Two students earn fuel cycle research awards
Two University of Idaho students won awards in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2012 Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research competition.
Robert Hoover, a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering, received first place in the open competition in the category of chemical separations. The research paper that won him this award, “Computational Model of the Mark-IV Electrorefiner: Two-Dimensional Potential and Current Distributions,” was published in the Nuclear Technology journal in February 2011.
Joshua Daw, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, received first place in the category of nuclear fuels. His award-winning research paper, “Update on Ultrasonic Thermometry Development at Idaho National Laboratory” will be presented at the eighth International Meeting on Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control, and Human Machine Interface Technologies (NPIC and HMIT) in July 2012.
“The award I received was for research I did for my master’s in nuclear engineering on processing the metallic nuclear fuel to improve utilization of uranium and minimize the use of natural resources,” Hoover said.
Students play a fundamental role in developing the advanced nuclear technologies that will help sustain and further expand nuclear power in the United States, Hoover said.
“I hope to continue research in this area and eventually see closure in the number of fuel cycle in the United States limiting the waste that needs to be disposed,” Hoover said.
The Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research program is designed to award graduate and undergraduate students for innovative fuel cycle relevant research publications. It also demonstrates the Office of Fuel Technologies’ commitment to higher education in fuel-cycle-relevant disciplines and supports the communication among students and DOE representatives.
“My adviser Dr. Supathorn Phongikaroon, informed me of the Fuel Cycle Research award program and encouraged me to submit my work,” Hoover said.
The program awarded 24 prizes in 2012 for student publications and presentations relevant to the nuclear fuel cycle.
“This award is definitely a great addition to my resume and will help me with employment prospects in the future, this also gives recognition to the work we do at the university in the field of nuclear and chemical engineering,” Hoover said.
In addition to cash awards, students will have a variety of other opportunities including the honor of presenting their winning publication during the American Nuclear Society winter meeting, participating in an innovators forum, as well as the DOE Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies annual meeting.
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