From revolutionizing the way we detect and visualize radiation to enhancing community resilience

William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Kai Vetter

Abstract: The Berkeley Applied Nuclear Physics Program leads developments of new concepts and technologies to address challenges in fundamental physics, medicine, nuclear security, and safety. Recent progress in radiation detection and imaging combined with advances in computer vision and data processing enable unprecedented capabilities in the detection, mapping, and visualization of radiological and nuclear materials in complex environments. We have developed a new concept called 3-D Scene Data Fusion, which fuses contextual and radiation data to produce 3-D maps of radioactive sources in real-time. We have deployed this capability in unmanned and manned configurations in different locations including evacuated communities and at the Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. While these technologies are necessary to better respond to accidents now and in the future, we need to ensure that the data provided can be understood by all stakeholders, including communities exposed to the risk of detrimental effects. We have established the Berkeley Institute for Resilient Communities to address this need by combining research, education, and communities in an international, multi-disciplinary, and multi-cultural context. Important components of these activities are the Radwatch and DoseNet programs which provide the basis for our communications. As an example, DoseNet aims at establishing a sustainable multi-sensor high-school network enabling students across the world to learn important concepts in science and engineering and what is normal in our world.


Speaker bio: Dr. Kai Vetter is Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and Faculty Senior Scientist and Head of the Applied Nuclear Physics program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His main research interests are in the development and demonstration of new concepts and technologies in radiation detection to address some of the outstanding challenges in fundamental sciences, nuclear security, and health.

Prof. Vetter is director of Institute for Resilient Communities that was established in 2015 to address the need to better integrate advancements in sciences and technologies with communities through education and outreach locally and globally. He initiated and still leads the Berkeley Radwatch and DoseNet activities with the goal to engage high and middle schools in performing environmental measurements employing fundamental science and engineering concepts and to expand across regions, nations, and cultures.

He has authored and co-authored about 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is fellow of the American Physical Society. He received Presidential Citations from the American Nuclear Society twice, for his engagement in Fukushima through measurements and enhancing community resilience.