WPI Student Selected for Nuclear Exchange Program in Russia

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. -- A WPI student is one of four university students in the U.S selected to participate in a Russian and American Youth for Nuclear Science (RAYNS) Program jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Society of Russia. This is the fourth year of this exchange program.

John Koser, a junior mechanical engineering major from Fort Pierce, Fla. and the three other students will depart the U.S. on Sept. 9 for Moscow, Obninsk, and Uliasnovsk and return to the U.S. on Sept. 21. A group of Russian students will reciprocate and travel to the U.S. in November for a series of events in Washington, D.C.

Others selected are: John Shipp - Texas A&M University - 3rd Year Grad; Daniel Dorsey - Texas A&M University - 1st Year Grad; and Leslie Duncan - University of Missouri-Columbia - 2nd Year Grad.

This international student exchange program was previously organized under the Russian/American Exchange Program. The exchange program consists of two parts. First, American students travel to Russia to attend a meeting of the Youth Department of the Russian Nuclear Society (YDRNS) and the national meeting of the Nuclear Society of Russia. While there, the students will be hosted by Russian students who will serve as guides and translators.

During the second part of the program, the Russian students will travel to America to attend the national meeting of the American Nuclear Society. While in the U.S., they will be hosted by the American students.

"The previous exchange trips have proven quite beneficial and eye opening for all participants," says Bradley Rearden, RAYNS Exchange Program Coordinator. "They get to experience first hand the technological capabilities of each others' countries, through meetings and facility tours. They are also given the opportunity to experience a culture from the other side of the globe through numerous excursions to fun and famous places. Perhaps the most important aspect of these exchanges are the international friendships that are formed. Many of the participants maintain contact with their new friends long after the trip is over.

One product of the previous two years' exchanges was the coordination of an international conference, Youth and the Plutonium Challenge, held in Obninsk, Russia in July of 1998. The primary organizers of this conference met through this exchange program, discussed ideas that they thought were important to young nuclear engineers, and organized an international forum with well over 100 attendees from nine countries. Rearden believes the atmosphere of these exchanges is fast and furious and will motivate the participants to be more active in their field.

The dates of this years' exchange program for U.S. participants are:

In the Russian Federation

Date Function
Sept. 9 Depart U.S. for Russia
Sept. 10 Arrive Moscow, travel by bus to Obninsk
Sept. 11-12 Meeting of the Youth Department of the Russian Nuclear Society
Sept. 13 Travel to Ulianovsk
Sept. 14-19 Annual Meeting of the Nuclear Society of Russia
Sept. 20 Tour of Moscow
Sept. 21 Depart for U.S.

In the United States

Date Function
Nov. 14 Travel to Washington, D.C.
Nov. 15-19 Winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society
Nov. 20 Tour of Washington Area
Nov. 21 Depart Washington