Press Release

Contact: Stefani Buster,

Consortium For Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) Attends UPR 2018

(Click here for PDF version)

In an effort to stop nuclear weapons proliferation, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) supports several nuclear science-based efforts to help develop the next generation of nuclear nonproliferation professionals.  Each year, the NNSA holds a meeting to review the work that the researchers and their students have done.  From June 5th to 7th in Ann Arbor, Michigan, dozens of Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) members participated in the fourth annual meeting, which was hosted by the Consortium for Verification Technologies (CVT) and also attended by Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NNSC) as well as other individual research grantees.


During this meeting, Ms. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), provided opening remarks which highlighted the importance of the Integrated University Program (IUP) and the critical role it plays in helping the NNSA accomplish its mission. Ms. Gordon-Haggerty then presented awards to three outstanding students, one from each consortium, for their innovative research conducted in collaboration with a US national laboratory.


Funded by the DOE NNSA component of IUP with the goal of advancing nuclear nonproliferation technology and capabilities, all of the grantees displayed their work and progress while discussing new ideas and collaborations. CNEC participants gave 15 oral and 30 poster presentations covering the Consortium’s four Thrust Areas along with policy research and outreach efforts.  In addition, several CNEC students won awards for their work.  CNEC Fellow Connor Awe, a Physics graduate student from Duke University, was awarded the Best National Laboratory Collaboration prize for his work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory on “Experimental observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEν NS) and evaluation of neutrino detector designs for reactor monitoring”.  Nathanael Simerl, a Kansas State University Nuclear Engineering graduate student, was awarded Best Oral Presentation for his work entitled “Radiological Dispersal Device with a UAV-Mounted Portable Spectroscopic Sensor”.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate student Aric Tate was awarded Best Poster Presentation for his research on “Muon Tomography with Fast Timing for Fissile Material Detection”.

CNEC looks forward to hosting the next University Program Review (UPR) in Raleigh, NC.


Left to right: Ryan O’Mara (NCSU), Joseph Cope (NCSU), and Simone Santos (NCA&T)


Aric Tate (UIUC) is presented with an award for best poster presentation. Pictured left to right: Aric Tate, Prof. Jasmina Vujic (UC Berkley), Prof. John Mattingly (NCSU), Prof. Sara Pozzi (UMich).


Jay Runge (Duke, left) accepts the award from Ms. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty (NNSA right) for best laboratory collaboration on behalf of Connor Awe (Duke, not pictured), who was at an international conference giving an invited talk on his groundbreaking neutrino detection research.


Nathanael Simerl (KSU, left) is presented the award for best oral presentation by Mr. Craig Sloan (NNSA, right).