On April 19th, students and faculty from Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) participated in a field detection exercise at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Disaster City facility. The visit was supported by the Nuclear Forensics for Minority Serving Institutions (NF-MSI) program sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and organized by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI). NSSPI Deputy Director and nuclear engineering assistant professor Dr. Craig Marianno and NSSPI research engineer Claudio Gariazzo coordinated the event.
NSSPI Ph.D. student J.T. Falkner led the field detection exercise, which involved using different radiation detectors to locate and characterize a simulated contamination event. The PVAMU students were asked to work together in teams and to share information between groups as though they were working in a real-life response event.
In May, a small number of the PVAMU faculty and students who participated in this exercise will be joining nuclear engineering students from Texas A&M University for a Nuclear Facilities Experience to visit nuclear facilities in New Mexico and Texas, including the URENCO uranium enrichment plant, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Waste Control Specialists.