Executive Summary: Why now?
Since their initial development, nuclear weapons have represented a special technological achievement in the history of modern warfare. For much of the four decades following their development, the United States continued a substantial effort to understand the methods for development and effects of nuclear weapons in order to ensure that they remain a viable option in the national strategy plan, while providing an effective deterrent against adversaries.
The NEAT was established within the AFIT graduate school with three primary functions: research, education, and publications focused on human capital development. The objective of the research is to tie together the disparate technological areas and disciplines to be at the cutting-edge of present and future technologies. To do this, the NEAT will engage in and conduct research with other specialized AFIT centers, USAF organizations, DoD services, government agencies (e.g., NNSA), industry, and universities, in a strategic and sustained way. In education, the NEAT will seek to provide the nuclear knowledge and expertise to educational initiatives at all levels, allowing graduate education and continuing education to focus on their specific areas, with the NEAT available to provide relevant inserts as needed. Human capital development will occur through graduate student engagement on projects, for which the NEAT CSR will be able to strategically link to long-term needs of customers. Additionally, NEAT-affiliated researchers will become a local (or future hiring) investment for organizations needing qualified and highly relevant skills to their organizations.
James C. Petrosky, Ph.D.
Professor, Nuclear Engineering
Director, Nuclear Expertise for Advancing
Department of Engineering Physics
Graduate School of Engineering & Management
Air Force Institute of Technology