Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE/MP Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Science and Technology for Nuclear Nonproliferation


Dr. Sara Pozzi


Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan


Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Erickson


Since the discovery of fission, nuclear chain reactions, and nuclear weapons, preventing the spread of nuclear weapons has become a top priority for our nation and the world. Several international treaties have been put into place to curb the expansion of nuclear capabilities. Nevertheless, there are states that may be pursuing elements of an overt or covert nuclear weapons program. New science and technology developments are needed to verify the existing or proposed treaties in this area and to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again. In this presentation, I will discuss these challenges and the recent advances in science and technology that contribute to solving them. I will present our Consortium for Verification Technology, a consortium of 12 universities and 9 national laboratories working together on these issues. I will describe our studies on the fundamental emissions from nuclear fission, and the development of new detection systems for nuclear materials detection, localization, and characterization. Finally, I will touch upon the detection and characterization of nuclear explosions, with reference to the recent nuclear weapons tests in North Korea.


Professor Sara A. Pozzi earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan, Italy in 1997 and 2001, respectively. She is a Professor and Graduate Program Chair in the Department of Nuclear and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan where she established and is the leader of the Detection for Nuclear Nonproliferation Group. Professor Pozzi is the founding Director of the Consortium for Verification Technology (CVT), a large consortium of 12 universities and 9 national laboratories working together to develop new technologies needed for nuclear treaty verification. In this capacity, she directs the work of 25 faculty members and over 240 students engaged in research projects within the CVT. Her publication record includes over 350 papers in journals and international conference proceedings. She was invited to give over 80 seminars, both nationally and internationally. She has graduated 17 Ph. D. students. She is the recipient of many awards, including the 2006 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Early Career Award, 2006 Department of Energy, Office of Science, Outstanding Mentor Award, 2012 INMM Edway R. Johnson Meritorious Service Award, 2012 UM Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department, Outstanding Achievement Award, 2017 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, and 2017 Fellow, American Nuclear Society.


Meet the speaker