Dr. Jason T. Harris is Associate Professor of Radiological Health Sciences in the School of Health Sciences and Director of the Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security (CRANS) at Purdue University. He also currently serves as the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Online Education in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University. He received his BS in Biology at the University of Tampa, his MS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his PhD in Health Physics from Purdue University. Prior to his current position he was Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics at Idaho State University and Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies. His research interests are in a number of areas related to environmental and reactor health physics, radiation detection and measurement, and nuclear security. He has graduated more than 25 MS and PhD students and has served on research committees for nearly 70 MS and PhD students in health physics, nuclear engineering, and physics. He has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers or proceedings and over 75 conference presentation abstracts and has secured nearly $9 million dollars in competitive external grants and contracts from federal funding agencies, international organizations, and private foundations. He has received a number of awards including the Health Physics Society Elda Anderson Award and the Purdue University School of Health Sciences Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Dr. Harris is active in the Health Physics Society, American Nuclear Society, the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Since 2009, Dr. Harris has worked in several endeavors related to nuclear security. In 2012, he became the Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN). He has helped grow the network from about 20 members to over 100 (representing 40-member nations). His work has led him to participate in numerous nuclear security activities. He serves as an expert for the U.S. Department of State Partnership for Nuclear Threat Reduction (PNTR), lecturing at a number of professional development workshops throughout the world and leads the Purdue University DOE NNSA Nuclear Security Education Program (NSEP). He also served on the Advisory Board for the European Master’s Program in Nuclear Security, sponsored by the IAEA and European Commission. In 2018, he established the Purdue University Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security (CRANS) and presently serves as its Director. His research group is specifically working in the area of risk analysis for nuclear security where they have developed a comprehensive facility risk framework.
What is your area of expertise?
Are you interested in mentoring high school or college students, or both?
How did you become interested in this area?
I became interested after learning about nuclear security education through a colleague in 2009. Ever since, I have worked in this area.
What was your career path to get here?
Biologist turned nuclear engineer turned health physicist.
Why should the public care?
Nuclear proliferation is one of the most pressing issues our world faces. We need people with both policy and science backgrounds to lend their voices and provide their expertise.
What is a current issue or trend that concerns you?
The need for nuclear security experts- education and training
Would you be willing to speak to a classroom about your work?
What themes or topics would you be interested in lecturing or discussing with a class?
nuclear security, education and training, risk analysis, radiation protection