In Memoriam: Prof. Joonhong Ahn

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Professor of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley and NSSC collaborator and friend, Joonhong Ahn died in Japan on Sunday, June 19, 2016. Since his diagnosis in April 2015 with advanced liver cancer and throughout his treatment regimen, he maintained a relentless pace of work in service to the profession, the department and his students.

Professor Ahn received B.S., M.S. and D.Eng. degrees at the University of Tokyo, and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley, studying under Professor Paul Chambré and Professor Thomas Pigford of our Department. In addition to being a member of the Nuclear Engineering Department, where he served recently both as Vice Chair and Head Graduate Adviser, he was a Geological Faculty Scientist in the Earth Sciences Division of LBNL, and a Core Faculty Member of the Center for Japanese Studies within the Institute of East Asian Studies.

Professor Ahn’s research broadly encompassed the entire nuclear fuel cycle, with particular emphasis on mathematical modeling and computational analyses for performance assessment of geological disposal, safeguards and radiological safety. He was a leading expert on Asian nuclear power and traveled frequently to the Asia-Pacific region advising governments and industry, along with his extensive academic collaborations. After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor Power Plant in 2011, engineering resilience, resilient communities and the science-technology-society nexus became a major focus of his research. Professor Ahn played a key role in standing up the engineering ethics program at UC Berkeley. His service assignments, accomplishments and recognitions are too numerous to cite here; a proper and complete tribute will be published in the near future. The Department in conjunction with the Center for Japanese Studies plans to hold a memorial service early in the fall semester.


NSSC Students Honored with Awards at UITI Review Meeting

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Oral and poster presenters competed for four awards as a part of the University & Industry Technical Interchange (UITI) Program & Technical Review Meeting held June 7-9, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Three of these awards went to students of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium. The UITI Meeting was hosted by the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.

Ross Barnowski, University of California, Berkeley, won for his oral presentation on “Volumetric Gamma-Ray Imaging in Real Time.”

James Bevins, University of California, Berkeley, won an for his oral presentation on “Modification of NIF Neutron Spectrum for Forensics Applications.”

Nick Walsh, University of California, Davis, won for his poster presentation on “Investigation of a Neutron Spallation Cross-Section in Argon.”

The UITI 2016 Review Meeting is an opportunity to showcase the DNN R&D funded research projects from universities and their national laboratory partners to the broader nuclear security and nonproliferation community. The Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC), Consortium for Verification Technology (CVT), and the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) were represented.


NSSC-MSI Collaborative Research yields PRL

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As a part of the NSSC-Minority Serving Institution Collaboration, Paul Gueye from Hampton University and Michael Thoennessen from Michigan State University worked as partners on research conducted at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

As a part of this collaboration, during 2013-2015 academic years, NSSC funding supported Mr. Adeleke Adeyemi, PhD student at Hampton University, to assist Ms. Jessica Freeman in her data analysis and simulation work at NSCL. Adeyemi’s work focuses on the production of a highly polarized positron beam using polarized electrons at MeV energies in the CEBAF injector at Jefferson Lab. A PRL has been published from the results of this proof-of-principle experiment.

Read the PRL article here.

The PRL has been highlighted as an Editor’s Suggestion, is featured on the Jefferson Lab home page, and as breaking news on EurekAlert!.

This work is part of the NSSC-MSI Collaboration. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage participation of talented researchers and students from Minority Serving Institutions in NNSA mission­ relevant science by joint partnerships with the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium.