Max Fratoni Awarded ANS Untermyer & Cisler Reactor Technology Medal

Max Fratoni Awarded ANS Untermyer & Cisler Reactor Technology Medal

May 21, 2024

Engineering faculty and staff headshots at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

UCBNE chair Max Fratoni has been awarded the 2024 ANS Untermyer & Cisler Reactor Technology Medal. This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific, engineering, or management contributions to the advancement of nuclear reactor technology. Max is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of nuclear technology, specifically for the groundbreaking development of fluoride-cooled pebble-bed reactors and pioneering work in various other advanced reactor technologies.

Learn more about the Untermyer & Cisler Reactor Technology Medal here.

UCBNE at PHYSOR 2024

UCBNE at PHYSOR 2024

May 9, 2024

UCBNE students and faculty attended the 2024 American Nuclear Society International Conference on Physics of Reactors (PHYSOR 2024). This event brought together a mix of industry professionals, academic personnel, and national lab researchers to talk about the current state of advanced reactor design. Topics included industry projects geared toward employing electricity-producing reactors, different experimental facilities, and the needs for the future of advanced reactors.

Learn more about PHYSOR 2024. Photo credits AJ Gubser.

UCBNE at the Emeriti as Mentors Intergenerational Poster Session 2024

UCBNE at the Emeriti as Mentors Intergenerational Poster Session 2024

May 3, 2024

PosterPresentation

During the fourth annual Emeriti as Mentors Intergenerational Poster Session, three students from the spring 2024 offering of the class NUCENG 24 "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Nuclear Engineering But Were Afraid To Ask" led by Professor Eric Norman presented a poster describing their final reports from the class. Micaela Bowers, Amanda Fellinge, and Evan Lingo showcased their final reports on environmental lessons from Chernobyl, nuclear transmutation, and molten salt reactors, respectively.

Learn more about the Emeriti As Mentors poster session.

Rebecca Abergel Awarded 2024 Bakar Prize

Rebecca Abergel Awarded 2024 Bakar Prize

March 13, 2024

Engineering faculty and staff headshots at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

Professor Rebecca Abergel has been named one of five UC Berkeley faculty members awarded the 2024 Bakar Prize. The Bakar Prize is designed to give a boost to campus innovators as they translate their discoveries into real-world solutions. The prize is given annually to former Bakar Fellows and provides additional resources to ensure a successful transition of their technology from academic research to industry applications.

Rebecca Abergel, was awarded for the project: Extending indications for heavy metal decorporation products.

"Toxic heavy metals, such as lead, are ubiquitous in our environment, yet there currently is no viable option for removing them from the body when inadvertently consumed. The only practical therapy is treatment with chelating agents that form excretable complexes. Abergel's team is trying to broadly extend the applicability of current drug treatment products to a wide range of heavy metal toxicities and everyday-life contamination scenarios, including chronic exposure of children. She plans to conduct experimental decontamination studies that will validate and translate these initial chelating drugs into treatments that are accessible and affordable to patients all over the world. She specifically hopes to develop treatment regimens appropriate for pediatric populations and for the removal of internalized heavy metals resulting from chronic exposure."

Read more about the Bakar prize and its 2024 winners.

UCBNE at TMS 2024 Conference

UCBNE at TMS 2024

March 8, 2024

The UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering team had a strong showing at the annual Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS) conference. Chris Reis, Ryan Hayes, Malachi Nelson, Darrin Parkinson, Kavin Ram, and Professor Peter Hosemann presented several talks and posters at the 2024 meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Peter Hosemann Appointed Deputy Editor for the Journal of Applied Physics

Peter Hosemann Appointed Deputy Editor for the Journal of Applied Physics

February 28, 2024

Engineering faculty and staff headshots at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

After serving two years as an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Physics (JAP), Professor Peter Hosemann has been appointed deputy editor for the JAP beginning March 1st 2024. He will oversee the journal's following topical areas:

  • Electrical Discharges, Plasmas, and Plasma-Surface Interactions
  • Physics of Matter under Extreme Conditions
  • Additive Manufacturing

In his new role Hosemann will work on special journal issues associated with these topical areas and will work with authors and reviewers on their respective research.

