Excellent learning and peer-to-peer networking opportunities with a cross-section of the nuclear industry.
The world’s first certified professional development programme for individuals in nuclear security management.
An extensive archive of information on nuclear security, both from WINS and from external sources.
Helping licensees assess the maturity of their security programme and measure their security culture effectiveness.
In January of this year, Ozge Ozkan, research assistant and PhD candidate at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, earned her Certified Nuclear Security Professional (CNSP) certificate from the WINS Academy.
In 2020, Ms Ozkan was a Robin Copeland Memorial Fellow, a fellowship programme for women to enhance their skills in nonproliferation and nuclear security. During the fellowship, she began more extensive research on nuclear security and became increasingly interested in the work done by WINS, and she became a scholarship recipient for the WINS Academy programme.
What is your experience with WINS?
I knew about WINS before my fellowship programme, but in 2020, I became a Member and realised I could access the Best Practice Guides and other documents through the Knowledge Centre. I then started using them to contribute to my research. After my fellowship programme, I noticed that there is a WINS academic programme, and I aimed to get into it. I applied and got the scholarship – it was a fantastic opportunity for me as an academician and PhD student.
“There is a synergy between nuclear safety and nuclear security, and you cannot differentiate the two. If you don’t have a good nuclear security system, you cannot have a good nuclear safety system and vice versa.”
What was your Academy elective, and why did you choose it?
Because of my background as a nuclear engineer, I selected the Scientists, Technicians and Engineers elective. I wanted to learn more about the engagement between the engineering world and the nuclear security world. There is sometimes a perception that nuclear engineering does not have much to do with nuclear security and is more closely related to nuclear safety. I’ve heard comments like these at times. However, there is a synergy between nuclear safety and nuclear security, and you cannot differentiate the two. If you don’t have a good nuclear security system, you cannot have a good nuclear safety system and vice versa.
“Because WINS is one of the most well-known institutions in this field, being a CNSP under the WINS Academy also increases my visibility and enhances my network, as well as my resources.”
What would you say was the most rewarding experience with the WINS Academy?
In the beginning, I was not sure what to expect from the WINS Academy programme – it added value to my PhD and other research projects. Whenever I had some time, I worked on the modules, which were much more comprehensive than I had imagined. The Foundation Module gave me a compact and packaged account of the history and current situation of the nuclear industry and nuclear security. You can find all this information online but not packaged together like in the Module.
One of the most important things for me is to keep improving – even though it might be a slow and step-by-step process. Attending the WINS Academy was one of the steps to improve myself in the nuclear security world. It’s fantastic to be called a CNSP. With this title, I’m more confident to speak about my knowledge in this field.
Because WINS is one of the most well-known institutions in this field, being a CNSP under the WINS Academy also increases my visibility and enhances my network, as well as my resources.
How do you think that enhancing gender parity would improve your field?
In general, this field is male-dominated. There should be gender parity in this, and there should be more women in the field. From my point of view, we should make people understand why there should be more women in nuclear security. The diversity in offering different perspectives and analysing skills will contribute to the field. And in this way, we can come up with better systems.
What advice would you give women entering the field?
It is good to be realistic and to take into account what you already have and how you can get the most out of it. When you are a woman, you shouldn’t give up. You should be more open-minded and think about what you want – I believe everything is possible, even though it might take time.
Of course, there will be points where you might want to give up, but we all have those moments in life. However, if you remain dedicated, then what you want will become reality. There are great women examples who continue to inspire, and it is quite important to find a mentor. A mentor can help guide you, which will help save time in navigating through the field. Information is power, and the more you know, the more confident you will be.