Khalifa University recently celebrated the completion ceremony of the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) Fundamentals Module at its campus in Abu Dhabi. The aim of the ceremony was to acknowledge and reward the efforts of the 10 local male and female participating students who work at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA).
GNEII aims to provide the region with a continual source of indigenous nuclear energy professionals with whom the global community can effectively collaborate to achieve broader nuclear energy safety, safeguards, security, and non-proliferation priorities. The GNEII program was established three months ago, when Khalifa University signed a memorandum of understanding with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station of Texas A&M University System to establish GNEII in Abu Dhabi.
During the ceremony ten students were rewarded for their participation in the program and presented projects which they researched during the program on the, ‘Effects of the Environment on Nuclear Power Plant Operations’ and ‘Integrated Safety, Security, and Safeguards.’
Commenting at the ceremony, Professor Tod A. Laursen, President of Khalifa University, said: “This ceremony marks an important milestone, both for the participating students, and the UAE. These students represent the fruits of an ambitious program to harness the peaceful potential of nuclear energy, diversify the national economy, support Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 and expand the competitive skills of UAE citizens in the global economy.”
He added; “For our part, Khalifa University is educating the next generation of engineers who will be able to support the implementation and management of nuclear energy in the UAE. We would like to thank the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA) for their support and sponsorship of this program.”
Dr. William D. Travers, Director General FANR, commenting during the ceremony, said, “We are delighted to see our employees acquire new valuable skills through the GNEII program and look forward to the positive contribution they will make when they return to their various roles with in FANR. Our participation in GNEII is important, in that it supports the overall strategy of the UAE to increase human capacity and knowledge building in these critical areas.”
Chairman of the GNEII Steering Committee, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, Dr. Amir Mohagheghi, GNEII Program Manager at Sandia National Labs attended the ceremony, along with representatives from Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA). The ceremony was also attended by Dr. Philip Beeley, GNEII Interim Director, Mr Faraj Ghanbari, Mr Adam Willams and Dr Kent Berringer, Sandia National Labs, and Mr Micheal Schuller, Texas A&M University.