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Cutting Edge Research and Education - Community Service - Economic Development

Message from the Director

Nuclear Technology Accelerator Technology Renewable Energy Homeland Security Initiatives Public & Community Health Environmental Research

Welcome to the Harry Reid

The Harry Reid Center (HRC) is UNLV’s premier research unit that provides UNLV’s colleges with research


opportunities, infrastructure, and management. Cutting edge programs at the center prepare students to excel



Studies (HRC), located in the center of the campus of the

in industry, government, and academia.

University of Nevada, Las

The mission of the Harry Reid Center for Environmental

nuclear technology. The HRC can best meet its mission by

Vegas. UNLV is a research

Studies, while supporting the academic research back-

fostering and supporting collaborative research programs,

institution committed to rig-

bone of UNLV, is to understand and seek solutions

developing and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities for

orous educational programs

to environmental problems, homeland security, monitor

research, and facilitating the development and implemen-

emerging environmental issues to benefit the public health

tation of multidisciplinary research programs. Industrial

and safety of the people of Southern Nevada, create and

partnerships are a growing and critically important seg-

study new materials for sustainable and clean energy

ment of the HRC’s research portfolio. These partnerships

providing world-class research

production, research and education in radiochemistry,

have the ability to stimulate technology oriented economic

laboratories, state-of-the-art

development of a particle accelerator based research pro-

development which leads to long-term improvement in

research instrumentation, and

gram, and exploring new directions in and applications for

UNLV’s academic and research capabilities.

and the highest standards of an education. The HRC, as UNLV’s premier research center, supports this mission by

excellent research support staff. The HRC conducts and manages high-quality research

UAVs: A Nevada Legacy

in the areas of homeland secu-

The HRC recently purchased four additional aircraft to enhance

technology was formerly primarily the domain of the CIA, but

rity, environmental sciences,

our existing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capabilities.

the Air Force and many other agencies now fully appreciate

public health, sustainable and

UAVs and Nevada have a historical

the significant contribution of UAVs.

clean energy, nuclear technol-

link dating back more than half a

The HRC is particularly well posi-

ogy and engineered materials

century. While in the past Nevada’s

tioned for conducting research that

for a variety of applications.

role in developing this technology

combines the use of UAVs with light

has been necessarily hidden behind

weight sensor and detector packages.

a cloak of secrecy, today it is a highly

Contact: Paul Seidler

visible and important component of

our economy. All one needs to do is


-Dr. Oliver Hemmers

Harry Reid Center 4505 S. Maryland Parkway Box 454009 Las Vegas, NV 89154-4009

drive past the Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs and

Phone: 702-895-3382

contrast the level of activity to just a few years ago. The

Fax: 702-895-3094 Email:

Economic Development

Transmission Electron Microscopy

Nuclear Technology Our Tecnai G² F30 S-TWIN TEM (transmission electron microscope) is a perfect highend analytical laboratory tool with excellent and versatile capabilities for high resolution imaging as well as extremely good analytical performance. Ultra-stable high-tension tech-

The Nuclear Technology Program

detection, radiation transport modeling,

degree in radiochemistry. The program

(NTP) was established in 2001

nuclear transport code benchmarking,

permits joint studies in many colleges

and houses a multidisciplinary

remote sensing, and fuel cycle analy-

on a wide range of experiments includ-

team with extensive expertise in:

sis. The program is also involved in

ing new methods to produce radio-

nuclear forensics, which focuses on the



Nuclear engineering

determination of the origin of material

The research and academic activi-

Nuclear forensics/security

used in a nuclear event. The program

ties of the program are well integrated

Fuel cycle research

supports these components with high-

with UNLV, with about a third of the

Radiation detection

ly specialized analytical equipment,

program’s funding subawarded to aca-

and measurement

including the transmission electron

demic departments (chemistry, phys-

Nuclear policy

microscope (see sidebar), which can

ics, health physics, mechanical engi-

handle small amounts of radioactive

neering, civil engineering, and electri-

material. The program supports two

cal and computer engineering).

nology ensures reliable and excellent long-term energy

The nuclear program has several

stability for electron energy

components with a major emphasis

loss experiments.

We pro-

on radiochemistry, which is focused

vide researchers with the

on examining fuel cycle processes



and existing and novel separation

on High Resolution Electron

schemes. Other components of the

Microscopy and on sample

nuclear program include radiation

preparation. Time and sup-

UNLV Interdisciplinary Accelerator Facility


port to interested research-

academic areas: the Ph.D. program in radiochemistry and the M.S. program in materials and nuclear engineering. Over twenty four graduate students

Contact: Ken Czerwinski 702-895-0501

are currently working toward the Ph.D.

ers can be provided on an

UNLV and the HRC continue to make

Mi9 dual energy accelerator and at

technology, hardening the surface of

hourly basis for a nominal fee.

progress in establishing a new linear

least two other Varian accelerators.

artificial joints, increasing crop yields,

accelerator research and academic

spotting suspicious cargo, design-

Contact: Longzhou Ma

facility at the former “boxing bunker”

ing a new drug, transmuting nuclear

on the northwest side of campus. The

waste, prospecting for oil, or even

Phone: 702-895-2024

facility is planned to be operation-

coming up with a better shrink wrap

al by Fall of 2012. Several existing,

for your next butterball turkey – lin-

as well as new faculty members of

ear accelerators are powerful tools

HRC Fast Facts

the HRC, the Health Sciences and

that shape the world of tomorrow.

