Penn State to host American Nuclear Society student conference in 2024

March 21, 2023

By Sarah Small

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State student chapter of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) won the bid to host the 2024 ANS student conference at University Park. The conference is scheduled for April 4-6, 2024, and will have the theme of “Keystone of Tomorrow.” 

The ANS is the “premier organization for those that embrace the nuclear sciences and technologies for their vital contributions to improving people’s lives and preserving the planet,” according to the ANS website. Each year, the organization’s student conference is hosted by a student chapter of ANS and its affiliated university.

According to Jonathan Balog, a Penn State nuclear engineering doctoral candidate and Penn State ANS member who co-led the efforts to win the bid, the application process involved submitting a proposal over 100 pages long, detailing plans and logistics for hosting more than 500 attendees at Penn State. The group was notified during the ANS Winter Meeting that they had been selected to host the conference.

“We have something special here in Happy Valley, and I truly believe that the nuclear engineering community needs to see it for themselves,” said Balog, who completed his undergraduate degree at Penn State in mechanical and nuclear engineering. “With new facilities including a brand-new beamline at the nuclear reactor, there is a kind of infectious energy in the department that I never felt as an undergraduate until the new department was formed.”

Balog, who held numerous officer positions in the Penn State ANS student chapter as an undergraduate student and continues to play an active leadership role, said that the goals for the conference include exploring the state of technologies in nuclear engineering and science, such as innovative reactor designs and breakthroughs in fusion devices. Other goals include a plan to examine innovations in the construction of what Balog and others in the nuclear engineering community hope will be a new generation of nuclear reactors, for example, those involving materials science, additive manufacturing, concretes and construction strategies. 

“Our primary goal is to show that nuclear energy is the keystone of tomorrow as the world looks for ways to decarbonize electricity production and industrial processes, which can be done with today and tomorrow's nuclear reactors,” Balog said.

While registration is not yet available for the 2024 conference, more information will be posted once it is available both on the ANS site and the Penn State ANS student chapter site.  


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College of Engineering Media Relations

“We have something special here in Happy Valley, and I truly believe that the nuclear engineering community needs to see it for themselves." — Jonathan Balog