Kai Vetter’s research interests range from fundamental physics to biomedical imaging and homeland security. He is authored and co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications. He is also heads the Applied Nuclear Physics program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This program entails almost all aspects of radiation detection including the detector fabrication, readout, integration and signal processing.
In addition to his research and teaching activities, Professor Vetter heads the recently established Institute for Resilient Communities. This institute is dedicated to providing tools that enhance resilience in communities locally and globally. The goal is to minimize the impact associated with sudden or long-term changes induced by human actions or nature. To achieve this goal, it combines science, technology, education, and outreach and involves academic and educational institutions as well as communities in an international, multi-disciplinary, and multi-cultural context.
The Institute for Resilient Communities provides a framework for research, education, and community involvement to minimize the physical and psychological impact of future disruptive events and developments. It provides a forum for dialogue among researchers, educators, decision makers, and communities locally and globally.
As an example, the 2011 events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan highlighted the unmet need to enhance resilience to radiological and nuclear accidents. The incident and associated large releases of radioactive materials had and continue to have an enormous societal and economic impact on Japan and globally. Although no casualties and health effects have been and likely will be attributable directly to radiation, these events have manifold and substantial impact on local communities and have provoked ongoing anxiety and concerns around the world.