AREVA R&D Senior Executive VP Martha Heitzmann meets the Polish scientific community to explore further collaboration on research and education


Upon the closing ceremony of the Year of Marie Sklodowska-Curie, held in Warsaw today, Martha Heitzmann, AREVA’s Research & Development Senior Executive Vice-President, met the heads of the prestigious Polytechnic University of Warsaw (Politechnika Warszawska - PW) to further develop their collaboration.

In July 2011, AREVA and PW signed a Memorandum of Understanding launching the second phase of an already successful partnership that started in 2009. Today’s meeting was the opportunity to explore the range of technical partnerships offered by AREVA and defined a series of concrete actions to be developed in the coming years.

“As a world-leader in the development of technologies for low-carbon energy, we are committed to sharing our expertise with the Polish scientific community to help build a sound and self-reliant nuclear industry in Poland” said Martha Heitzmann.

Through its strong in-house R&D Department, AREVA is committed to supporting research and innovations in the nuclear field, whether for electricity generation or medical applications. The group is also deeply involved in the development and the support of dedicated training programs to prevent countries’ nuclear skills-shortage and ensure the transfer of key competencies among generations. Since several years, AREVA University and the R&D Department have worked with the world’s major universities, financing the development of expertise through programs such as Gap-Expert, the “Nuclear Learning Tour” and AREVA Grants. The group is also proactively involved in European and International training programs such as ENELA (European Nuclear Energy Leadership Academy), whose mission is to equip nuclear professionals to ensure the development of sustainable nuclear energy solutions.

The present MoU builds on AREVA’s long collaborative tradition with the Polish scientific community, especially in research and nuclear education. The group is actively participating in the Franco-Polish program "Train the Trainers/Poland" implemented within the agreement signed between the Nuclear Energy Department of the Polish Ministry of Economy and the AFNI (Agence France Nucléaire International).

Since 2009, AREVA organized several learning trips for PW’s professors, scientists and students to attend training courses at AREVA University and visit technical facilities to share knowledge and best practices. AREVA also supports two PhD students and provides significant aid to the University for the organization of the first two International Nuclear Conferences ever held in Poland in 2010 and 2011.

Poland re-launched its civil nuclear program in 2009 and PGE’s (Polska Grupa Energetyczna) call for tender for the construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant is expected before the end of the year. AREVA is in line to propose its new generation EPRTM reactor as part of the European fleet the company is currently deploying.

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Martha Heitzmann holds a doctorate degree in Environmental and Chemical Engineering from Harvard and an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs. She began her career in 1990 as Advisor to the General Manager of the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ Environmental Protection Authority. From 1993 to 1999, Martha Heitzmann held various positions within the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank related to environmental infrastructure and technology. From 1999 to 2007, Martha Heitzmann was Principal Administrator, Performance and Environmental Information Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). From 2007 to January 2011, she was Vice President, Research & Development for the Air Liquide Group. On March 1, 2011, Martha Heitzmann was appointed AREVA’s Senior Executive Vice President, Research & Innovation. She is also a member of AREVA’s Executive Committee as well as a member of the boards of the French CNRS and CEA.

Politechnika Warszawska (PW) is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in Poland. The MEiL department (energy and aeronautic) pioneered nuclear education in Poland. The University launched its first dedicated program in the 1960’s. Suspended in 1992 due to the freeze of the construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant, the nuclear branch of the University was reopened in 2009 following the decision of the Polish government to re-launch the country’s civil nuclear program. With more than 36,000 undergraduate, PhD and post-graduate students, the University has been ranked first since 2005 in the yearly ranking of Polish technical universities. To maintain its excellence, PW is committed to developing multiple national, European and International partnerships with fellow universities, research centers and leading industrial companies. In 2009, PW and AREVA started their collaboration centered around research initiatives and education programs.