From November 30th through December 4th, 2009, NSSPI and the Department of Nuclear Engineering at TAMU hosted a group of students from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) and the Tomsk Polytechnic Univerisity (TPU) currently working in the United States as interns at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The students, Dmitry Gerasimov, Andrey Zhukov, Leonid Khodalev, Olga Mikhaylova, and Petr Mansurov, were able to tour the campus and sit in on several graduate-level nuclear engineering classes and labs as part of their experience of a U.S. university.
During their time at Texas A&M, they attended a lecture on Radiological Dispersal devices in Dr. Charlton’s course “Nuclear Nonproliferation and Arms Control” (NUEN650) and a lecture on Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) measurements in Dr. Marianno’s course “Radiation Detection and Nuclear Materials Measurements” (NUEN605). They also participated in taking SNF measurements at the TAMU Nuclear Science Center with the other students in NUEN 605 and listened to students summarize their investigations into various simulated nuclear security situations in the “Critical Analysis in Nuclear Security Data” course (NUEN656).
The students were given tours of the Radiation Detection Measurements Laboratory, the Accelerator Laboratory, the Fuel Cycle and Materials laboratory, and the Nuclear Science Center, as well as general campus attractions such as the George Bush Presidential Library, Disaster City, and the Rec Center. In addition, the Russian students participated in an informal discussion session and cultural exchange with NSSPI graduate students, in which they discussed the differences between their respective educational systems.
According to Dr. Alexander Solodov, a NSSPI staff member and their host at ORNL, the students had a great experience at Texas A&M, and some of them are “now very seriously considering coming to TAMU for the Ph.D. program.”