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Nuclear Engineering Prof Appointed State Department Fellow

Gilbert Brown to Assist in Nuclear Education, Training

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Prof. Gilbert Brown, left, with former student Leonel Nava during the 2010 annual meeting of the American Nuclear Society in San Diego.

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Nuclear engineering Prof. Gilbert Brown was recently appointed a William C. Foster Fellow by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. 

Established by Congress in 1983, the visiting scholars fellowship program gives academic faculty in the physical sciences and other disciplines a yearlong opportunity to use their research and expertise in support of nuclear arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament policies and activities of the State Department.

World developments — such as Iran’s ongoing nuclear ambition and last year’s environmental disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants following an earthquake-generated tsunami — highlight the importance of having academic experts in fulfilling the State Department’s mission.

For example, media outlets, elected officials and pundits across the United States eagerly sought Brown’s expert opinion to help them understand what was happening at the damaged Japanese reactors and provide some perspective for the public.

Brown will be involved with the Office of Nuclear Energy, Safety and Security in the State Department’s International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau. 

“I look forward to working with the State Department, helping the agency implement and support the diplomatic efforts of the United States toward peaceful nuclear cooperation throughout the world, particularly in the areas of nuclear education and training,” he says. “I also aim to gain real-world, international experience to bring back to UMass Lowell and my students.”

His main duties and responsibilities as a Foster Fellow include working with university faculties to build international academic relationships in the field of nuclear engineering, safety, security, regulations, training and nuclear infrastructure requirements; contributing to the enhancement of international peaceful nuclear cooperation and development by strengthening domestic, bilateral and multilateral relationships related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the nuclear fuel cycle; and participating in other office activities involving technical analyses of advanced fuel-cycle issues, international negotiations and the nexus of peaceful nuclear cooperation and nonproliferation.

Brown obtained his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Cornell in 1969 and his master’s and doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT in 1972 and 1974, respectively. He is Professor and Coordinator of the Nuclear Engineering Program in the Chemical Engineering Department and is faculty advisor to the Student Chapter of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). 

He is also a fellow of the ANS and has been involved with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Nuclear University Summer Institute, ABET and the National Nuclear Accrediting Board.