Posted on October 20, 2015

Edward Teller Lecture address focuses on local STEM initiatives

Admiral Cecil Haney crafted his Edward Teller Lecture address in a way that linked the work the Savannah River Site and DOE community to his responsibilities as the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

Haney gave the keynote address at Monday’s 24th annual event at USC Aiken. The lecture was hosted by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, or CNTA.

Haney said his team has a variety of ongoing initiatives to engage citizens in areas of national security. Examples include his Academic Alliance Program which is in partnership with universities military higher-education institutions.

Parallel to that, Haney commended scholarship programs between USC Aiken and Savannah River National Laboratory which aims to get students involved in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

He also applauded Aiken Technical College for its nuclear programs and noted that the school is producing students that are in “high demand” across the country.

Believing that even more can be done, Haney said the younger generation’s interest in technology could serve an advantage.

“It’s important for individuals in the field to take some time in the classrooms to share with students on why it’s important to continue to learn and how they are applying it to the work they are doing,” Haney said.

Haney touched on various other topics, including his work with the Strategic Command. The agency provides global strategic capabilities to the joint military force through nine Presidential-directed Unified Command Plan assigned missions, Haney said.

His mission includes part of a collaborative effort to free the world of nuclear weapons – a feat that is complex given recent initiatives from Russia, China and North Korea to ramp up weapons production and related infrastructure, Haney said.

He added that combating those issues starts with educating the public which is why groups like CNTA are so important.

“I fundamentally believe programs like CNTA are important as the education of our population has significant strategic value to our nation,” Haney said.

Haney is a native of Washington, D.C., and a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. His career has included assignments on various U.S. submarines including the USS John C. Calhoun and USS Frank Cable.

Haney’s shore duty tours include administrative assistant for enlisted affairs at Naval Reactors, congressional appropriations liaison officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and deputy chief of Staff of Plans, Policies and Requirements, U.S. Pacific Fleet, among others.

The lecture is named for Edward Teller, a famous nuclear pioneer who played a key role in development of nuclear energy during World War II. Teller is widely known as the father of the hydrogen bomb.

Following the usual routine, this year’s lecture kicked of the local area’s celebration of National Nuclear Science Week with various events sponsored by local organizations on the agenda throughout the week.

Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the paper since June 2013. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.

Click here to read the full article from the Aiken Standard.