What Inspires Us: an Interactive Webinar
on Nuclear Narratives
March 23, 2021, 3-4:30 p.m. MST
Inspiring others to understand the benefits of nuclear energy involves more than just laying out the facts. Thoughtful and personal storytelling bridges gaps between inspired individuals early in their careers and those who are unfamiliar with the field. Telling our personal stories and motivations for working in nuclear creates common ground. Human stories are our strongest tools when speaking to the public. Breakout sessions will guide you in telling your own personal story through critique and practice with a group.
Emma Redfoot is a reactor engineer for Oklo, a startup focused on designing and building fission reactors to empower people while mitigating climate change. Emma has a BA in environmental studies from Lewis and Clark College and an MS in nuclear engineering from the University of Idaho. Growing up in Montana, the beautiful setting inspired Emma’s passion for spending time in nature and sparked her concern for the environment.
While working towards her environmental studies degree, Emma lived in Ecuador for 6 months and in Peru for 6 months. During that time, Emma observed how the local people were seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. This often meant moving to cities to find better jobs. This experience helped Emma to understand the interrelationship between energy and poverty. Energy provides a means for communities to empower themselves. After researching different energy sources, Emma concluded that nuclear needs to be a part of the clean energy mix.
River Bennett is a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Michigan where he is pursuing an MS in nuclear engineering. Supported by NRIC and Fastest Path to Zero, he researches siting and environmental justice considerations for advanced reactors.
River is also a Fellow at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance as well as a lead organizer and past participant of the Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp. Prior to these roles he worked in both education technology and international development with a focus on water and sanitation access. River studied energy policy at the University of Virginia where he graduated with a BA in Political and Social Thought.
Originally from St. Catherine Jamaica, Charlyne moved to the U.S. at the age of 17 to pursue a career in science and technology to contribute to energy solutions for current and future generations. Currently, Charlyne Smith is a National Science Foundation fellow and a fourth-year Nuclear Engineering PhD candidate at the University of Florida. Her PhD research contributes to the development and qualification of low enriched uranium fuels to replace highly enriched uranium replacement in high- performance research and test reactors. Her long-term career goals are to introduce nuclear energy technology to the Caribbean as well as to build a STEM-based high school in Jamaica. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, hiking, and spending time with her family.
French-born Pierre-Clément Simon recently graduated from Penn State and is now headed to Idaho National Laboratory as a Computational Materials Scientist. While passionate about the science and technology of nuclear energy, Simon is strongly invested in communicating his research and the benefits of nuclear energy to a wider audience. When he has a moment, you can find him either running, fencing, doing yoga, playing soccer, or starting a pick-up game of basketball.
Past Events & Webinars
What Inspires Us Webinar - Sept 29, 2020
Click here to watch video
Click here to see slides
What Inspires Us: Advanced Reactor Demonstrations - Jan. 7, 2021
This 90-minute webinar, “What Inspires Us: Advanced Reactor Demonstrations,” is moderated by Ashley Finan, director of the National Reactor Innovation Center. It features Chris Levesque, president and chief executive officer of TerraPower, and Clay Sell, chief executive officer of X-energy. During this webinar they talk about their advanced reactor designs, which were awarded federal assistance under the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. Opening remarks are offered by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson.