In keeping with its tradition of being at the forefront of all things science and technology, WPI is hosting a conference for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Radiation Protection.
Established in 1946, the ISO is an independent organization comprising members from 163 countries, all of whom work toward the common goal of creating effective and safe industrial standards in a variety of areas, from food safety, agriculture, and health to medicine and lab equipment to chemicals and mechanical engineering. These standards help bolster business productivity and quality while ensuring consumer safety.
The conference, held today through June 16, welcomes 81 radiation safety experts from around the United States, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
This is the first time WPI has hosted an ISO meeting, says physics professor David Medich, whose research work and areas of expertise in radiation safety and the medical applications of radiation earned him the title of vice chair of the ISO Radiation Safety Committee. He petitioned in 2016 for WPI to host the 39th annual meeting. Despite tough competition, the university was selected to host the conference.
“We’ll be discussing more precise and accurate methods for measuring radiation emitting sources and characterizing radiation fields, the proper methods for handling medical radiation sources, and the determination of radiation in the environment,” Medich says.
The committee gathers annually to review scientific studies and data related to radiation safety, discuss whether or not new standards on radiation protection need to be drafted, and review the status of the 30 draft standards currently in development. Once the draft standards are reviewed, the committee will vote on whether or not they believe the draft can move on to become an ISO standard. If not, the draft will be further critiqued and reworked until it is deemed acceptable.
Additionally, members will be working during the conference to develop worldwide standards to ensure the safety of radiation workers and the public.
While Medich aims to provide attendees with an atmosphere that’s conducive to reviewing scientific knowledge and safety standards in keeping with the mission of the ISO, he’s also planning to, “... showcase the WPI campus and our accomplishments in nuclear science and engineering.”
-By Allison Racicot