NEST SMR Hackaton

An OECD-NEA NEST and SMART-Canada Event



A virtual event to be held August 17-21, 2020


The SMR Hackathon is “design spirit event” where teams of cross-disciplinary people engage in intense discussion and brainstorming to flush out all aspects of a design or problem and propose a solution. The end goal is for the students to create a digital-ready report of their ideas on the deployment of advanced nuclear energy. 

This hackathon will be a series on online interactive lectures from prominent lecturers from Canada and the USA, self-paced reading of background material, and daily online focus group (Project Team) meetings on deployment scenarios.  


The 2020 Small Modular Reactor Hackathon is a first of a kind event organized to broaden the discussion of nuclear energy solutions through a series of formal and informal case studies. It is organized by the NEA Education, Skills and Technology Framework (NEST) SMR project sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Agency, and the Small Modular Advanced Reactor Training (SMART) program funded by NSERC-Canada. The hackathon will be fully hosted online and involve students from multiple continents.

The event involves a series of online lectures with top engineering, science and social scientists interlaced with small team project breakout sessions where students will examine innovative aspects of SMR technology. Each student team will select one of four case studies that will be their primary focus for the week. What is unique, within this event, is that the Hackathon will bring together the traditional science and engineering technologies with social and political science aspects.

The event features introduction by government and industry, panel discussion from global leaders, innovative story board training, and discussions on project planning and execution. Based on these aspects each student team will prepare a free-format outcome which describes their solution to the Case study considered.

The organizers are very excited about this new event, and hope that both students and lecturers will learn a lot from the outcomes.

  • McMaster University
  • University of California at Berkley
  • EPFL
  • CNRS Grenoble
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Wisconsin Madison

The agenda of the NEST SMR Hackaton can be found here.


The full list of presenters can be found here

Info for students

The end goal of this workshop is for the students to create a digital-ready report of their ideas on the deployment of advanced nuclear energy.  These video reports should address the technical, societal, regulatory, and policy elements of deploying advanced nuclear to which the students were introduced in this workshop.  Students have great flexibility in the approach they take (examples include but are not limited to: podcast/interactive webinar, video clips, musical, dance, or spoken performance, animation).

  • Each group of 3-4 students will meet each day in a virtual café to discuss the topics from the morning meetings and develop their presentation on their Deployment Scenario
  • Each Deployment Scenario Team will provide a report on the SMR needs, considerations, issues, economics, social implications, for the community/application defined in the scenario.
  • Group of 3-4 students selected based on geographic and skillset – building diverse teams
  •  Students have great flexibility in the approach they take

A coverage of the event can be found here.