University of Pittsburgh
August 30, 2009

Pitt in Brief News, Awards, and Developments From the University of Pittsburgh

Pitt's nuclear engineering program received a $400K federal grant, two professors are among the first American Chemical Society Fellows, and Pitt's Ridgeway Center launches a journal on international security issues
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Behind the larger stories about the University of Pittsburgh are other stories of faculty, staff, and student achievement as well as information on Pitt programs reaching new levels of success. The following is this week's compilation of some of those stories.

Nuclear Engineering Graduate Fellowships Launched With $400K Federal Grant

Pitt's nuclear engineering program netted a coveted $400,000 grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to support two graduate fellowships, which will help bolster the academic research component of Pitt's nearly three-year-old program. The NRC grant will support two PhD students with $50,000 a year for four years. The students will collaborate with Westinghouse Electric Company to develop a more quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the degradation of the austenitic stainless steels used in constructing nuclear reactors.

Pitt's program was established to answer the growing demand for nuclear engineers and is the only nuclear engineering track in Western Pennsylvania. The program is noted for teaching and training aspiring engineers in nuclear operations and safety by working closely with nuclear engineering companies such as Bechtel Bettis, Westinghouse, and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company. The NRC has frequently recognized Pitt's program with support. In August 2008, the program received grants totaling $650,000 to bolster its undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Since 2007, the NRC has provided $400,000 for a distance-learning portion of the graduate certificate, a unique aspect of Pitt's program geared toward students across Pennsylvania and nuclear engineers already in the workplace.

For more information, contact Pitt News Representative Morgan Kelly at 412-624-4356 (office); 412-897-1400 (cell);

Two Pitt Professors Among Inaugural Class of American Chemical Society Fellows

The world's largest scientific society selected two Pitt chemistry professors to join its inaugural class of Fellows. Kenneth Jordan, Distinguished Professor of Computational Chemistry, and Dennis Curran, Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and Bayer Professor, were among 162 chemists recognized as the American Chemical Society's first class of Fellows at the society's August meeting in Washington, D.C. Established in 2008, the ACS Fellows program recognizes members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the society. Unlike ACS national awards, the honor of designation as Fellow is conferred to those who have distinguished themselves in multiple areas, including the promotion of science, the profession, and service to ACS.

For more information, contact Pitt News Representative Morgan Kelly at 412-624-4356 (office); 412-897-1400 (cell);

New Pitt Journal Reviews Modern International Security Issues

Pitt's Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies earlier this year launched its inaugural scholarly journal, "The Bunker." Published in conjunction with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, "The Bunker" investigates the parallels between past and emerging international security issues, drawing on Santayana's Law of Repetitive Consequences that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. The premier issue delves into the need for civilian control over Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, asks how to build a viable police force in post-conflict Liberia, and analyzes the impact of the massive Chinese submarine fleet on the U.S. Navy, citing the increasing importance of submarines. The inaugural edition is available on the Ridgeway Center's Web site at For information about the Ridgway Center, visit

For more information, contact Pitt News Representative Amanda Leff at 412-624-4238 (office); 412-337-3350 (cell);