December 17, 2012 — Vol. 28 No. 45
The Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC) at the Idaho State University College of Technology will soon be coordinating the nuclear energy education and training for technicians in a nine-state region.
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has designated ESTEC as the Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Nuclear Education and Training. The top designation includes the states of Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, and Nebraska. ESTEC is one of five regional NEI-designated centers in the country.
ESTEC's role as a regional center will be to collaborate with the community and technical colleges in those states to distribute and coordinate curriculum, pursue program improvements, integrate technology, and share information.
"This is a significant accomplishment and speaks highly of the curriculum, faculty, and graduates we have at Idaho State University," said Lawrence Beatty, Chair and Executive Director of ESTEC. "We will now be responsible for supporting our educational partners in the Northwest as we collaboratively work to implement and improve nuclear education."
NEI developed regional centers as part of a push for implementation of the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program. The effort is led by industry to ensure nuclear technicians and operators learn specific documentable content that is now governed by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations under ACAD 08-006. The National Science Foundation is a key supporter of both the content and concept of the program.
Thirty-eight colleges, including the ISU College of Technology, and 26 utilities currently participate in the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program.
"It is an honor for ESTEC to be designated as a regional center," said Richard Holman, Energy Workforce Initiatives Manager for Idaho National Laboratory, which led the conception and development of ESTEC in 2007. "ESTEC, in partnership with INL, has built great relationships with the nuclear energy industry and that was one of the reasons it was selected."
ESTEC was established as a collaborative effort between the ISU College of Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, and Partners for Prosperity.