The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium wrapped up its inaugural Summer School program Friday, connecting students from around the country with some of the leading scientists from U.S. national laboratories.

Photo: Nuclear Science and Security ConsortiumStudents from seven universities took part in workshops, panel discussions and research presentations at the University of California, Berkley. The week-long program also featured tours of the Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, as well as lectures from a number of scientists from those labs, as well as from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

“The nuclear field has been neglected for the last 30 years with a real lack of investment directed to training new scientists,” Berkley Professor and NSSC Director Jasmina Vujic said in a release. “As a result, there’s no overlap between the current generation, which is nearing retirement, and the next generation of experts who will replace them.”

The consortium was formed in 2011 as part of a $25 million, five-year program by the National Nuclear Security Administration to train scientists and policy experts in nuclear fields. Programs for undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows touch on nuclear physics, engineering, radiation chemistry, instrumentation and public policy. The other participating schools are Michigan State; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Washington University in St. Louis; and the UC campuses of Davis, Irvine and San Diego.