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Visiting Speaker Series: Aditi Verma

March 30 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Critical masses: A research agenda for a more responsible nuclear field

Visiting speaker Dr. Aditi Verma

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

Technology developers and policymakers in the US and globally are developing a new generation of nuclear energy technologies – fission and fusion – with the expectation that these technologies will play an important role in the rapid and deep decarbonization of energy systems. Beyond the technical work needed to develop these technologies, a number of political, economic, ethical, and environmental challenges and problems must also be resolved before a new generation of nuclear technologies can potentially be used at scale. In this talk, Prof Verma describes how an introspective and self-reflexive approach to nuclear engineering – starting with a closer examination of the discipline’s intellectual premises and engineering design practices – can lay the foundation for a more responsible nuclear field. These claims are grounded in comparative studies of reactor design practices and ongoing work in her research group (Critical Masses) which seeks to create new processes, tools, and frameworks to support more inclusive and creative engineering design.

March 30, 4-5:30 pm, Nafziger room Vilas 5055 and on Zoom


Aditi Verma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan. Aditi is broadly interested in how nuclear technologies specifically and complex systems broadly—and their institutional infrastructures—can be designed in more just, equitable, and participatory ways that are epistemically inclusive of both lay and expert perspectives.

She was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program. Prior to her appointment at the Belfer Center, Aditi worked at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, where she led the establishment of the Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology, and Policy. Aditi has also previously held positions at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Framatome (formerly Areva), and the Center for the Study of Science, Technology, and Policy.

Aditi holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT. Her work, authored for academic as well as policymaking audiences, has been published in Nuclear Engineering and Design, Nature, Nuclear Technology, Issues in Science and Technology, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Inkstick.


March 30
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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