The Young Professionals Congress and Why You Should Attend!

By Brett Rampal and Jitesh Kuntawala

The Young Professionals Congress (YPC), the only joint American Nuclear Society (ANS) and North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) meeting held anywhere, is a once every two years event held in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the ANS Winter Meeting.  For both of us, 2015 was our first opportunity to attend a YPC and after first hearing about it, we both immediately recognized the value and importance of the meeting.  As attendees and planners for 2015 and 2017, we are eager to share some of the great content associated with YPC 2017 and encourage you to attend. Remember, while YPC is a young professionals-run event, geared toward those early in their careers, there is plenty of content for the established professional to gain from attending.

Taking place all day on Saturday, October 28, YPC offers a one-stop shop for all things nuclear-related, ranging from communication and advocacy to advanced reactors and nuclear economics.  The aim is for attendees to come away with a better overall understanding of what can sometimes seem different components of the nuclear landscape as well as what factors can influence them. Additionally, the vast majority of the YPC speakers will be the peers of the audience or industry professionals that have achieved success in areas of the nuclear landscape. This will allow for interactive small-setting discussions and the opportunity to receive candid advice.

YPC will open with a keynote address by John Kotek, Vice President for Policy Development and Public Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE), followed by in-depth discussions on the challenges associated with the politics and economics of the nuclear world.  Subsequently, attendees will participate in the engagement luncheon, a first of its kind for YPC, where sponsors and representatives of ANS Divisions engage and network directly with attendees. This will allow them them the chance to explain what their respective organizations are involved in and how an attendee might find a home therein.  After lunch, the YPC breakout sessions begin. Attendees have the opportunity to pick what might be of most import and value to attend. The first set of three breakout sessions are geared around the three main facets of the American nuclear landscape: industry, national laboratory complex, and academia.

The second set of three breakout sessions feature more in-depth technical topics such as advanced reactors, the roles of regulatory organizations, and a session called the cacophony of codes. This will showcase the different applications and niches that certain analysis software packages hold in the nuclear world. The final set of breakout sessions touch on some softer, but still very important topics, such as nuclear advocacy, effective communications, and how to achieve success with a professional society.  After the action-packed day, all attendees will return together for a closing keynote address by ANS President, Bob Coward. YPC attendees will then be invited to a special social event, hosted by Third Way, featuring a very exciting surprise creative display, something not to be missed!!!

As the Program and General Chair for YPC, we couldn’t be more excited for this year’s event and hope that you are excited as well.  If you’re interested in more details, please check the Facebook EventThe YPC Website, or The ANS Winter Meeting Website or feel free to message the General Chair.  We very much look forward to seeing you at YPC in October!!

Brett Rampal Brett Rampal is a nuclear engineer. He is the past chair of the Society’s Young Members Group (YMG), sits on numerous ANS national committees, and has been active in nuclear advocacy and awareness for the last 10 years. 




Jitesh KuntawalaJitesh Kuntawala is a nuclear engineer in the Nuclear Fuel Design group at Duke Energy. He is the program chair for the Society’s 2017 Young Professionals Congress, the current secretary of the ANS Young Members Group, and the 2nd Vice Chair of the ANS Operations and Power Division.


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