Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
University of Michigan
July 6, 2017
I am delighted to serve the Isotopes and Radiation Division as its new Chair. Through my involvement with the Division in several functions over the past years I have developed a considerable appreciation for the value of its mission and for its pivotal role in the organization and activities of the American Nuclear Society.
The IRD membership remains stable and strong at 846 members, out of which 130 are in the early stages of their career (students or recent graduates). IRD constitutes approximately 8% of the ANS membership. I would like to recognize the recent efforts of my predecessors that contributed to our strong standing.
Our Division’s current efforts coincide with a precarious period for the field of nuclear science and engineering. We are witnessing a diminished enthusiasm for large-scale adoption of nuclear power despite its proven record and potential, especially in this tumultuous time in which we seek to tackle the issue of human effect on global climate. Even in this challenging present environment, the importance of the activities at the core of IRD’s mission remains indisputable. There is an lasting need to provide a stable, secure, and economical source of radionuclides for diverse applications such as medicine, industry, security, and fundamental research. Our modern societies demand continued innovations in nuclear analytical techniques, radiochemistry, and radiation measurements.
Recently we received another recognition of the central role of the IRD’s mission and technical focus, when two issues we identified and submitted for consideration to the entire ANS constituency were adopted in the list of nine ANS Nuclear Grand Challenges. They include establishing the scientific basis for modern low-dose regulation and ensuring continuous availability of radioisotopes. With 11 subcommittees that were recently established to supplant the efforts of the Program Committee, we are offering an immediate opportunity to our members to get involved in shaping our Division’s technical future. I would also like to recognize our Executive Committee member Kim Burns for serving as a liason to the Standards Board, where we seek a greater involvement in defining future technical standards in our field.
We continue to recognize our outstanding members, with special focus on our student and early career members. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the Vogt Radiochemistry Scholarship award winner Hayden Daugherty and invite suggestions for our Radiation Sciences & Technology Award. We have also been working to establish a regular IRD student travel award, which will further help to stimulate student involvement. Especially relevant to our student members, we consistently support the annual ANS Student Meeting, the next one taking place at the University of Pittsburgh.
The upcoming year will be busy with technical meetings that our Division organizes or co-sponsors. In addition to the regular ANS Winter and Annual meetings that will take place in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA, respectively, there are two major topical meeting highlights: the 9th International Conference on Isotopes, ICI-9, to be held in Doha, Qatar in 2017, and the International Conference on Methods and Applications of Radioanalytical Chemistry (MARC), to be held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in 2018. In addition to our exisiting close relationship with the Biology and Medicine Division, we have significantly increased our technical interactions with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Division and the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division in the areas of common technical focus.
I would like to close by thanking all IRD members for their continued efforts in supporting our mission. Simultaneously, I would like to emphasize the numerous opportunities we offer to our young members and invite them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if they need more information on how to get involved. The future success and continued high relevance of our Division’s activities especially depend on the fresh perspective and leadership of our young members. I challenge the entire Division’s constituency to take all opportunities to impart this spirit of openness to new members and their new ideas, which will help to keep our pace in technical innovation to the benefit of IRD and entire ANS.