A global nuclear science and engineering commencement

Theme: The important role of early career nuclear graduates in fighting climate change

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has interrupted many aspects of everyday life, including the opportunity for many students across the globe to celebrate their graduation through an in-person commencement ceremony. This year many students may not receive traditional graduation ceremonies and festivities, while transitioning to professional careers or to graduate studies.

At the same time, the world is also faced with the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions. As the single largest source of non-emitting electricity in the developed world, nuclear energy plays a very important role in climate change mitigation. And today’s nuclear science and technology graduates will play a large role in decarbonising the electricity sector and paving way for a clean energy future.

In this context, the NEA Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy organised an online event to celebrate and recognise the accomplishments of the global nuclear science and technology graduating class of 2021.

Commencement schedule

9:00-10:30 CEST and 16:30-17:00 CEST

  • Welcoming remarks: William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General
  • Keynote: Richard K. Lester, Japan Steel Industry Professor and Associate Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Charge to the graduates: Karen Astrid Hallberg, Professor of Physics at the Balseiro Institute and Research Director at the Bariloche Atomic Centre in Argentina
  • Salute from the nuclear industry: John L. Hopkins, Chairman and CEO of NuScale Power

Session 1: 9:00-10:30 CEST

  • Ryugo Hayano, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo
  • Sylvie Retailleau, President of the Paris-Saclay University
  • Arun Khuttan, End States Engineer at Magnox Ltd and COP26 Lead for Youth in Nuclear
  • Ekaterina Bogdanova, Research and Development Engineer at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)

Session 2: 16:30-18:00 CEST

  • Louis Martin-Vega, Dean of Engineering at North Carolina State University
  • Pushker A. Kharecha, Deputy Director of the Climate Science, Awareness, and Solutions Program at Columbia University Earth Institute
  • Jessica Lovering, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director at the Good Energy Collective
  • Larissa Shasko, Climate Change Energy Policy Researcher and PhD student at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan

The event was free and open to the public, and featured a session to answer questions submitted ahead of time. 

A Global Nuclear Engineering Commencement, 4 June 2021

Watch the event