Roane State students view latest in radiation detection gear

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Visitors to Roane State’s Oak Ridge Branch Campus brought some high-tech, state-of-the-art equipment with them for students to inspect.

UCOR, the environmental cleanup contractor for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation, recently met with Associate Professor Michael Chung’s environmental instrumentation class to showcase the latest in radiation detection gear.

It was the first time that UCOR, a partner with Roane State, brought the equipment to the college, said Dan Hyder. He’s the interim dean for Roane State’s Division of Social Science, Business and Education, and Director of the college’s Environmental Health Technology Program.

“We appreciate the support of one of our good partners,” Hyder said. “They (UCOR) hire a lot of our students. I’m delighted they take such an interest to support our program.”

UCOR staff introduced students to the latest radiation/instrumentation simulation equipment.

“The system uses radio-frequency technology to allow the students to ‘see’ what radiation would look like without exposing themselves to actual ionizing radiation,” said Joe Biggerstaff. He is UCOR’s radiological protection operations and program manager.

“We were pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response from students and faculty alike,” Biggerstaff said. “We look forward to meeting with the students every year to give them hands-on experience with real-world technology.”

“Our partnership with Roane State is an essential piece of our workforce development program,” said Ken Rueter, President and CEO of UCOR, an Amentum-led partnership with Jacobs.

Amentum is a premier global technical and engineering services partner supporting critical programs of national significance across defense, security, intelligence, energy and environment. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is an American international technical professional services firm.

“The college is preparing the kind of workers we need to be successful in the nuclear industry as well as environmental cleanup,” Rueter said. “We will take every opportunity to encourage students, including exposing them to the latest technologies in the field and giving them hands-on opportunities through our apprenticeship program.”

“Our ongoing collaboration with local and regional partners such as Roane State provides life-changing opportunities to members of disadvantaged communities,” Rueter said.

Learn more about Roane State’s Environmental Health Technology Program at

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit or call (865) 882-4554. Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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