November 18, 2022

Understanding Tomorrow's Nuclear Energy and Purdue Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series partner for Nov. 30 event; register now

The Understanding Tomorrow’s Nuclear Energy lecture series, hosted by Purdue University and Duke Energy, is partnering with the Purdue Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series to host Richard K. Lester, Japan Steel Industry Professor and associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from 3:30-5 p.m. ET on Nov. 30 in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall and via livestream. 

Lester will present “Tough Tech for Climate: Innovation Challenges, University Responsibilities and Some Comments on the Nuclear Role.” His talk will be followed by a panel discussion with Lefteri Tsoukalas, professor and former head of the School of Nuclear Engineering, and Morgan Smith, senior in the School of Nuclear Engineering, president of Purdue Chapter of Women in Nuclear Engineering and vice president of Purdue Chapter of American Nuclear Society. 

Lester’s lecture will look at how responding effectively to the global climate challenge will require the rapid deployment of tools and technologies we have now as well as inventing, developing, and deploying tools and technologies not yet in hand. What are the special responsibilities of research universities in meeting the climate innovation challenge? This presentation will discuss different ways for universities to engage in climate-related research, education and innovation, including the case of nuclear energy technology.

pt-lester-500x450 Richard K. Lester
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As MIT’s associate provost, Lester oversees international activities. He is the Japan Steel Industry Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and previously served as head of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Lester’s research focuses on innovation, productivity and industrial competitiveness, and he is also well known for his work on nuclear technology management and policy. He recently completed a term as chair on the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy, and he currently serves as chair of the Council of Advisors of the Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy.      

The event will be livestreamed, and registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance.

Save the date now for the next Understanding Tomorrow’s Nuclear Energy lecture series event, which will be from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 18 in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. The event will feature Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy.

Purdue and Duke Energy are jointly exploring the feasibility of using advanced nuclear energy to meet the West Lafayette campus community’s long-term energy needs. The study is focused on whether power produced through Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) could be a potential fit for Purdue’s energy needs. More information about the study and the lecture series is available at

Beginning in 2018, the Purdue Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series has been inviting world-renowned faculty and professionals to encourage thought-provoking conversations and ideas with faculty and students regarding the grand challenges and opportunities in their fields. More information on the series is available at

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