New Faculty Announcement: Daniel Siefman

Daniel Siefman

New Faculty Announcement: Daniel Siefman

January 10, 2024

Daniel Siefman
The UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department is pleased to announce new assistant professor Daniel Siefman.
His research interests include critical and subcritical experiments and methods, nuclear data validation and adjustment, computational methods in radiation transport, neutron noise, reactor dosimetry, design optimization and safety analysis of nuclear reactors with machine learning, and nuclear power plant decommissioning.  Daniel received a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Florida in 2013, masters degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and from ETH Zurich in 2015, and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from EPFL in 2019. From 2019 to 2023, he was a staff scientist in the Nuclear Criticality Safety Division at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory supporting R&D efforts in integral experiments, nuclear data validation, radiation transport, neutron noise, and diagnostics for nuclear emergency response.

 Karl van Bibber to lead research group awarded $3.7M to build new dark matter experiment

 Karl van Bibber to lead research group awarded $3.7M to build new dark matter experiment

December 15, 2023

Engineering faculty and staff headshots at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

Last fall, a coalition of the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the John F. Templeton Foundation and the Gordon & Betty Moore foundation pledged a fund of $30M total for a 'tabletop experiments' solicitation. It was just announced that a team of researchers led by UCBNE faculty Karl van Bibber will be awarded $3.7M in funding to continue research about axions, particles believed to make up dark matter in the universe. Collaborators on the project include researchers from eleven institutions: UC Berkeley, Yale, Colorado, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Wellesley, ORNL, Stockholm, Iceland, ITMO/St. Petersburg and Cambridge. The experiment, “A Plasma Haloscope for the Post-Inflation Axion", will be sited at Yale, nearby the current HAYSTAC experiment, utilizing a large-bore 16 Tesla magnet. Berkeley's role is the development of metamaterial-based resonators for the conversion of dark matter axions into a very weak microwave signal, detectable with advanced quantum sensing techniques.

Learn more in the Simon Foundation announcement and the College of Engineering write-up.

NRC Commission Issues Construction Permit for Hermes Demonstration Reactor

NRC Commission Issues Construction Permit for Hermes Demonstration Reactor

December 12, 2023

Logo courtesy of Kairos Power
Logo courtesy of Kairos Power

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a construction permit to Kairos Power for the Hermes non-power demonstration reactor to be built in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The demonstrator reactor is intended to provide operational data to support the development of a larger version for commercial power targeted in the early 2030s. The Hermes series aims to help mitigate technology, licensing, supply chain, and construction risk to achieve cost certainty for Kairos Power’s fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) technology.

UCBNE faculty Per Peterson is one of the co-founders of Kairos Power alongside UCBNE alumn Mike Laufer.

Read the Kairos Power write-up and NRC press release.

Per Peterson Reappointed to Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee

Per Peterson Reappointed to Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee

December 7, 2023

Per_Peterson
Governor Gavin Newson has reappointed UCBNE faculty Per Peterson to the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC), a position Peterson has held since 2008. First created in 1990, the DCISC is a 3-person committee tasked with reviewing and making recommendations regarding the safety of PG&E's Diablo Canyon Power Plant located in San Luis Obispo County. 

"Per F. Peterson, of Berkeley, has been reappointed to the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee, where he has served since 2008. Peterson has been Chief Nuclear Officer at Kairos Power since 2017 and a Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley since 1990. He was Executive Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley from 2015 to 2017. Peterson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Nuclear Society. He earned a Doctor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no state compensation. Peterson is a Democrat.”

Peterson will serve alongside Peter Lam and Robert J. Budnitz.

Learn more about the DCISC and how the public can get involved in meetings and tours.

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