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Audeen W. Fentiman

Vice President / President-Elect
Nominating Committee Candidate
Members of the American Nuclear Society and their colleagues in the nuclear industry have established a standard for excellence and safety unsurpassed by any other industry. I am proud to be associated with the nuclear industry and honored to be nominated for Vice President/President Elect of the American Nuclear Society.

Over the past three decades, I have had the opportunity to serve the ANS as a member of the Board of Directors* (twice), Chair of the Planning, Local Sections, and Public Policy* Committees, member of the Finance*, Government Relations*, Accreditation, and Strategic Oversight* Committees, member of several Professional Divisions*, President of a Local Section, and Advisor for a Student branch(Section?). The asterisks indicate positions currently held.

During that same time, I have worked, conducted research, and served on various boards and panels for many of the organizations important to our industry, including an independent research laboratory, DOE laboratories, the NRC, NEI, INPO, and universities. Currently, I am Associate Dean of Engineering at Purdue University and Chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization. I have given scores of presentations and interviews, written numerous articles, and had discussions with local, state, and federal officials describing nuclear technology and the benefits it can provide. I believe I have developed a good understanding of the nuclear industry as a whole along with an appreciation for ANS and how it can serve members from the many sectors of the nuclear industry.

For more than half a century, nuclear professionals have looked to the American Nuclear Society for opportunities to learn from each other, build their professional networks, and develop the skills to communicate effectively with audiences outside of the nuclear industry. Those ANS functions are now more important than ever.

At a time when all sectors of the nuclear industry - utilities, vendors, consultants, government entities, and universities, both in the U.S. and abroad - are hiring many new people and pursuing new endeavors, knowledge transfer is critical. ANS is the one professional society that serves all sectors of the nuclear industry. It must continue to be the leading technical organization, the one that helps members keep abreast of the latest research and advocates for R&D in areas of interest to our members such as reactor life extension, small reactors, GEN IV, radiation detection, security and safeguards, etc.

Likewise, as the industry is growing and changing, it is important to build and expand professional networks, especially for younger members of the profession. Once again, ANS - both the national organization and local sections - can play a central role. Finally, making information on nuclear science and technology available to teachers, students, elected officials, the media, and the general public in formats they commonly use is essential to strengthen support for nuclear technology and its many applications. ANS is key to that effort.

To perform these services effectively, it is important that ANS include in its membership (and thus its communications network) a significant fraction of the scientists and engineers working in all sectors of the nuclear industry.

If I were to have an opportunity to lead the American Nuclear Society, my goals would be to:
  • Increase and broaden ANS membership.
  • Assure continued focus on sharing knowledge and advancing nuclear science and technology.
  • Enhance tools for communication among members at all levels of the organization.
  • Improve opportunities for professional networking and development.
  • Expand our efforts to provide information to external audiences.

These goals are not new. They reflect the mission of the ANS, our strategic plan, and the efforts of many ANS presidents. The next few paragraphs briefly present some thoughts on how to pursue these goals.

Increase and broaden ANS membership - We need to both attract new members and retain current members who have contributed so much. We must actively recruit from all demographic groups, with special emphasis on those who are new to the industry. Tactics include talking with employers about encouraging their professionals to be active in ANS and working with university faculty to get student members fully engaged. It is important to seek our current members' advice on services most valuable to them - and to act on that advice.

Assure continued focus on sharing knowledge - Most members join ANS for the opportunities to attend technical meetings, hear outstanding speakers, present their own research, and network with colleagues. Continuing to conduct well-organized technical meetings and publish high-quality technical journals must be the highest priority. It is important that our members continue to write standards for the nuclear industry.

Enhance tools for communication - Members need to be able to retrieve information and connect with each other quickly. As a starting point, must be user-friendly and provide access to information members find valuable. Information technology at ANS should facilitate virtual meetings and collaboration on projects.

Improve opportunities for professional networking and development - Newcomers to the industry and current members advancing in their careers seek to build their networks. Professional Divisions obviously provide valuable connections. Making all members aware of the ANS Professional Divisions' activities through occasional short reports to the full membership would facilitate network building. ANS can also arrange for professional development activities at meetings and via electronic communication. I am particularly interested in developing leadership skills among our members and providing opportunities to exercise those skills within ANS.

Expand outreach efforts - One of the primary goals of ANS is to be the recognized source of credible information on nuclear science and technology. The Outreach Department and the Public Information Committee have done an excellent job, but there is always more to do. We need to provide more outreach opportunities for those who want to be involved and seek new audiences.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on the future directions for ANS. If elected, I pledge to redouble my efforts to serve ANS and its members. Several of my current appointments will end in June 2011, giving me even more time to devote to ANS. But perhaps more importantly, I pledge to work with the various ANS units to create opportunities for more members to be actively involved and provide leadership in the Society. It is the members' collective efforts, more than those of any single officer, that will strengthen our organization.

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