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Illinois chapter to host national ANS 2021 Student Conference!

Illinois chapter to host national ANS 2021 Student Conference!

11/21/2019 3:31:43 PM Susan Mumm

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has won the bid to host the next ANS Student Conference in Spring 2021! The conference theme is "Saving the World One Atom at a Time."

“This theme reflects the important role the nuclear sciences will play in solving many of the world’s grand challenges,” according to the proposal written by conference co-hosts Samuel Dotson, Jeremy Mettler and Nate Reid, all NPRE students.

“It also recognizes the atomic contributions we all make every day,” the proposal continued. “Together, these contributions form the foundations of solutions to these grand challenges. It celebrates the people that make science possible by acknowledging that we come to this conference from an infinitude of backgrounds and experiences. It encourages us to widen our circles and include scientists and engineers with a diversity of thoughts. Finally, it inspires us to be active participants in the solutions to the world’s problems.”

NPRE alum Katie Mummah, right, celebrated the Illinois chapter's designation with organizers Jeremy Mettler (left), and Sam Dotson and Nate Reid (not pictured).
NPRE alum Katie Mummah, right, celebrated the Illinois chapter's designation with organizers Jeremy Mettler (left), and Sam Dotson and Nate Reid (not pictured).

The co-organizers and their advisor, NPRE Prof. Kathryn Huff, learned of the Illinois chapter’s selection on November 19 during ANS President Marilyn Kray's Special Session at the 2019 ANS Winter Meeting held in Washington, D.C.

“We all participated in several of the national ANS committee and division meetings, as well as the technical components of the conference,” Reid said. “Our proposal highlighted the benefits of having the conference at our university and was chosen by the Student Sections Committee.”

Dotson added, “I was fortunate to also attend the Young Professional’s Congress and learned valuable lessons about planning a conference from that experience."

The ANS Student Conference is a national meeting at which students can showcase their work towards the ANS vision of advancing and promoting nuclear science and technology. Students’ work from undergraduate and graduate research, senior design projects, and summer internships is presented and peer-reviewed at the end of the conference.

Illinois will host the conference in April 2021. “We project to have 450 student attendees and 150 professional attendees from colleges, universities, industries, and laboratories across the United States, with a minor number of international attendees,” Reid said.

A preliminary agenda of the conference is available in the conference proposal. Students will begin planning and executing the conference over the next 18 months. This event is primarily led by students with support from the ANS national organization.

“This is a very prestigious and competitive opportunity that our ANS chapter and NPRE Department have not had for over two decades. The student organizers, student chapter, and NPRE department get national recognition and exposure from visiting university students, industries, and laboratories. This allows several outlets for increasing graduate student admissions, industry and laboratory collaborations, and provides a platform to demonstrate the strengths of our department and program.”

– Nate Reid

Continuing, Reid said, “We expect that all students in the NPRE department will assist with many aspects of hosting the conference. More information about how to get involved will be posted in several media outlets in the NPRE Department and the Illinois ANS student chapter. We will be discussing action items at weekly meetings from now until the days leading up to the conference.”

Dotson added, “Attending the 2019 ANS student conference was my introduction to the NPRE department and I benefited greatly from my participation in that event. Hosting the conference in 2021 is a thrilling opportunity and I’m looking forward to planning it with Nate, Jeremy, and the rest of ANS-UIUC in the upcoming months.”