• Established in 1981

Science and Engineering Colleges, will

• 100% soft money funded

be conducting research at the facility,

• 50,000 square foot facility

which will initially house a new Varian

• 100+ employees • In-house data center

Whether it’s saving the lives of tens

Contact: Paul Seidler

of millions by shrinking tumors and

diagnosing disease, improving solar



Public Health Laboratory

Renewable Energy The HRC is deeply involved in

high pressure (up to 100 GPa)

in low-cost biodiesel production.

furthering research in renew-

materials studies, Raman and lumi-

A third laboratory focuses on algal

able energy through a variety

nescence spectroscopy, differential

based biofuels that may contribute

of projects that mainly focus

scanning calorimetry, and thermo-

significantly to renewable transpor-

on materials research needs in

gravimetry. FAME-Tech focuses on

tation fuels. The US target for bio-

the areas of solar, biofuels, and

the design and development of novel

fuel production is 36 billion gallons

hydrogen storage.

materials - such as hybrid nano-

by 2022, with the concomitant benefit

The Functional Advanced Materials

composites, glasses and ceramics

of treating wastewater. Researchers

for Renewable Energy Technologies

- for a broad range of renewable

from the HRC work together with the



energy technologies. Key projects

College of Engineering, College of

works on materials for advanced

include ‘Hydrogen Storage Materials’

Science, and the Desert Research

technology applications in collabora-

with emphasis on design, synthe-

Institute (DRI) conducting biological,

tion with faculty and students from

sis and fundamental research on

chemical, and engineering research

UNLV colleges, as well as from other



to study the viability for an algal bio-

US and European institutions. The

crystalline composites, and ‘Fuel

fuel economy in Southern Nevada.

FAME-Tech laboratories house state-

Cells and Biofuels’ with focus on

of-the-art research instruments for

ion-conductive ceramic materials for

glass-ceramic synthesis (1700oC),

electrochemical processes applied




The founding of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, UNLV Branch resulted in the establishment County






Project at UNLV. The goal of this continuing multi-year project is to monitor environmental microorganisms of potential public health significance in Clark County. The microbiology program at the HRC plans to expand the role of the laboratory to pursue other opportu-

Contact: Kris Lipinska 702-895-4450

nities in this field of research in collaboration with the School of Community Health Sciences at UNLV, the state of Nevada,

Homeland Security Initiatives

and the Southern Nevada Health


tribute to our community’s contin-

District. These efforts will be

Initiatives program is committed to

ued prosperity. As a result of these

focused on providing research

protecting public health and safety

efforts, Louisiana State University’s

opportunities for graduate stu-

by focusing on tourism security in



Southern Nevada. With this goal in

Research and Training (NCBRT) has

Public Health and Doctorate of

mind, the HRC is exploring opportuni-

contracted with the HRC to establish

Public Health degrees at UNLV.

ties with the Nevada Commission on

a training support facility at UNLV.







Homeland Security, the Las Vegas




Contact: Mark Buttner

Metropolitan Police Department, the

of the security professionals of Las

Contact: Ross Bryant

Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism

Vegas’ tourism industry to provide

Center, the Las Vegas Convention

outreach, research, and educational


& Visitors Association, and many

video production services that con-



Butterfly Autoecology

This project team is led by Dr. Dan Thompson of UNLV’s School




and includes staff from the

Environmental Research

HRC and the Department of Civil and Environmental

The mission of the Environmental Research

ing of Lake Mead (joint with the Department of

Engineering, the Department

Program (ERP) at the HRC is to advance the

Environmental and Occupational Health and the



understanding of, and seek solutions to, com-

Public Lands Institute), and a study on land uses

Occupational Health, and the

plex environmental problems affecting the qual-

UNLV Geographic Information

ity of life, protect cultural and natural resourc-













and urban heat island effects for the Nevada Division of Forestry (in cooperation with the department of civil and environmental engineering).

The HRC has assisted federal land management

The HRC has been working with the Forest

agencies with the development of research and

Service for many years on research and devel-

ogy of four rare subspecies

monitoring plans over the past 15 years. The cen-

opment of informatics processes for appli-

of butterflies identified as high

ter has several ongoing research projects, includ-

cation to the United States forest inventory.

conservation priorities in the

ing: a study of endangered butterflies on Mount

Spring Mountains National

Charleston (see sidebar), vulnerability of water

Contact: Craig Palmer

Recreation Area (SMNRA).

supply wells in Nevada (joint with the Department

of Civil and Environmental Engineering), monitor-


team is studying the autoecology and population biol-

The butterfly subspecies of interest are the Ancilla Blue, Morand’s Checkerspot, Mount Charleston Blue, and Sagebrush




that may affect the longterm viability of these butterflies and their habitat include drought, climate change and

Toxicology Harry Reid Center Toxicology Program

be fatal. Levels were found that are almost 10

Nellis Dunes Dust Study

times more than the amount often found in soil elsewhere. There is no standard for arsenic

The HRC has been awarded a grant to study human risk to toxic dust exposure at the Nellis



Dunes Recreation Area. High levels of natu-



rally occurring arsenic and the presence of

bance, development of inva-

palygorskite, a fibrous clay mineral that has

sive species, and wildfire.

many of the same characteristics of asbestos,

seasonal variations,

Harry Reid Center 4505 S. Maryland Parkway Box 454009 Las Vegas, NV 89154-4009

have been found in the popular motorcycle and off-road vehicle recreation area. Arsenic is a possible cancer-causing element and can

Phone: 702-895-3382 Fax: 702-895-3094 Email:

levels in recreational settings. Over 300,000 people annually visit and use the 10,000 acre recreation area managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The area remains open while UNLV studies the matter to determine the level of risk. The outcome of the assessment will be used to determine what, if any, safety measures will be needed to protect future users of the area.

Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies Brochure