LIVE Webinars ‘Insights & Achievements: iia Leadership Program 2023 Participant Reports’

The iia is pleased to announce two upcoming live webinars, hosting some of the participants of the 2023 Leadership Program. The webinars are to be held 26th September 1pm-2pm BST and 27th September 3pm-4pm BST.

In these webinars we aim to provide a platform for our participants to introduce themselves to the community, let them provide an insight into their time with the Leadership Program, discuss the program’s immersive workshop held at the University of Reims (France), and tell us about their plans for the future. Time will be allocated at the end of each webinar for a Q&A session.

September 26th (1pm – 2pm BST): In order to register your interest in the first webinar, please follow this link.

September 27th (3pm – 4pm BST): In order to register your interest in the second webinar, please follow this link.

Our participants have provided an introduction to themselves below, along with their LinkedIn profiles if you wish to get in touch.


Emily Glowski (Texas A&M University, USA)

Main Qualifications: Virology, Bacteriology, Dosimetry, Chemistry.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience:I am a senior undergraduate researcher for the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M. I am majoring in Biomedical Science and will be graduating with my Bachelor of Science in December of 2023. I primarily do research on the effects of electron beam technology on bacteria and viruses. Last year, I worked on a project to develop a protocol for using filter paper as a medium to inoculate with bacteria or a virus, treat with a Low Energy Electron Beam, and quantify the surviving bacteria or viral particles. I also help with projects on the degradation of PFAS using electron beam technology. I have worked in the dosimetry lab doing dose mapping and dose measurements as well, so I am very familiar with how the electron beam and dosimetry work.”

Future Plans:I will be working in Belgium with IBA starting early next year as part of the placement from the IIA Leadership Program. There I will be working on a project involving the degradation of PFAS. After my placement, I will be going back to the United States to attend graduate school to get my PhD in virology. After graduate school, I want to get a job in the industry potentially working with the applications of electron beam technology on viruses.

Adrián Arias Blanco (University Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

Main Qualifications: Material Characterization, Numerical Models, Software Development, Machine Learning, Artificial Vision, Computed Aided Design/Engineering Software.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: I work as a research engineer, my main field of study being the 3D printing of polymeric materials. My main tasks are material characterization and the development of numerical models. For the material characterization, I employ several techniques, like the ones aforementioned, and regarding the numerical models, those are centred on the Finite Elements Method and Monte Carlo methods. The main reason why you are reading about me on the IIA webpage is that the ultimate goal of my work is to apply 3D printing to implant manufacturing, and since all implants must be sterilised, I am collaborating with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne to study how to sterilize polymeric implants with electron beam radiation. Also, thanks to the Leadership Program of the IIA, I am collaborating with Abbott performing Monte Carlo simulations to improve electron beam sterilization processes. With all this knowledge, I am writing my PhD Thesis because, besides all mentioned above, I am a PhD student. 

It is impossible to summarize everything I do in a single paragraph (I am doing new things constantly!), so if you want to know more, please contact me via LinkedIn!

Future Plans:I have always thought that there should be better collaboration between universities and private companies. In my opinion, this is the best way to improve the population’s quality of life using the latest technologies and developments. Hence, I see my future as a researcher engineer leading R&D projects involving both universities and private companies.”

Khalid Fatouaki (National Institute of Agricultural Research, Morocco)

Main Qualifications: Industrial process engineering and Metrology.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: “I am an engineer in process engineering with more than 5 years of experience in an industrial field. In this time I worked as a vinegar production manager, process engineer of composite material (tanks, pipes and fittings), and as a chemical engineer and metrology manager in a quality control laboratory for textiles, leather, toys, industrial products and the environment.

Currently I work in Regional Center of Agricultural Research of Tangier since 2021 as deputy head of the Boukhalef ionization station, the only one in Morocco, in which the irradiator is used not only for research purposes (food preservation, plant breeding, plant protection etc.), but also for some semi-industrial application under demand like sterilization of medical devices.

My main role is to help in the management of this station and to participate in research project within my institute (INRA) related to the use of irradiation in agriculture. ”

Future Plans:My future plan is to learn as much as possible from my supervisor in all aspects related to the irradiator (licensing, radiation protection, safety, security, dosimetry, dose mapping, operation etc.) because I am going to be the head of this station in the future. In addition, I will try to keep involved in research projects related to irradiation techniques within my institute, other universities or at international level (AFRA, AIEA etc.). 

After the Leadership Program, I took the decision to start learning simulation of radiation interaction using Geant4 because it is free, so I hope to be able to master this software in the near future. Finally, I would also like to do a PhD in the field of ionizing radiation, so I hope to find a good subject with scholarship.”

Regiane Martins (Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research and University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Main Qualifications: Bachelor in Biomedicine, PhD in Sciences with applications in Nuclear Technology (Irradiation) and specialist in Radiopharmacy. Technician in Medical Radiology.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: “Research development in food irradiation field and radiation biological effects analysis. Extensive experience in in vivo assays, rodents. International Internship in France to perform irradiated food detection analysis at AERIAL laboratory. Experience in Gamma irradiators, electron beam accelerators; medical supplies, food, cables, polymers, precious stones and biological material irradiation and radiopharmaceuticals production in reactors. Strong radiological protection knowledge. IAEA/ARCAL: Basic training course to establish a quality control in dosimetry protocols and define comparative evaluation protocols for industrial irradiators.”

Future Plans: “Getting into the irradiation industry, research in irradiation field, and to be reference in this area. Changing country and experiencing other cultures and languages.”

Gabriel Kojo Frimpong Ph. D (Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Ghana)

Main Qualifications: Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (Plant Mycology), Master of Philosophy in Radiation Processing, BSc. Postharvest Technology (KNUST).

