ANS Magazine Radwaste Solutions features Lorenzo Vergari’s work

ANS Magazine 'Radwaste Solutions' features Lorenzo Vergari's work

March 10, 2021

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UCBNE PhD student Lorenzo Vergari's work is featured in the Spring 2021 Issue of the ANS Magazine 'Radwaste Solutions.' Entitled "Packaging TRISO," the article was based on Vergari's presentation of the same topic at the 2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting on November 16-19, 2020. He discusses storage and transportation strategies for used Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor fuel and identifies the next steps in the investigation before the suggestions can be put into effect.

ANS members can check this article out here. Starting on Page 68

Keep up the Excellent work Lorenzo!

UCBNE Researchers and the search for Dark Matter

UCBNE Researchers and the search for Dark Matter

February 12, 2021

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UCBNE Professor Karl van Bibber and his group of researchers were featured on campus news for their recent publication in Nature introducing a new experiment to harness the "weirdness of quantum mechanics to accelerate the search for the axion, one of two leading hypothetical subatomic particles that may make up the bulk of dark matter in the universe."

This new technique, called quantum squeezing, allowed the HAYSTAC detector to search for axions at twice the speed as before. “The HAYSTAC detector was already essentially at the quantum limit, and now we’ve actually found a way of circumventing the quantum limit entirely,” said co-author Karl van Bibber, executive associate dean at Berkeley’s College of Engineering and one of the senior researchers on the HAYSTAC project. “Several theoretical works are now predicting that the axion mass is right in the frequency range where HAYSTAC is ready to go next. And we’ve got the cavities and amplifiers all lined up and ready to search.”

Read more in the glowing Berkeley News Article

Great work and congratulations to the research team, Very exciting developments!

Berkeley Team take first-ever measurements of Einsteinium

Berkeley Team take first-ever measurements of Einsteinium

February 5th, 2021

Leticia Arnedo -Sanchez (from left), Katherine Shield, Korey Carter, Jennifer Wacker at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 in Berkeley, Calif. 11/17/20

Researchers in Rebecca Abergel's lab obtained a small sample of einsteinium, a highly radioactive and difficult-to-obtain element, and made the first ever measurement of its bond distance. The study was published in Nature.

“Structural and Spectroscopic Characterization of an Einsteinium Complex,” has been published in Nature; A study co-led by Berkeley Lab scientist and UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering (UCBNE) Assistant Professor Rebecca Abergel, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist Stosh Kozimor, and a team of scientists: study co-authors Korey Carter, Katherine Shield (current UCBNE Grad student), Kurt Smith, Leticia Arnedo-Sanchez, Tracy Mattox, Liane Moreau, and Corwin Booth of Berkeley Lab; Zachary Jones and Stosh Kozimor of Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Jennifer Wacker and Karah Knope of Georgetown University—several of whom are graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The research was supported by the DOE Office of Science. Luminescence spectroscopy experiments were conducted at the Molecular Foundry at Berkeley Lab, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. With experimental facilities not available in 1952, when Einsteinium was discovered, the team measured the first-ever Einsteinium bond distance and with less than 250 nanograms of the element!

“There’s not much known about einsteinium,” said Abergel, who leads Berkeley Lab’s Heavy Element Chemistry group. “It’s a remarkable achievement that we were able to work with this small amount of material and do inorganic chemistry. It’s significant because the more we understand about its chemical behavior, the more we can apply this understanding for the development of new materials or new technologies, not necessarily just with einsteinium, but with the rest of the actinides too. And we can establish trends in the periodic table.”

Read more on their challenges and findings in this LBL news piece

Congratulations Professor Abergel and Kathy Shield! —from your UCBNE family.

More News coverage:

Nature

Chemistry world

Grey Batie wows at the 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference (DIRC20)

Grey Batie wows at the 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference

November 13th, 2020

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The third annual Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference took place November 12-13, 2020 as a virtual event, reaching more than 500 attendees across six continents. DIRC20 featured nearly 50 panelists and speakers, which ranged from a University President to the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of a multinational corporation.

