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NSE Awards Archive

NSE’s Curtis, Lam, Miao win ANS awards

Graduate students Daniel Curtis, Stephen Tsz Tang Lam, and Jilang Miao won awards for their presentations at the 2016 American Nuclear Society Student Conference.

Third year PhD student Jilang Miao won two awards for his presentation entitled “Correlation Effect in Monte Carlo Neutronics Simulation.” His presentation won first place for Best Graduate Presentation in Reactor Physics and won the second place for Best Overall Presentation.

Miao’s research focuses on the correlation of Monte Carlo Neutronics simulation. In the presence of neutron correlation, Monte Carlo simulation will underestimate uncertainty and decelerate convergence rate. He has been able to correct the uncertainty estimator by data fitting and is investigating a more efficient way with mathematical models. He is also working on revising the traditional simulation procedure to accelerate the convergence. Miao works with Professors Benoit Forget and Kord Smith in NSE.

Stephen Tsz Tang Lam is a first year student working with Dr. Charles Forsberg and Professor Ronald Ballinger in NSE. Lam won the award for Best Presentation in Salt Reactors for his presentation entitled “Tritium Capture and Control in Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactors.”

Lam’s research combines experimental work and modeling to understand tritium mass transport in carbon. Carbon is a traditional adsorbent in chemical industries that is believed to play a significant role in managing tritium in new reactor technology. These reactors require the use of lithium salts which generate the radioactive isotope, tritium. Advanced reactor technology concepts such as fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors, molten-salt reactors, and high-magnetic-field fusion all use lithium – and are expected to enable the transition to a low-carbon energy future.

Fourth year PhD student, Daniel Curtis, won third place for Best Overall Paper for his presentation entitled "Optimizing Short-Term Operation of a FIRES-like Industrial Heat Supply Thermal Energy Storage System". In NSE Curtis works with Dr. Charles Forsberg.

Curtis studies electricity markets, electric grid operation, and nuclear plant design. He seeks to improve the economic competitiveness of current and near future nuclear power plants, and to improve our strategies for nuclear energy research and development, through better understanding of federal and state energy policies, the electric grid, the deployment of intermittent renewable generators (IRG), and deregulated markets for electricity. 

The 2016 ANS Student Conference theme was Being a Critical Member of the Nuclear Industry and was hosted by the University of Madison – Wisconsin.

NSE’s Otgonbaatar wins collaboration award at ACEEES

NSE graduate student Uuganbayar Otgonbaatar, Jean-Marie Doux (IMN, France) and Fuminao Kishimoto (Tokyo Tech.) won an award for team collaboration at the fourth International Education Forum on Environment and Energy Science. The Forum, sponsored by the program for Leading Graduate Schools “Academy for Co-creative Education of Environment and Energy Science (ACEEES)” was held at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Their presentation titled “Discussion of environmental destruction and civilization collapse with review of relevant history” focused on how climate change and global warming presents risks to civilization if unmitigated in terms of surface temperature increase, change in precipitation patterns, and sea level rise. We reviewed historical precedents when a community of people lead to the civilization collapse due to own actions and warned of consequences of inaction on climate.

ACEEES website

From the left (back row): Jean-Marie Doux (IMN), Uuganbayar Otgonbaatar (MIT), Fuminao Kishimoto (Tokyo Tech.); front: Prof.Hatano of Tokyo Tech, chair of organizing committee of ACEEES.

NSE’s Ellis and Walsh win ANS Graduate Scholarships

Graduate students Matthew Ellis and Jon Walsh have received graduate scholarships awarded by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) for “academic excellence and outstanding achievements to a full-time graduate student in the field of nuclear science and engineering.”

Matthew Ellis and Jon Walsh, both fourth year PhD students, work with NSE professors Kord Smith and Benoit Forget in the Computational Reactor Physics Group. Their research focuses on numerical advancements for high fidelity simulations of nuclear systems.  

Ellis is investigating multiphysics feedback in Monte Carlo simulations using the Monte Carlo code OpenMC developed at MIT along with the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) developed by the Idaho National Laboratory. This work will enable the modelling of fuel performance and thermal-hydraulic feedback mechanisms by closely integrating the simulation capabilities of OpenMC in the MOOSE framework. Detailed multiphysics simulations such as these are essential to effectively evaluate the safety and performance of advanced reactor designs.

