OSU’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics is launching a new graduate emphasis with a benefactor that may jump out at you: Homeland Security. Nuclear forensics graduates are seen by DHS as critical for the interdiction of nuclear or radiological materials, and analysis of post-detonation radioactive debris.
According to a press release from OSU, the forensics emphasis offers graduates the ability to determine the physical, chemical, elemental, and isotopic characteristics of nuclear and radiological materials to identify how and where they were created.
With assistant funding from the Department of Homeland Security, OSU will be adding to the existing core courses of radiophysics, radiochemistry, and applied radiation safety. New offerings will include nuclear materials science, nuclear forensics analysis, and detection of special nuclear material. Leading the nuclear forensics emphasis will be OSU researcher Camille Palmer. According to Palmer, the offering will put good use to the faculty expertise in nuclear engineering, radiation health physics, and radiation detection and radiochemistry, combined with state-of-the-art nuclear lab and spectroscopy facilities in the radiation center.
“Our human capital, facilities, and proximity to U.S. national laboratories make us a natural fit for a forensics program, and our goal is to continue to strengthen research collaborations to ensure that we are consistently relevant and productive in this field,” stated Palmer.
By Kirsten Allen