Grey was invited to join a panel titled "Allyship and Intersectionality: Understanding the roles of power, privilege and marginalization in DEI work.” Grey was joined on this panel by Heather Metcalf, Chief Research Officer of the Association for Women in Science; Dr. Tsedale Melaku, author of the book "You Don't Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism”; and Jennifer Brown, author of multiple books and one of the best-known Diversity & Inclusion Practitioners in this country.

Paolo Gaudiano, one of the conference's organizers praised Grey for their contribution, “Grey was absolutely fantastic in their role. It is rare to find such an incredible combination of intellect, charisma, self-awareness and humility...In these times of heightened awareness about issues of racial inequality, and especially given that today marks the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week, I hope you are aware of the amazing individual that you have among your doctoral students, and that you will join me and my colleagues in celebrating Grey's impressive achievements.”

"Grey has been wonderful to mentor and to work with over the last few years. Grey has been and I'm sure they will continue to be an outstanding ambassador for diversity and inclusion. In addition to engaging in the important issues of equity, diversity, and racial justice, Grey has been themself an exemplary mentor for other students while tackling outstanding challenges in the effective and safe operation of the next generation of nuclear power plants in their research," says Kai Vetter, their research advisor.

To read more about DIRC20 and Grey Batie: https://www.dirc.info/

We are so proud of you, Grey!

MRS Graduate Student Awards

MRS Graduate Student Awards

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Yujun Xie, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Prof. Peter Hosemann’s group at the University of California at Berkeley and National Center for Electron Microscopy in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has won the prestigious gold graduate student award from the 2020 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting for his Ph.D. work at Yale University working with Prof. Judy Cha and Prof. Jan Schroers.
MRS Graduate Student Awards are intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials science research display a high level of excellence and distinction. MRS seeks to recognize students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research and education. Yujun was selected as one of 19 finalists and gave an invited competition talk. His presentation titled "Atomistic Understanding of Crystallization Principles in Atomistic Understanding of Crystallization Principles for Additive Manufacturing" was selected as one of the 7 students to receive the Gold Award among the finalists.
One focus of Xie's research is developing predictable outcomes in crystallization when working on the nanoscale.
“My work aims to develop accurate crystallization models beyond conventional theories and enable precise control of the microstructures of the structural alloys over a wide range of length scales from Ångström to micrometer using advanced analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques at unprecedented time and spatial resolution,” said Xie, who is now working with Prof. Peter Hosemann on learning the failure mechanism of composite materials in extreme
environments.
For more information, click here.

Jeff Graham Wins Poster Award at the TMS Meeting

Jeff Graham Wins Poster Award at the TMS Meeting

February 25, 2020

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The Nuclear Engineering Department is pleased to announce that Jeff Graham, a graduate student in Peter Hosemann's nuclear materials research group, took first place for his poster Cold Sprayed ODS Alloys: Mechanical Evaluation in the TMS2020 Additive Manufacturing for Energy Applications section. Cold spraying is an additive manufacturing technique based on metal-to-metal consolidation by means of high-strain-rate plastic deformation, and offers a means of creating complex parts from advanced nanostructured alloys for use in next-generation nuclear reactors. The work presented evaluated the mechanical soundness of parts made of cold-sprayed ferritic stainless steel, and has shown both where the process has promise and what challenges it confronts. His work has been critical in identifying necessary research thrusts in order to bring this technology from the laboratory to industrial application. Jeff's distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself, the Hosemann research group, and UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering.

Fung Feature: Juhi Nandwani, MEng ’20 (NE)

Fung Feature: Juhi Nandwani, MEng ’20 (NE)

January 24, 2020

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One of our MEng students, Juhi Nandwani, MEng' 20 (NE) was featured on the Fung Institutes website for her work on growing the healthcare system in Belize and the importance of self-care.

