Deni Priyanto

Deni Priyanto

Continuous Learning

Deni's remarkable journey spans from Indonesia to Canada to the Summer Institute in the UK. Read how WNU impacted his career in waste management, developing his perspective and interests.

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Summer Institute

Growing up in a small village in Indonesia made my childhood experience unusual. Back in my 1st grade, our first art project was making brooms from parts of coconut leaves (“sapu lidi”). We were only 6 years old and had to bring knives to school. In the end, we survived and learned where things were originally from. I could not imagine doing this project in Canada nowadays. We might have been in the news or our school permanently closed.

My passion is to continue learning as long as I can. After I completed my first engineering degree in Indonesia, I received scholarships and completed a master and PhD in Canada. My journey in nuclear Science and Technology (S&T) began in 2003 by developing a numerical model simulating one experiment at the Underground Research Laboratory (URL) in Canada as part of my PhD research at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Just before I completed my degree, I was hired as a geotechnical engineer at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in 2006 based at the URL. I worked on several multidisciplinary projects for Canadian and international clients and developed expertise in radioactive waste disposal technology.

Recognizing my potential, the AECL leadership team selected me to participate at the World Nuclear University Summer Institute (WNUSI) in Oxford, United Kingdom (UK) in 2014. Over the 6 weeks, we learned about leadership in nuclear S&T from leaders in the industry, mentors, and other fellows. We also had site visits and group projects. I realized the importance of considering a big enough picture and collaboration to successfully solve a problem. After returning from WNUSI, I started my journey towards becoming a strategic planner. Motivated by one WNUSI mentor, I am developing an interest in intergenerational Nuclear Knowledge Management (NKM) to address challenging long-term radioactive waste management.

Subsequently, I attended the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s NKM school and Nuclear Energy Management (NEM) school in Trieste, Italy. In 2016 I was transferred to our head office in Chalk River, Ontario and started my new position as a technical planner at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) (formerly, AECL) to support the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) project. Currently, I am part of CNL’s waste programs working on our integrated waste strategy. I am also the principal investigator and project manager for the Enhanced Sealing Project (ESP), one of the first R&D projects supported by several nuclear waste management organizations to study the post-closure phase of an underground facility. This project has been operating for over 10 years at the URL site.


Looking back on my childhood, I would have never imagined this journey. Moving forward, I believe that my journey will be positive as I continue learning, networking professionally and spearheading collaborations.


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