The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center (NTNFC), within the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, held the first annual Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholars Research Presentation Meeting at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on December 12, 2011.
During the meeting, student recipients of the DHS Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship Program (NFUSP) presented their final research results, marking the culmination of their university studies and hands-on technical experience at Oak Ridge, Savannah River, and Idaho National Laboratories. Faculty advisors, laboratory mentors, and representatives of DNDO were on hand to review the scholars' work.
The DHS NFUSP aims to introduce outstanding physics, chemistry, and nuclear engineering undergraduate students to nuclear forensics-related research at national laboratories. In this inaugural year of NFUSP, three students were awarded a monetary scholarship and given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a summer research practicum, under the guidance of a senior laboratory mentor and a university faculty advisor.
For these outstanding students, the NFUSP was a career-establishing experience; most have already decided to pursue graduate studies in nuclear engineering and chemistry - and apply for a DHS Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship.
The NFUSP is part of the National Nuclear Forensics Expertise Development Program (NNFEDP), launched by DHS in 2008 and codified by the 2010 Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act (P.L. 111-140). The NNFEDP is devoted to developing and maintaining a vibrant and enduring academic pathway from undergraduate to post-doctorate study in nuclear, geochemical and science specialties directly related to nuclear forensics.