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: Research Scientist with Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) under Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. The core mandate of BNARI is the application of nuclear technology in agriculture to enhance food production, security, and safety. 

Moreover, I am a facility manager of the Gamma Irradiation Facility (GIF) under Radiation Technology Centre under BNARI.

Future Plans: “I hope to partner with international organisations involved in radiation processing to establish facilities at strategic locations to extend the benefits of irradiation services to health care, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing industries in Africa.”

Sandra Eva Pawlak (National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA), Argentina)

Main Qualifications: Head of High Dose Dosimetry Laboratory.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: The High Dose Dosimetry Laboratory is in Ezeiza Atomic Center (CAE) of National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA). 

The LDAD inaugurated in 1977. By this years Fricke, Dichromate and Pottasium Nitrate Dosimetry Systems were used. In 2007, CNEA acquired and Spectrometer of Resonance Paramagnetic, and afterwards all the dosimetry systems were replaced for Alanine/EPR Dosimetry System. 

The LDAD has among its activities the following: 

  • Calibration of routine dosimeters used in the Semi-industrial Irradiation Facility (PISI). 
  • Dosimetry in samples irradiated at  PISI and in Modular Irradiator  Gammacell-220. 
  • Verification of dose rate and dose mapping in Selfshield Modular Gamma Blood Irradiator, wich are distributed  in differents  Hemotherapy Centers and Hospitals around the country. 
  • Verification of dose rate and dose mapping in Selfshield Modular Gamma (national design) for irradiation of fly pupa from Mediterráneo.  
  • Participation in International Dosimetry Interlaboratory. 
  • Reference Laboratory for Intercomparison exercise with participants from Latin America and Caribbean through IAEA Project. 
  • Teaching in Training Course on Dosimetry and Process Control.”

Future Plans: We are working in IQ-OQ and PQ for the Gammacell-220 that was reloaded recently. After that we can calibrate routine dosimeters not only in gamma irradiation plant but also at laboratory irradiator. 

Test new polymers through irradiation with an electron beam accelerator that we will receive at our institution at the end of the year. 

We are also thinking in the manufacture of new routine dosimeters made of polymers.

  • Sandra has not provided a LinkedIn profile.

Alvin Kier R. Gallardo (Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, Philippines) 

Main Qualifications: Bachelor in Science in Chemistry, Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: “I am particularly involved in several research projects related to the beneficial application of ionizing radiation, such as developing radiation-modified materials made from polysaccharides intended for agricultural and biomedical use, and suitability of ionizing radiation as sterilization method to the current and emerging biomedical devices. Aside from being involved with several technical activities in radiation chemistry, my previous international trainings widened and strengthened my knowledge about the significant advances and emerging applications of radiation technologies across different fields. Additionally, I have several scientific outputs published which are related to development of advanced materials using electron beam and gamma irradiation.”

Future Plans: My future plan includes pursuing an advanced academic degree in order to leverage my skillset, this will help both my career and my research pursuits. This future endeavour will allow me to explore how high-energy radiation can be used not only to address complex challenges to but also underscore its viability in a variety of applications.”

Raza Saleem (Scapa Healthcare, United Kingdom)

Main Qualifications: BSc Chemistry and MSc Analytical Chemistry, The University of Salford.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: 

  • Sterilisation Technical Lead
  • Oversee all technical activities associated with onsite industrial Gamma irradiation facility:
  • OQ & PQ dose mapping activities
  • Dosimeter Calibration
  • Failure Investigation and Technical Assessments
  • Primary contact for irradiation customers
  • New products assessments for Gamma Irradiation
  • Qualified Lead auditor

Future Plans: Learn and develop in the other radiation technologies and Microbiology, as well as participation in future events.

Henni Widyastuti (National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia, Indonesia)

Main Qualifications: Radiation Technology, Radiation Processing, Dosimetry, Food Irradiation, Machine Learning.

Primary Role and Relevant Experience: During my undergraduate studies, I was a medical physicist. I spent much time working with low-energy to high-energy dosimetry modelling and radiation imaging in a medical physics and biophysics research group at the University of Indonesia. I am familiar with radiation instrumentation and programming techniques for optimizing radiation imaging. My undergraduate thesis is implementing an XR-RV3 Gafchromic film dosimeter in the Interventional Radiography procedure. Since 2019, I have joined the current institution and become a researcher in radiation processing technology for food safety, including applying stable isotopes for tracing and irradiation technology in food and herbal sterilization. I support the research group’s output to provide Indonesian National Standards for food irradiation and collaborate with the Indonesian FDA to implement/update food irradiation regulations. I am also one of the researchers in a research group who is a consultant/facilitator for MSMEs/start-ups in the food sector interested in utilizing irradiation technology. This year, I received several assignments, including being a National Project Counterparts of IAEA for Indonesia in E-Beam/X-Ray promoting activities in Indonesia, Principal investigator of stable isotopes for food tracing and Project Controller in a feasibility study for developing a new irradiator in Indonesia. This activity is planned to be completed in Mid-2024.

Future Plans: In the next few years, I am developing a food irradiation ecosystem by integrating sponsor funding for MSMEs or start-ups to encourage them to use irradiation technology through special incentives for product research assistance. I will continue my Master’s education next year and then apply for a Ph.D. The topic for the Master’s thesis is the application of AI in improving food safety monitoring in trade in the scope of stable isotopes and irradiation technologies. Meanwhile, for the PhD topic, I want to explore technologies that can be used in radiation processing, including low-energy e-beam/x-ray. After completing a Ph. D., I plan to apply for a post-doctoral up to 2-3 years in Industry to gain knowledge and implement my experience in the academic field, then return to the institution and apply for a senior researcher/professor or consider another position.

We would like to thank our presenters for taking the time to tell us about themselves, and we look forward to their presentations at this event.

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