July 23, 2008
We are co-sponsoring an international workshop at University Place in Idaho Falls this week on a developing field of nuclear-energy research. The event, the first of its kind, is an example of the University's leadership and global engagement.
Attendees are learning more about reliably predicting how new nuclear systems will perform as researchers, quite literally, venture where no one has gone before.
Verification and validation of nuclear system analysis codes—V&V, in the shorthand of the field—is a key process in designing the next generation of nuclear-energy systems.
The workshop on the topic has attracted more than 200 participants from five continents and 21 countries.
There is an underlying purpose to the event. As nuclear-power research moves into new frontiers, many in the profession are nearing retirement. When they leave, decades of experience and know-how will leave with them. So the gathering also will promote interaction between the older generation of nuclear researchers and their younger counterparts.
George Imel, Ph.D., chair of Idaho State University's nuclear engineering department, is chairing the V&V Workshop, which the Idaho National Laboratory, North Carolina State University and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies are also sponsoring.
Dr. Imel says the workshop will contribute to the recognition of the eastern Idaho organizations "as significant contributors to the international nuclear research effort."
Idaho State University is showing similar engagement and leadership in other disciplines as well.
In June 2009, ISU's biological sciences department will sponsor the 44th North American Moose Conference and Workshop. Focusing on an icon of the wild, it is drawing RSVPs from leading international and domestic experts, says department Chair Terry Bowyer, Ph.D.
And this past June, Idaho State University joined technology firms EDS, Microsoft and (ISC)2, as well as key federal agencies, in conducting the 12th colloquium for information-systems security education in Dallas, Texas.
Engagement with our colleagues around the world enhances scholarship at Idaho State University, provides leadership in important fields, and strengthens our higher-education mission.
Faculty and students learn from each other at such forums, and we bring what we learn into our classrooms.
Important relationships are affirmed, while the seeds of new ones are planted.
"It's not just the science," Dr. Bowyer says, "but the scientific connections that are important."
At Idaho State University, we connect those who helped shape today's world with those who will shape the world of tomorrow.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University