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Research Highlight: Howard Hall

Dr. Howard Hall
Howard Hall

Howard Hall, professor of nuclear engineering, believes the University has an important role in meeting the challenges of global nuclear security. In one of his many roles at UT, Hall directs the University’s Institute for Nuclear Security, where he helps promote collaboration to conduct multi-organizational, multidisciplinary work critical to national and global needs in nuclear security. Hall believes that the Institute, whose unique combination of closely located organizations with access to working nuclear facilities—ORNL, Y-12, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities—affords the University a golden opportunity to become an internationally recognized policy and educational resource and a leader in advancing global nuclear security research.

One of the Institute’s objectives is to foster interdisciplinary R&D for nuclear security applications that will lead to improvements in securing nuclear materials, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and accomplishing arms control priorities. The INS fosters the development of collaborative research proposals in nuclear security applications as opportunities arise. The INS was recently awarded a $6M grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration to establish a Radiochemistry Center of Excellence at UT, thereby establishing an academic pipeline and center of excellence for NNSA’s nuclear stockpile stewardship mission area.

Besides his Governor’s Chair appointment, Hall has a joint appointment as part of the faculty of the UTK Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary and Graduate Education (CIRE), is a Senior Fellow in Global Security Policy at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy,  and is Director of the Baker Center’s Global Security Policy Program. He received his PhD in Nuclear and Radiochemistry from the University of California in 1989 and his BS in Chemistry at the College of Charleston in 1985.

Hall’s research interests include nuclear security applications, including proliferation detection, counter-proliferation, detection of and response to radiological or nuclear threats, radiochemistry, nuclear forensics, and applications of nuclear-based methods to other security needs (such as explosives detection).