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2006-2007 Annual Report

Executive Committee President: Eric Pace 07 Vice President: Erica Sherman 08 Secretary: Timothy Watson 08 Treasurer/Webmaster: Paul Kollath-Romano 07 May 3rd, 2007

Table of Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 2 Administrative Updates ........................................................................................................ 2 Institute Relations Committee .............................................................................................. 4 Professional Relations Committee ........................................................................................ 6 Social Committee ................................................................................................................... 8 Outreach Committee ............................................................................................................ 10 Miscellaneous Activities ...................................................................................................... 13 Appendix I: ANS RPI Rules (Proposed) .............................................................................. 15 Appendix II: Travel Policy and Procedures, Revision 1.1.................................................. 24

10. Appendix III: Nuclear Science Merit Badge Activities...................................................... 27


2006-2007 Annual Report



The American Nuclear Society has become an important and influential body at RPI as evidenced by its strong interaction with the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE), with prospective students, with the local community, and with the nuclear industry as a whole. Following the success of the 2006 ANS Student Conference held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in March 2006, our ANS section has shifted gears this year from conference preparation to normal operations. Our success this year was largely due to the implementation of a number of standing committees, the activities of which are detailed in this report.



Recruitment and Membership

This past year has proved to be another year in which the nuclear program at Rensselaer has had solid growth in numbers and as a result of this, ANS grew in numbers as well. Our section reached 40 active members this year, an important milestone for our section which had fewer than 20 members only a few short years ago. We attribute this growth in our membership both to the sheer increase in size of the nuclear program at Rensselaer as well as better recruitment tactics that we have developed over the years. A few of the tools used for recruitment are detailed under the Institute Relations Committee.

Departmental Changes
The Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE) underwent a change of department chairs early in 2006, and as such, there have been sweeping changes in the Department, most all for the better. Our ANS members have been pivotal in providing feedback to and working with the MANE Department as changes are made. ANS Executive Committee members Eric Pace 07, Erica Sherman 08, Paul Kollath-Romano 07, and former President Rian Bahran 06 met with the new department chair, Timothy Wei, to discuss concerns that students had over some of the changes. The result of this meeting was the formation of the MANE Student Advisory Council (SAC), an interdisciplinary group of students that provides feedback to the department and assists in the development of new curricula, recruitment of faculty, and day-to-day operations. The MANE SAC has been very successful this year under the leadership of ANS Vice President Erica Sherman and hopes to remain as effective in the future. In the fall of 2006, the aforementioned ANS members along with several members from the MANE SAC provided feedback during discussions regarding a proposal to not seek accreditation of the Engineering Physics B.S. degree in the future since the curriculum had become very similar to the Nuclear Engineering curriculum over the years. Almost all

students were in unanimous agreement that attaining a dual degree in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics (NE/EP) did not provide much benefit to either the student pursuing the dual degree or the department. In fact, attaining the dual degree in NE/EP had become so trivial that most Nuclear Engineering students chose to do so as it only required an extra course or two beyond one degree. The outcome of the discussions with faculty, the Department Chair, and the Dean of Engineering was a decision not to accredit the Engineering Physics B.S. degree in the coming ABET review. The Department will consider rebuilding a new Engineering Physics curriculum in the future with help from the MANE SAC for possible accreditation.

Section Amendments
A number of changes were made to the Section Rules following a recommendation from the outgoing 2005-2006 Executive Committee. One change is with respect to the manner in which elections were run. A rule was added to account for cases in which a candidate seeking office receives a plurality of votes but less than 40 percent of the popular vote. In such a scenario, a run-off election will now be held between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes. A more important change to the Section Rules formally creates four standing committees: the Institute Relations Committee, the Professional Relations Committee, the Social Committee, and the Outreach Committee. These committees were formed in response to complaints from several members in the past that it was difficult to become involved in a leadership role in ANS without being an officer. The creation of these committees has pushed the efficacy of our section to levels that no single member could have anticipated: our section has put together a greater number of events in this academic year than in any previous year. Almost all members from freshmen to graduates now have an opportunity to be involved in ANS. The amended Section Rules will be submitted to the Bylaws and Rules Committee prior to the 2007 ANS Annual Meeting in Boston, MA so that it may be discussed during their general meeting. The proposed amendments to the Section Rules have been attached to this report.

