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Fourteen Universities Worldwide Now Offer Nuclear Knowledge Management Courses

Students

The teacher-students pose with their trainers during an IAEA-sponsored course on implementing standardized curricula for nuclear knowledge management at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. (Photo: IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy)

The IAEA and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have completed training of fourteen university teachers from thirteen Member States on implementing standardized curricula for nuclear knowledge management (NKM) in their universities.

The training is part of an IAEA multi-year initiative in cooperation with universities in Member States to address future workforce demand by providing appropriate nuclear curricula and fostering improvements in overall nuclear education. Considering the critical importance of nuclear knowledge for power generation and nuclear applications, the IAEA determined that it was time to introduce NKM as a course at the university master's level.

This initiative started with a "train-the-trainers" programme, where teachers from universities all over the world were invited to participate. In 2011, five young teachers from five universities - in Croatia, Mexico, Russia, Serbia and Spain - were successfully trained. Since then, their universities have implemented or are in the process of including the courses to their master's program. Three of the students returned this year to share their experiences with the new trainees.

Four international experts trained the teachers on curricula modules addressing fundamental knowledge management issues associated with nuclear activities. Several exercises and practical sessions were conducted. These included critical knowledge identification, elicitation interviews, tacit knowledge capture and knowledge mapping. The training provided, and material obtained, will create a basis for creating NKM courses at the participating universities.

On the basis of meeting results and constructive input from participants, the experts made revisions to the curriculum including suggestions for continuous improvement. Plans call for publishing a document on the subject under the IAEA training series sometime in 2013.

Background

KIT is a university in the province of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, with active teaching and research tasks. It has a large-scale research institution within the Helmholtz Association conducting programme-oriented provident research on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. KIT is operating along three strategic fields of action: research, teaching and innovation.

The IAEA General Conference, in successive resolutions, requested assistance for Member States in their efforts to ensure the preservation of nuclear education and training in all areas of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, which is a necessary prerequisite for succession planning.

In cooperation with KIT, the IAEA organized a similar training programme in 2011; the next training programmewill take place on 1-5 July 2013, also at KIT.


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