On 20 September 2012, the IAEA hosted the European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE) Award Ceremony of the European Nuclear Education Network Association (ENEN) for the first time. The Ceremony took place as a side event of the Agency's 56th General Conference. The Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, as well as ENEN representatives, presented the EMSNE certificates to 18 laureates. With this event, cooperation in nuclear education, training and research was further enhanced between the IAEA and ENEN.
"This is a memorable day both in the laureates' personal lives and in the partnership between the IAEA and the European Nuclear Education Network Association," said Mr. Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, who addressed the laureates at the start of the Ceremony. "I am proud that such a memorable event for the ENEN is conducted for the first time in the IAEA on this special occasion of the General Conference."
In 2009, a Practical Agreement was made between the IAEA and ENEN for research, education and training in nuclear technology. During the past years, the IAEA has benefited from the experience and best practices of the European Network and its accreditation system through shared activities, including its student mobility, sharing of facilities, laboratories, curricula and education and training sources.
"We are looking forward for further development of our activities through additional networks with the IAEA," said ENEN President, Mr. Joseph Safieh. Active cooperation between the two organizations has been strengthened since 2009, through IAEA Technical Cooperation projects, regular programmes and the IAEA-supported regional networks in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Mr. Safieh also mentioned the importance of adhering to the mutual recognition system of the academic credit in nuclear engineering, in particular regarding today's challenging situation for young professionals, and students' increasing academic qualities.
During the event, some of the laureates gave brief speeches, mentioning their student experience, the challenges encountered during their research and their future hopes. Mr. Adrien Giacosa, from France, emphasized the need to share nuclear expertise between nations: "International cooperation should be strengthened in order to move beyond national customs when operating nuclear plants and international exchange should be a requirement."
The European Nuclear Education Network Association (ENEN) was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization on the basis of the European High Education Area by the partners of the European Nuclear Engineering Network project. It is a major actor in the coordination of nuclear education and training funded by the European Commission.
ENEN's objective is to preserve and further develop expertise in the nuclear fields through higher education and training. This is realized through the co-operation between universities, research organizations, regulatory bodies, the industry and any other organizations involved in the application of nuclear science and ionizing radiation. The objectives of the European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE) in particular are to develop an international network of nuclear engineers and scientists by educating students towards analytic, resourceful and inventive nuclear engineers.