- Apply to UW
- Programs & Majors
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Current Students
- UW Life
- About UW
Published April 21, 2023
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research recently announced the University of Wyoming has been selected for a Faculty Development Advancement Award as part of the NRC’s University Nuclear Leadership Program.
The award was announced in person by Commissioner Annie Caputo and Raymond Furstenau, director of the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research from the NRC, at UW’s Research Explorations for Nuclear Energy in Wyoming (RENEW) event April 14.
“We are pleased to welcome the University of Wyoming as a NRC University Nuclear Leadership Program grant recipient,” Furstenau says. “The university’s proposal is exactly the type of activity we were aiming for with this grant program.”
The $600,000 award is intended to support new faculty in the nuclear-related fields of nuclear engineering, health physics and radiochemistry, and it advances the NRC’s goal of focusing on university-led projects that complement current and future research needs.
UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) will augment the funding with an additional $100,000.
Led by Caleb Hill, UW’s J.E. Warren Chair, Nielson Faculty Fellow and associate professor of chemistry and co-director of the Nuclear Energy Research Center (NERC), the funding will be used for the NERC Faculty Scholars Program, which aims to attract exceptional pre-tenure faculty with nuclear-focused research and teaching interests to UW. The program will be managed alongside NERC Co-Director Tara Righetti.
“This award from the NRC will be critical to the continued growth of nuclear-focused programs on campus,” Hill says. “The funds will be used to hire new faculty with nuclear expertise and support current UW faculty in the pursuit of external funding from relevant federal agencies.”
The NRC was created as an independent agency by Congress in 1974 to enable the nation to safely use radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while ensuring that people and the environment are protected. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements.
Since its inception in 2009, the University Nuclear Leadership Program has provided federal funding opportunities to qualified U.S. academic institutions through scholarships and fellowships, faculty advancement awards, and trade school and community college scholarships. To date, it has awarded over 617 educational grants totaling more than $202.4 million.
“This award is yet another example of the exceptional leadership of Dr. Hill and Professor Righetti,” says SER Executive Director Holly Krutka. “Not only do they have their individual robust scholarship activities in nuclear-related research, but they also are actively working to support other UW faculty entering this field and bringing new resources to UW. This is exactly the type of activity that was intended to be undertaken by the capacity-building funding provided by the Wyoming Legislature. I commend this multidisciplinary team for their efforts.”