Travel Policy
To eliminate any ambiguity or confusion for ANS members going on travel funded by ANS, the 2006-2007 Executive Committee put together a comprehensive travel policy that is intended to serve as a detailed reference. One important clause added in the second version of the travel policy, which was passed unanimously by our section, enacts a $100 deduction in funding for a member traveling to a student conference that does not submit a paper or poster for presentation. As our ANS members have been reluctant in the past to present their research at student conferences, this clause should held provide incentive for students to submit papers for presentation. The travel policy has also served as a means of cost-cutting since it stipulates that members must reserve airfare and hotels far in advance of the expected travel date. Travel Policy and Procedures, Revision 1.1 has been attached to this report.

Meeting Minutes
Another initiative set forth by the 2006-2007 Executive Committee was the recording of minutes at meetings so that members unable to attend meetings would be able to view a transcription of a recently held meeting. This initiative will also serve the secondary purpose of preserving the history of our ANS section as electronic meeting minutes are easy to pass on.

Balanced Budget
With conferences taking place in Albuquerque, NM and Corvallis, OR this academic year, severe budgetary constraints were placed on our sections budget. Under the leadership of Paul Kollath-Romano 07, ANS was able to hold a balanced budget while sending an impressive amount of students to both the ANS Winter Meeting in Albuquerque and the ANS Student Conference at Oregon State University. The incoming treasurer Frederick Gallo 09 has already made clear his intentions to build relations with companies in the nuclear industry that could present opportunities for sponsorship and funding.



Activities Fair
Every year, the Rensselaer Union hold an activities fair at which clubs and organizations can display booths to interest prospective members. Almost every member of the freshman class attends the Activities Fair each year. In previous years, ANS was either not in attendance at the Activities Fair, or had a very limited display there. This year, the Executive Committee worked with the Institute Relations Committee to put together a more impressive display to attract students. Pamphlets were put together and a slide show with pictures from the 2006 ANS Student Conference was on display. In addition, a large poster board was created that had information about ANS and its activities. Of course, our members gave out candy as well to entice freshmen.

The display booth at the Union Activities Fair held on August 30, 2006.

Mentoring Program
Institute Relations Committee Chairman Piotr Starakiewicz 08 identified a potential mentoring program between upper-class students and freshmen early on in the academic year as a key issue that he intended to take on under the purview of his committee. Working with the Advising and Learning Assistance Center, his committee was able to successfully pair up 22 freshmen and sophomores with 12 upper-class students. Freshmen and sophomores can look to their mentors for advice on class selection, how to best pursue internships and coops, leadership opportunities of campus, and an array of other topics. Given the success of the mentoring program this year, the Institute Relations committee will continue the program in future years, pairing juniors with freshmen and seniors with sophomores so that mentor-mentee pairings can last for two years.

Talking to Potential Nukes

Nearly every semester, Rian Bahran 06 and Paul Kollath-Romano 07 are given two hours to talk to students in the 1000-level Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics (INEEP) class and convince them to pursue the exciting field of nuclear science and engineering. During the two hours they are given, Rian and Paul discuss why the nuclear industry is burgeoning in the present day, why the industry stagnated in the past, what RPI has to offer in the realm of nuclear engineering, why students should get involved in ANS, what research, internship, and co-op opportunities exist for students as they progress through their career at RPI, and what factors one should consider when thinking about choosing graduate schools or jobs. This years talk was particularly successful with many students staying afterwards to ask more questions. In the past three years that Rian and Paul have undertaken this task, they have only received positive feedback. ANS intends to continue the tradition of having some of

its members attend the INEEP class to discuss the many opportunities that young nuclear engineers have as part of ANS.

