Skip to main content

Student section of the American Nuclear Society established on campus

Apr. 11, 2008, 3:00 PM

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) has student sections on many campuses. But Vanderbilt is the first university where a student section has been authorized that does not grant a degree in nuclear engineering.

The ANS board officially authorized full recognition of a student section at Vanderbilt last November and William E. Burchill, the vice president/president-elect of ANS visited Vanderbilt on March 14 to present the section with its official charter.

The section is hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, which is widely recognized as an academic center of expertise on the subject of radioactive waste management.

“This student section is particularly newsworthy since the environmental issues produced by nuclear materials, including the safe management of radioactive wastes, are among the most significant engineering activities associated with both nuclear power and medical applications of nuclear technology,” Burchill commented.

Section officers are graduate students Leah Spradley, Brooke Traynham and Stacey Worman and Patrick Marine.

“The formation of this section is exciting because it will bring together students from various departments that have an interest in nuclear science. Since there is no core group of nuclear engineering students, those involved with the section are new to the field of study, or have a specific research interest. This brings a unique diversity to our section,” Spradley said.

The faculty adviser is James H. Clarke, professor of the practice, whose research focuses on the long-term management of hazardous and radioactive wastes from the nuclear weapons program and has advised both the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on these issues. Other faculty members involved are department chair David S. Kosson; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Mark Abkowitz, Distinguished Professor of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Frank L. Parker and Assistant Professor of Radiology Michael Stabin.

Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 6,500 undergraduates and 5,300 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt, ranked as one of the nation’s top universities, offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.

Media contact: David F. Salisbury, (615) 322-NEWS