00PMANS News

The American Nuclear Society has hosted workshops for teachers for years, but the latest Educator Workshop and Research Reactor Tour, which took place in November at the 2023 Winter Conference and Expo, was especially successful. ANS partnered with the University of Maryland for the event, which was part of the Society’s Powering Our Future initiative, sponsored by the Department of Energy.

Prepare for the 2024 PE Exam with ANS guides

March 7, 2024, 3:00PMANS News

The next opportunity to earn professional engineer (P.E.) licensure in nuclear engineering is this fall. Now is the time to sign up and begin studying with the help of materials like the online module program offered by the American Nuclear Society.

NEDHO diversity panels inspire and raise awareness

March 5, 2024, 7:03AMNuclear News

The NEDHO Diversity Panel featured, from left, University of Michigan professor John Foster; Jeffrey Harper, then a vice president at X-energy; William D. Magwood, director general of the NEA; and Londrea Garrett, a Ph.D. student at UM. (Photo: Aditi Verma/University of Michigan)

The Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO) has been sponsoring Diversity Panels since October 2022, when the inaugural meeting was hosted by the University of Tennessee Department of Nuclear Engineering. The panels were established as a distinguished speaker series by a working group led by Wes Hines, head of the UT Department of Nuclear Engineering, and Todd Allen, a former NEDHO chair and the current chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS) at the University of Michigan.

Allen explained that the panels are meant to be “a first step toward improving the diversity of the talent entering the nuclear science and engineering fields.” The idea came from a presentation by Andreas Enqvist, director of the nuclear engineering program at the University of Florida, at the November 2021 NEDHO meeting. According to Allen, Enqvist described “ASEE [American Society for Engineering Education] data on how poorly the nuclear engineering field was doing at getting black students to study nuclear at the B.S. level and, even worse, how few moved from B.S. to graduate programs.”

Engineering scholarship established by L&A at WSU Tri-Cities

March 4, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Washington State University Tri-Cities campus. (Photo: WSU)

A new engineering scholarship at Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities has been established by Longenecker & Associates for students interested in careers that support Department of Energy missions.

Local high schoolers shadow SRS engineers

February 20, 2024, 9:27AMRadwaste Solutions
Aiken County Public School District students test out a mock glovebox during a tour of the Savannah River Site’s Waste Solidification Building. (Photo: SRNS)

Fifteen area high school students recently completed job shadow experiences with leaders, engineers, and education outreach personnel at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina, according to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS).

Atoms for Humanity highlights nuclear’s clean energy and space exploration roles

February 8, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Argonne director Paul Kearns delivers the plenary lecture on the first day of the 2023 Atoms for Humanity symposium. (Photo: Purdue NE/CHE)

The roles of nuclear energy as a clean energy source and in space exploration were highlighted at the recent Atoms for Humanity symposium, held October 25–26, 2023. The symposium, which was organized by Purdue’s Center for Intelligent Energy Systems (CiENS) and hosted by the university’s School of Nuclear Engineering, was held on the West Lafayette, Ind., campus in Eliza Fowler Hall.

NRC’s UNLP to award 22 new education grants

February 7, 2024, 12:07PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced its intention to award 22 education grants worth a total of $8.2 million to 16 academic institutions in 15 states. The grants, which are part of the NRC’s University Nuclear Leadership Program (UNLP), are meant to support nuclear engineering and science programs. Two of the recipient schools are classified as minority-serving institutions.

Progress continues with ANS Certification Program to address industry workforce gaps

February 7, 2024, 7:07AMNuclear News

The American Nuclear Society President’s Special Committee on Certification is making progress toward launching a nuclear certification program later this year. The program outlined to the ANS Board of Directors in 2023 is being designed to help establish industry standards and bridge workforce gaps in the nuclear sector to address the growing demand for qualified professionals in the nuclear industry.

L&A to increase support for Post Foundation STEM scholarships

January 30, 2024, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

To honor the 50th anniversary of Waste Management Symposia (WMS), Longenecker & Associates (L&A) has announced an increase in its financial support for WMS’s scholarship efforts.

Since launching a 10-year commitment in 2019, L&A has contributed $125,000 to the Post Foundation, which provides scholarships for students pursuing careers in the safe management in nuclear materials and supports their participation in the annual WMS conference on the management of radioactive waste and related topics.

Education outreach promoted by SRS and WIPP

January 29, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
WIPP’s Joy James-Foster (left) visited SRNS’s Kim Mitchell to learn about how to establish a Regional Science Bowl in Carlsbad, N.M. (Photo: SRNS)

A program manager from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant recently visited the Savannah River Site to benchmark an education outreach program’s successful science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) outreach initiatives, which have been in place with local schools since 2008.

International School of Nuclear Law receiving applications

January 24, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News

The application period for the 2024 session of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency’s International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL) is now open. The school will run from August 26 through September 6 in Montpellier, France.

Registration is required.