- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A new project designed to monitor countries that don’t observe an international nuclear proliferation treaty and help nations with nuclear power safeguard their materials will be run by a professor in Michigan.

University of Michigan associate professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences Sara Pozzi is the director of the Center for Verification Technology, the Ann Arbor school said Monday in a news release.

The $25 million project is funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

A team from 13 universities will work with eight national labs to analyze nuclear nonproliferation efforts, improve technologies for monitoring weapons-grade materials and detecting secret weapon tests by monitoring seismic activity.

The team also is tasked with training the next generation of nonproliferation experts.

“Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons is one of the top priorities both in the U.S. and around the world,” Pozzi said in a statement.

Four other University of Michigan professors are part of the project. Electrical and computer engineering professor Alfred Hero will lead a team looking into understanding nuclear measurements. The work could result in better methods for detecting nuclear detonations and other potentially threatening activities, according to the school.

North Carolina State University, University of Hawaii, Pennsylvania State University, Duke University, University of Wisconsin, University of Florida, Oregon State University, Yale University and University of Illinois are among the other schools in the project.