Mary Johansen will be receiving her M.S. degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University this May. She worked with Dr. William Charlton to quantify the nuclear weapons latency value of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The JCPOA is intended to ensure that the nuclear program in Iran will exist solely for peaceful uses, but, given Iran’s past actions of nuclear hedging and pushing the boundaries of agreements, policymakers would benefit from a reliable method to judge the effectiveness of the agreement and how it should influence future policy. One method that can help inform policy decisions is using estimates of a State’s nuclear weapons latency. Nuclear Weapons Latency is defined as the time needed for a non-nuclear weapon state to develop a conventionally deliverable nuclear weapon. Johansen quantified Iran’s nuclear weapons latency both with and without the JCPOA using the Nuclear Weapons Latency Computational Tool developed by Dr. David Sweeney and Dr. Charlton at Texas A&M. This MATLAB-based software focuses on the use of time-dependent proliferation pathway modeling using Petri Nets.
Johansen graduated from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in physics. She successfully defended her Master’s thesis in March.
For more information on Johansen’s work, please visit her profile page.