Sonja Schmid’s research interests include social and historical studies of science and technology, technology transfer and international cooperation, nuclear history and energy policy, nonproliferation, and emergency preparedness and response. Her first book, Producing Power: The Pre-Chernobyl History of the Soviet Nuclear Industry (MIT Press 2015), examined the organization of the emerging Soviet nuclear industry and argued that reactor design choices do not follow strictly technical criteria. Other publications have traced Soviet nuclear technology transfer to Central and East European nations that have since joined the European Union. As part of her current research on the challenges of globalizing nuclear emergency response, which is supported by an NSF CAREER Award, Schmid hosts a monthly speaker series, the Seminar on Interdisciplinary Research and Education on Nuclear Emergency Response (SIREN). She serves as the co-director of Virginia Tech’s STS Graduate Program in Northern Virginia, and is part of Virginia Tech’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Laboratory (NSEL) in Arlington, Virginia. Before joining Virginia Tech, she spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, where she also taught in the STS Program, and one year at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey. She earned a Ph.D. in science & technology studies from Cornell, and an M.A. from the University of Vienna, Austria.
Sessions as a Speaker
- University of California, Berkeley