Graduate Student Night

One of the general body meetings this year devoted to our graduate students, allowing them to make presentations about their research topics for a number of reasons: 1. Promote more graduate student participation in ANS; 2. Allow undergraduate students a chance to see what doing graduate research is like; 3. Attract undergraduates to Rensselaers graduate program in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. The event was a success in that undergraduates and graduates got a chance to interact and socialize with one another. Additionally, the graduate students were able to practice their presentation skills and the undergraduates gleaned some educational information.

Jason Thompson 06 gives a presentation on his research.

Advertising for Meetings

This year marks the first year that ANS has made an active effort to advertise meetings to the general campus community. The Institute Relations committee identified key locations to target and then delegated committee members to put up posters a few days in advance of meetings. It is inconclusive whether or not the advertising campaign was effective in recruiting new members, but the incoming Executive Committee will work with the Institute Relations committee to determine the most effective methods of recruitment.



NRC/Y-12 Information Session

Since the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Y-12 National Security Complex were attending the NSBE/SHPE Career Fair during fall of 2006, Professional Relations Chairman Shadi Ghrayeb 07 asked representatives from these two organizations to come and talk to our ANS section. Both organizations responded positively. Our ANS section has strong ties to the NRC with several of our members having performed internships there,

Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson being the former chairman of the NRC, and two NRC commissioners having made visits to RPI to talk to students within the last two years.

An NRC recruiter talks to students about possible career opportunities with the NRC.

Our ANS section also has very healthy relations with the Y-12 National Security Complex thanks to former ANS member Peter Angelo who now works at Y-12. Many students expressed interest in internships and full-time positions with Y-12 as a result of the informational session.

AREVA Information Session

Also during the fall of 2006, our ANS section jointly held an information session featuring AREVA NP with the Northeast New York (NENY) ANS section. This particular event was widely attended by students, with many students outside of nuclear engineering in attendance as well as many faculty members. Former chapter Vice President Jeff Appel 05 who now works for AREVA gave a presentation on career opportunities. We were also fortunate enough to have former chapter President Jeff Powers 05 in attendance as well.

Dominion Information Session

In February, our ANS section held an information session featuring Dominion. The presenter outlined internship, coop, and full-time job opportunities with Dominion, talked about Dominions role in the nuclear industry, and talked about upcoming projects that Dominion will be taking on including work on new reactors. Following the meeting, several members took our guest from Dominion to Browns Brewery in Troy as a thank-you and to enjoy some food and drinks and talk informally.

INL Information Session

Prior to the spring 2007 career fair held by Rensselaers Career Development Center, our ANS section was fortunate enough to host an information session for the Idaho National Laboratory the night before the career fair. The information session went very well with a number of students submitting rsums as a result of the session.

MIT Lecture on the Future of Nuclear Energy

Our section invited Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Michael Golay to give a talk on the future of nuclear energy during the spring of 2007. Dr. Golay ended up giving two talks here at RPI: one on the global energy situation and global warming to the general campus community, and one on the future of nuclear energy to our ANS section. Both lectures were very highly attended, with many members from the NENY ANS section in attendance at the latter lecture on the future of nuclear energy.

Professional Database and Alumni Relations

Professional Relations Chairman Shadi Ghrayeb spearheaded an effort to create a database of contact information for professionals at companies, laboratories, and other organizations. In the future, the Professional Relations committee will work with the webmaster to make the database available electronically to members of ANS so that they have someone to contact at a particular company they are interested in. Also as part of this effort, our ANS section hopes to build and maintain relationships with our alumni to effectively create an alumni network that can be utilized by members when it comes time to looking for jobs, internships, etc. We have taken the first steps towards building an alumni network through identifying current alumni of the section and by requesting contact information for recent alumni and graduating seniors.

Professional Development
The Professional Relations committee actively disseminated information regarding the GRE and FE exams so that members interested in graduate school or becoming a professional engineer in the future would have a source of reliable information. Many of our graduating seniors took the GRE examination, and two of our seniors also took the FE licensing examination. In the future, our section hopes to put together study groups for those taking the GRE or FE examinations.



