Over the last week I have been in South Korea to attend a meeting of the Underground Research Facilities Network of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Geoenvironmental Research Centre covers a range of geoenvironmental sustainability issues and a major focus of our work is the safe geological disposal of high level nuclear waste.
There was much emphasis on training, development of safety assessment codes and the skills and expertise needed by the sector. The technical visits to the Korean sites charged with the disposal of waste were incredibly informative as well as the seminars focussed on the country’s public perception towards SNF management and disposal. The occasion was also a very useful networking opportunity, as it was attended by many international researchers and research opportunities were widely discussed.
Being a PVC is a very absorbing and exciting role. It is great to be able to contribute to the strategic advancement of the Institution whilst also retaining a very active research portfolio with the Geoenvironmental Research Centre. Research is at the heart of what we do and it expresses itself in our teaching, in the formative work we do for our students, in our outputs and helping tackle global issues. The University provides many opportunities for career development and I have been involved in lots of ground breaking research since joining the University as a young lecturer. In 2013, the Geoenvironmental Research Centre, based in the University’s School of Engineering, was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The centre has tackled the legacy of past industrial activity and provided solutions to the world’s future energy challenges.