ABU DHABI, 31st August, 2016 (WAM) – Delegates from across the globe will unite in Abu Dhabi this November to celebrate women’s achievements in the nuclear industry at the 24th Global Women in Nuclear (WiN) conference.

To be held at the Fairmont, Bab al-Bahr hotel between 20th and 23rd November, the conference will be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, President of the General Women’s Union, Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council, and hosted by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).

The panel of speakers includes internationally-renowned names who represent the top of their fields in the industry. The speakers will address an audience of professionals working in all applications of nuclear science and technology, with a particular focus on the role of women and their increasing participation as professionals within the nuclear energy sector.

Dr. Se-Moon Park, President of Women in Nuclear Global, commented, “Hosting the WiN Global conference in Abu Dhabi this year holds profound significance. Not only will we be making history by hosting it in an Arab nation for the first time, but the UAE is actively committed to using the peaceful application of nuclear energy to address climate change. In such a historically oil-rich region, that shows bold determination in reducing carbon emissions and ensuring long-term energy sustainability.”

“I am very proud of the commitment and dedication of the teams involved in securing the 24th WiN Annual Conference to be held here in Abu Dhabi,” Mohammed Al Hammadi, ENEC CEO, said.

“As the first nation in the Middle East to host the event, we are looking forward to welcoming a significant presence of international nuclear professionals to the UAE. At the ENEC, women currently make up nearly 20 percent of our employees working both at the Barakah site and in our Head Office and we continue to build on this with initiatives such as the ENEC WiN Chapter- the first chapter of its kind in the Middle East which was established by ENEC. We are, therefore, very proud to be hosting the forthcoming WiN Global Annual Conference.”

The four-day agenda features a robust programme of conferences, workshops, technical tours and networking events. A multinational delegation of speakers will cover a broad spectrum of thought- provoking and informative topics related to nuclear energy including gender equality in the nuclear industry, multiculturalism in nuclear energy companies, and regulatory issues.

The list of confirmed panellists includes key nuclear energy leaders from across the world, including Adrienne Kelbie, Chief Executive, Office for Nuclear Regulation (UK); Aayda Al Shehhi, Radiation Safety Department Director, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation; Kristine L. Svinicki, Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and Agneta Rising, Director-General, World Nuclear Association.

Educating women on the safe application of nuclear energy and nurturing careers in the field are critical tenets to the future success of the ENEC’s nuclear programme. Currently, 27 percent of students in the ENEC’s educational programmes are female and the percentage of female students increases to 36 percent in the Higher Diploma in Nuclear Technology programme.

Highlighting the value of a strong educational nuclear programme in the UAE, Maryam Qasem, Head of Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Procurement at the ENEC said, “Being one of the forerunners in the UAE’s nuclear programme I take personal responsibility in motivating and paving the way for young people, especially women, to take the lead and contribute to the development of nuclear energy in the UAE. My main message to the students and people that I meet along my professional journey is that embracing nuclear energy is a vital step in development to meet the needs of the present, take care of the needs of the future and ultimately ensure long-term energy sustainability.”

By 2020, the ENEC will need approximately 2,500 employees to operate its four nuclear reactors at Barakah in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, with 60 percent of these roles to be filled by Emiratis.

The 24th WiN Global Conference is the latest milestone for the ENEC WiN UAE chapter, established in 2014. As the first chapter to be formed in the Middle East, it has played an active role in recent annual conferences in Australia (2014) and Austria (2015).