Göttsche Awarded $1 Million Fellowship to Study Nuclear Archaeology

Jul 13 2017
By Gillian E. Samios
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Malte Göttsche, a Princeton University postdoctoral researcher at the Program on Science and Global Security (SGS), was awarded a $1million, five-year fellowship to support the creation of a nuclear archaeology research group.

The Freigeist Fellowship — also known as the Free Spirit Fellowship — is awarded by Germany’s Volkswagen Foundation and recognizes outstanding, creative and independent early-career researchers to promote visionary research projects. Ten to fifteen fellowships are awarded annually.

Göttsche’s research will bring together a team of physicists, engineers and social scientists to Germany’s Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University to develop new tools for reconstructing the operating history of nuclear material production facilities.

“Göttsche’s work will seek to develop the tools to independently assess and account for how much nuclear weapons-usable material was made by each of the nine countries that have nuclear weapons today. This information will play an important role in enabling the world to verify the complete and irreversible elimination of a country’s nuclear weapons program, whether it be North Korea or the United States,” said Zia Mian, SGS co-director.

“The Freigeist Fellowship could have a big impact. Building a nuclear archaeology research group in Germany will help tremendously in strengthening the international network of experts working on nuclear security issues. And Germany is an ideal place to conduct this research since it has many kinds of nuclear research facilities that can be studied,” said SGS co-director Alexander Glaser, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Göttsche joined SGS in October 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher and fellow of the Consortium for Verification Technology. His interests lie in technical and policy issues regarding nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements.

Based at the Woodrow Wilson School, SGS has carried out research and policy analysis and education and training in nuclear arms control and nonproliferation for more than four decades.