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Published October 29, 2021
The School of Energy Resources (SER) is seeking proposals from current University of Wyoming faculty members to co-direct a Nuclear Energy Research Center (NERC).
SER is focused on academics, outreach and research to yield energy-driven economic development for Wyoming. Considering this mission, SER selectively supports research centers of excellence across the University of Wyoming. This RFP is focused on building up a new center of excellence focused on nuclear energy.
Wyoming has long been a contributor to nuclear power as the largest US producer of uranium with substantial remaining reserves, although production has stalled in recent years. With the PacifiCorp/TerraPower announcement that Wyoming will be home to the first-of-a-kind demonstration of TerraPower’s NatriumTM nuclear power plant, there is a renewed interest in nuclear energy across the state and at UW. Advanced nuclear has tremendous potential for Wyoming, as nuclear energy and related services are projected to be a $2.5 trillion business over the next two decades and a significant part of meeting global and local emission goals.
Recognizing that many UW faculty and staff are already active in research fields critical to the success of nuclear energy, and also that many others have skillsets that would enable them to focus on nuclear, SER is issuing this solicitation to stand up a Nuclear Energy Research Center with an initial focus of interdisciplinary nuclear-energy capacity building across UW. Capacity building will be focused on developing collaborative relationships both external and internal to UW focused on nuclear energy research.
Given that increased deployment of nuclear energy faces both technical and non-technical challenges, SER will select two directors for NERC, one focused on the social sciences (i.e., economics, social license, law/regulatory policy, communication, etc.) and the other focused on the hard sciences (i.e., chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, mechanical engineering, physics, computer sciences, electrical engineering, geology, etc.). These co-directors will be charged with coordinating the center’s management and activities.
Interested faculty and staff are invited to apply for the NERC co-director positions. For more details on the position, as well as directions for applying, please download the full RFP here. The deadline for proposal submissions is November 19, 2021. The selected Directors will be notified by December 3, 2021.