Walsh is working on improving the modelling of the unresolved resonance range in nuclear data evaluations for Monte Carlo methods. His work has provided efficient methods for modelling the temperature dependence of nuclear data in that energy range, and more importantly in determining the uncertainty associated with commonly used probability tables which is of utmost importance for the design of fast spectrum reactors.

Learn more about ANS Scholarships and Fellowships

photo Matthew Ellis (L), Jon Walsh (R)

NSE’s Coyle wins two awards at NURETH-16

NSE graduate student Carolyn Coyle was a winner of the NURETH-16 Young Professional Award and was one of eight winners of the Best Paper Award for her paper entitled “Synthesis of CRUD and its Effects On Pool and Subcooled Flow Boiling”.

Coyle’s work with work with Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno, Dr. Tom McKrell and Dr. Bren Phillips focuses on the effects of Chalk River Unidentified Deposits (CRUD) on critical heat flux (CHF) and heat transfer coefficient (HTC). CRUD is a naturally occurring porous, hydrophilic layer that forms on fuel rods during reactor operation. CRUD deposits can have large effects on CHF and HTC. Coyle investigated these effects by preparing synthetic CRUD on indium tin oxide-sapphire heaters. Information about the heater surface temperature, nucleation site density, bubble departure diameter, and bubble departure frequency was monitored and collected in the pool and flow boiling facilities in MIT’s Reactor Hydraulics Laboratory.

The purpose of the Student Program is to encourage the active participation of students by submitting high quality technical papers on the various aspects of nuclear thermal-hydraulics. NURETH-16 awarded travel fellowships for the top student papers, undergraduate or graduate.

NURETH-16 was dedicated to NSE Professor Mujid Kazimi (1947-2015) — renowned scholar, educator and researcher in nuclear technology, and leading expert in the design and analysis of nuclear power plants and the nuclear fuel cycle. An ad-memoriam session was held on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, to celebrate his contributions to making nuclear power safer, more reliable and available to all.

Learn more NURETH-16

NSE’s Boyd and Dykhuis win 2015 Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards

NSE’s William Boyd and Andrew Dykhuis have won awards in the 2015 Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies.

William Boyd, a Ph.D. student in Nuclear Science and Engineering, has been awarded a First Place prize in the category of Nuclear Science and Engineering. His award-winning research paper, “The OpenMOC Method of Characteristics Neutral Particle Transport Code,” was published in the Annals of Nuclear Energy in June 2014.

Andrew Dykhuis, also a Ph.D. student in Nuclear Science and Engineering, has been awarded a Second Place prize in the category of Advanced Fuels. His award-winning research paper, “HOGNOSE: A New Model for Corrosion in PWRs,” was presented at the American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting in June 2015.

The Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards program is designed to: 1) award graduate and undergraduate students for innovative fuel-cycle-relevant research publications, 2) demonstrate the Department of Energy’s commitment to higher education in fuel-cycle-relevant disciplines, and 3) support communications among students and DOE representatives.

The program awarded 18 prizes in 2015 for student publications relevant to the nuclear fuel cycle. In addition to cash awards, award-winning students will have a variety of other opportunities.

Learn more about the Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards program

photo William Boyd (L), Andrew Dykhuis (R)

Four NSE students win NEUP support

NSE’s Sterling Harper was one of 32 graduate students across the country to be awarded a Nuclear Energy University Programs Fellowship given by the US Department of Energy. Harper’s project focuses on modeling nuclear reactors. He is writing software that can be used to calculate how many neutrons of different energies are in a reactor and is designing tools to determine the reactor’s safety, failure modes, power potential, and radioactive waste production. Harper works with NSE Professors Benoit Forget and Kord Smith.

As an NEUP graduate fellow, Harper will receive $50,000 annually over the next three years in addition to a summer internship at a National Laboratory.

NSE undergraduates Luisa Kenausis, Sean Lowder, and Vivian Tran (course 22 and course 8) are among 59 undergraduates awarded scholarships in nuclear energy-related engineering and science programs at universities across the country. Kenausis has completed three UROPs with Professor Forget; Lowder will be spending this summer working with Professor Jacopo Buongiorno; and Tran has worked Professors Forget, Short, and Yildiz on four UROP projects. Undergraduates will each receive a $7,500 scholarship.

Learn more about NEUP Fellowships and Scholarships

photo L to R: Harper, Kenausis, Lowder, Tran

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