Aditi Verma has been appointed to two working groups at the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)’s Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology, and Policy. The Global Forum creates a framework for academics and policymakers to work together on some of nuclear energy’s most significant challenges and has several working groups. Verma has been appointed to the working groups focused on Achieving gender equity in the nuclear engineering and technology and academic workforces and Rethinking the relationship between nuclear energy and society.
Verma is a U-M Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences (NERS) Assistant Research Scientist (Assistant Professor, Fall 2022), a member of the Fastest Path to Zero Initiative team and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Prior to her arrival at NERS, Verma led the establishment of the Global Forum during her tenure at the NEA.
The NEA describes the Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy acts as an inclusive network of experts in the nuclear energy sector, primarily from academia, focused on enabling the generation and flow of ideas. With creative problem-solving measures, the Global Forum aims to help confront some of the most significant challenges the nuclear energy sector faces today. The goals and objectives of the Global Forum are to:
- Identify good practices, facilitate shared activities, and coordinate joint programs to advance nuclear science and technology, education, and policy.
- Conduct studies and analyses related to the future of the nuclear sector with a particular focus on academic and human capital issues.
- Hold periodic symposia to highlight the Forum’s work and provide a venue for experts from academic institutions, as well as other stakeholders to identify emerging issues and creative solutions related to the strategic areas identified.
For the Achieving gender equity in the nuclear engineering and technology and academic workforces working group, Verma will serve alongside Co-Chairs Seungjin Kim (Purdue University) and Vera Verkhoturova (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute). The group will refine activities to address the augmentation of the number of women in the nuclear field. For the Rethinking the relationship between nuclear energy and society working group, Verma will serve alongside Co-Chairs Edward Obbard (University of New South Wales) and Emmanuela Colombo (Politecnico di Milano).
“I am delighted to see the establishment of the Global Forum,” said Verma. “The Global nuclear energy sector finds itself at an important inflection point – nuclear energy technologies have a potentially significant role to play in the low carbon energy transition. But first, some of the sector’s most pressing challenges – its fraught relationship with society, its historically limited ability to innovate, and its failure to draw and retain diverse demographics – must be resolved. The Global Forum, by connecting policymakers with academics who are able to think creatively and in a long-term way about these issues, creates a mechanism for potentially resolving some of these critical challenges.”
“As the nation’s leading nuclear engineering program, it makes sense to also take the lead in international initiatives and I am pleased to see Dr. Verma stepping forward on the world stage,” said NERS Department Chair Todd Allen.
The working groups are comprised of experts from primarily academic institutions, international organizations, next-generation groups, foundations, and the private sector from NEA member and non-member countries. Group members will conduct studies and analyses in work areas related to the future of the nuclear sector, with a particular focus on education and human capital challenges. Outputs include internal discussion documents, topical workshops, published white papers, journal articles, editorials, and policy papers.