The feature highlights her background as well as what inspired her to work in the field of nuclear engineering. She says, "My parents always advised me that choosing a career path is not about fiscal outcomes; rather, it is about pursuing a career that will bring you happiness. After years of considering what I would be happy doing every day, I finally chose nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, a field that changed my life greatly while I was working towards obtaining my radiation therapist license. The lack of radiation oncology in the medical field in my home country, Belize, initially led me to radiation therapy as a baccalaureate major. Belize as a country does not have the equipment and funds to invest in a radiation oncology department in any of our hospitals at this time. This task is in the hands of the current and future generations."

Keep up the good work Juhi! To read the full article, click here.

The Hertz Foundation Fellowship

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Eligibility

Eligible applicants for Hertz Fellowships must be students of the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and engineering who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States of America, and who are willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency (see our Moral Commitment section). College seniors wishing to pursue the PhD degree in any of the fields of particular interest to the Foundation, as well as graduate students already in the process of doing so, may apply. We generally do not award fellowships to students who are already beyond their first year of graduate study except in cases of "exceptional leverage." Such awards are very rare—only three have been made in the past 10 years.

THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS APPLY:

(1) Only applicants who propose to complete a program of graduate study leading to a PhD degree are eligible. Applications are accepted both from students in the final year of their bachelor’s program and from those who have already commenced graduate study. Please note that applications from students currently beyond their first year of graduate school are only considered favorably in cases where exceptional research leverage can be demonstrated.

(2) The proposed field of graduate study must be directed toward the understanding and solving of problems associated with contemporary human concern, using applications of knowledge from the physical and biological sciences, mathematics, engineering and computer science.

(3) Evidence of exceptional creativity, broad understanding of physical principles, and outstanding potential for innovative research is expected.

(4) Citizenship or Permanent Residency in the United States is required. If you are not a US citizen, we will ask to see proof of Application for Citizenship or your Permanent Resident card when you are interviewed.

(5) Eligible applicants must also morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in times of national emergency (see Moral Commitment section.)

We do not support students pursuing advanced professional degrees other than the PhD, such as enrollees in MD, LLD, public health, veterinary medicine, descriptive biology, nor MBA programs, although we will support the PhD portion of a joint MD/PhD study program. For a list of general fields of study in which Graduate Fellowships are offered by the Foundation, see Fields of Study.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR:

Evidence of exceptional creativity, broad understanding of physical principles, and outstanding potential for innovative research is expected.

Applicants are screened for qualities we believe are essential ingredients of future professional accomplishment and/or leading indicators of future professional success. These include:

  • Exceptional Intelligence and Creativity with particular emphasis on those aspects pertinent to technical endeavors.
  • Excellent Technical Education evidenced not only by transcripts and reference reports from senior technical professionals, but also through an in-person, technical interview.
  • Orientation and Commitment to the applications of the physical sciences as is typical of most applicants.
  • Extraordinary Accomplishment in technical or related professional studies which may offset slightly lower academic records or add luster to outstanding ones.
  • High moral and ethical values
  • Leverage demonstration of the difference the award of the Hertz Fellowship is likely to make in the kind, quality, and/or personal creativity of the student's graduate research.

Anti-Discrimination Notice: The Hertz Foundation does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

NE Student Sarah Stevenson Featured in Idaho National Laboratory Article

NE Student Sarah Stevenson Featured in Idaho National Laboratory Article

Sarah Stevenson, a PhD student, was featured this April in an article highlighting her worldly travels in pursuit of nuclear materials research: click here to view article.

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Exerpt from the article:

Uncle Sam may have to wait a few years for Sarah Stevenson, but it’s a solid bet the wait will be worth it.

When she graduates from Kansas State University in May, Stevenson, who spent the summer of 2016 as an intern at Idaho National Laboratory, will have a commission in the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant. This comes from being an ROTC cadet for five years, but Stevenson learned in March she had received a Chancellor’s Fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). This will help her pursue a doctorate studying nuclear materials at UCB’s Nuclear Engineering Department. UCB joined the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) network in 2011.

The plan is for Stevenson, 22, to commission in the Air Force, using an “education delay” to postpone entry to extended active duty while she studies at Berkeley. Once her Ph.D. is in hand, she will become a physicist/nuclear engineer for the Air Force.