The Social Committee, headed by Ezekiel Blain 08 and Jason Kowalik 07, was extremely active this year. During the fall semester, our ANS section had more intramural sports teams than any other club or organization on campus, with organized teams for soccer, volleyball, three-on-three basketball, and dodgeball. The highlights of our intramural sports record include a D-league championship victory in volleyball during the fall semester and several playoff appearances. In addition to our activity with regard to intramural sports, the social committee also held quite a number of other social events, including pick-up touch football, a Meet The Nukes event in the beginning of the academic year, laser tag, a blood drive, and a senior appreciation dinner.

Intramural Soccer
ANS headed up a very successful soccer team through the 2006-2007 academic year. The fall semester was a bit rough, with our team the Fast Reactors going 2-4. However, the beautiful

spring weather in Troy helped propel our new and improved team, Critical Mass, to an impressive 5-2 record in the spring, finishing 2nd in the division. Unfortunately, we suffered a first round loss in the spring playoffs to a very worthy team.

ANS Critical Mass playing in a first-round playoff appearance.

Intramural Volleyball
During the fall semester in 2006, ANS put together an intramural volleyball team. Also named the Fast Reactors, the ANS volleyball team finished the season 3-3 and took home a victory in the championship game for D-league! In addition to the normal intramural schedule, ANS also sent a few of our volleyball players to the Alpha Gamma Delta 24-hour Volleyball Tournament and finished 4th place out of 20 teams in a double elimination format.

Intramural Dodgeball
The busy fall semester also saw the introduction of an ANS dodgeball team, named the Fast Neutrons. Our team was eliminated in the first two rounds of the dodgeball tournament, but our players still enjoyed the experience nonetheless and plan on returning with a team next year.

Intramural Basketball
Led by the quick footwork of Rian Bahran 06, the ANS three-on-three basketball team faced some tough competition in the fall, finishing their season 1-5. Regardless of their previous record, the team plans on returning in the coming year.

Intramural Wallyball
During the spring semester of 2007, ANS sponsored two teams for an intramural wallyball, a lesser-known sport similar to volleyball but with the inclusion of a wall that players can hit the ball off of. One of the two teams made it to the championship game, but suffered a defeat in the championship.

Meet the Nukes

Every fall, the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering usually holds a social event where freshmen nuclear engineers and engineering physicists can interact with upperclassmen, faculty, and staff in the MANE Department. However, this year the Department was unable to host the event, so ANS took the lead and organized the event. The Meet the Nukes event was held in the Rensselaer Union Games Room and was a great success, with many students and faculty in attendance.

Pick-up Games
Graduate student Rian Bahran organized several pick-up touch football games through the fall 2006 semester. Held regularly on Friday afternoons, these football games provided a nice way for ANS members to relax at the end of the week and enjoy the early fall weather before the onset of winter. Also throughout the year, Social Committee Chairman Jason Kowalik and member Joe Fricano 07 organized several Ultimate Frisbee games on weekends when the weather was permissible.

Senior Appreciation Dinner

The social committee proposed holding a senior appreciation dinner to recognize the contributions of our sections graduating seniors and to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the section. The dinner is currently scheduled for May 3rd and we are expecting 17 members to attend including five seniors.

Blood Drive
During the fall 2005 semester, ANS hosted the most successful blood drive ever held in Rensselaers history. Building off our previous success in hosting blood drives, the Social Committee once again took on the task of hosting a blood drive during the spring 2007 semester. Anecdotally, the Red Cross was very pleased with the number of people that showed up during the day of the blood drive, but we have yet to receive concrete numbers on how many people donated blood.



The Outreach Committee flourished this year under the leadership of Ashley Peterman 07 and the active involvement of freshman Nathan Gibson 10. Clearly the biggest success for the Outreach Committee was the formation of a nuclear science merit badge program from scratch. In addition, the Outreach Committee held a Nuclear Awareness Day during the spring semester that attracted a great number of students and community members.

Nuclear Science Merit Badge

As our chapter president Eric Pace 07 and member Nathan Gibson 10 both are eagle scouts, the idea of holding a nuclear science merit badge day for local Boy Scout troops came up early in the year. Eric and Nathan pursued the matter and attended meetings to see what it would take to establish a program.


After becoming qualified merit badge counselors, Nathan and Eric began making arrangements for a merit badge workshop and working through logistical issues. After only a semester of planning, they were able to establish workshop dates and solicited interest from local troops. On February 20th and 21st, 2007, our ANS section hosted merit badge workshops attended by a total of 41 Boy Scouts from nine different troops. More than half of our active membership helped out with the event, making it one of the most, if not the most, successful outreach event in our sections history.

Nathan Gibson 10 teaching local Boy Scouts about the basics of Nuclear Science.

Nuclear Awareness Day

Every spring, our section holds an outreach event called Nuclear Awareness Day to raise awareness on campus regarding the myths and facts surrounding nuclear energy and radiation. This year, we scheduled the event to coincide with the annual Nuclear Engineering Spring Barbecue. More than 70 people showed up for the afternoon barbecue, and an innumerable amount of people certainly saw the flyers posted all around campus with information about nuclear energy.


ANS members interact with the local community during Nuclear Awareness Day.

NE-YGN Kickoff Meeting

Members of the Outreach Committee led an outing to the kickoff meeting of the New England chapter of the North American-Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) in Hartford, CT. This event was important to the Outreach Committee as it was the first formal attempt at building ties with NA-YGN.

ANS members attend the NE-YGN kickoff meeting in Hartford, CT.

Following the meeting, the Outreach Committee toyed around with the idea of forming a student chapter of NA-YGN at Rensselaer, but later decided that it would not be worthwhile. However, the committee still intends on continuing to build a healthy relationship with NAYGN since their mission is very similar to that of the Outreach Committee.




Reactor Tours
As the Vice President of ANS in 2005-2006, Paul Kollath-Romano 07 came up with the idea of arranging reactor tours for ANS members. In spring of 2006, ANS took ten members to the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY, 25 miles north of New York City. Since the tour was conducted during an outage, the tour group was able to see inside containment, the spent fuel pool, the auxiliary building, the control room, the plant simulator, and other areas of the plant. All attendees expressed great enthusiasm for the event, and it was decided that reactor tours should be held each semester. In the fall of 2006, our ANS section once again arranged for a tour at Indian Point in Buchanan, NY. Again, ten members were able to make the 130 mile trip to the reactor and tour the site for a day. While they were not able to see as much of the plant as had the previous group, they were still able to get a good overview of the site layout and an impression of how large equipment can be at plants. Kollath-Romano took the idea further in the spring of 2007 by building connections with other utilities that run nuclear plants in the New England area. Tentatively, a reactor tour is scheduled at Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro, VT for the summer of 2007. More possibilities for reactor tours include the Nine Mile Point, Fitzpartick, and Millstone sites.

Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY; run by Entergy Nuclear.

ANS Conferences
Our ANS section sent seven people to the ANS Winter Meeting at Albuquerque, NM in November 2006 and 12 to the 2007 ANS Student Conference held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. During the winter meeting, many members attended the Student Sections Committee meeting to interact with other students and collectively come up with ideas to pursue in the future. While no presentations were made by our members at either conference, we have high hopes that the travel policy that was passed in the spring will help to encourage our members to make technical presentations in the future.


ANS members enjoying at meal at the 2007 ANS Student Conference.

MANE Student Advisory Council

As was mentioned earlier, the ANS membership was instrumental in the creation of a Student Advisory Council for the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, with Vice President Erica Sherman heading up the council this year. ANS plans to actively stay involved with the council as its work has a great impact on the future of the Department as a whole and the nuclear program in specific.

Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation

During the summer of 2006, ANS members Paul Kollath-Romano and Erica Sherman participated in the 12th annual Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation (NESD) to Washington, D.C., with Kollath-Romano chairing the delegation and Sherman serving as a delegate. Each year, the Delegation convenes in Washington and formulates a set of policy statements that convey their views on nuclear energy, education, and research. Then, they meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to deliberate over the subjects they have identified. This coming summer, Erica Sherman will be chairing the delegation, continuing a line of delegates from Rensselaer that have proven to be effective leaders for NESD. KollathRomano has continued helping with website maintenance for NESD.

NESD members meet with the U.S. Secretary of Energy.