NC State & SC State spring 2020 seniors after their final design project presentations.
Wishing all students, faculty, staff, alumni, family & friends good health!
End of academic year message from the department head...
During these challenging times we wish you all good health.There is much to be grateful for - family, friends, students, colleagues and alumni.

Highlights from this semester include --

  • 3 promotions to full professorship - Drs. John Mattingly, Dmitriy Anistratov & Jacob Eapen

  • 1 tenured associate professor - Dr. Robert Hayes

  • 2 assistant professor re-appointments - Drs. Katharina Stapelmann & Ge Yang

  • May graduation has been postponed until December, a special ceremony for 2019-20 and Fall 2020 students

  • NC State response to COVID19, updates are available here.
Nuclear Engineering alumna helps guide Raleigh hospital through COVID-19 crisis
For Dr. Linda Butler, there are no normal days.
As vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh, Butler is responsible for quality and performance improvement, infection prevention, risk management, research and medical staff affairs for a system with more than 7,400 staff members and multiple facilities including Raleigh’s oldest hospital.

Her work involves ensuring that the REX staff has the equipment and supplies needed to be successful and that patients are safe and receive the best care. Zero falls. Zero pressure ulcers. Zero healthcare-associated infections.

“We strive to provide high quality, low-cost healthcare,” said Butler, who holds a bachelor’s degree in  nuclear engineering from NC State,  a master’s degree in medical physics from the University of Florida and an M.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Further details here.
Bourham honored with the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence
Congratulations to  Dr. Mohamed Bourham,  Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Director of the College of Engineering Master of Engineering Program & Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Bourham has been bestowed with the 2020 Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence. This medal is the the university’s highest faculty award, recognizing faculty members whose careers demonstrate excellence in achievement and sustained impact in research, teaching, service, or extension and engagement.

It is the highest honor awarded by NC State and the university’s Board of Trustees.

Further details here.
Harnessing (bio-) electrochemical technologies as sustainable sources for on-demand precision agriculture

Congratulations to  Dr. Katharina Stapelmann , Assistant Professor in  Nuclear Engineering,  and team for winning one of the Game-Changing Research Incentive Program for Plant Sciences Initiative (GRIP4PSI) grants.

The team’s goal is to completely rethink how nitrogen-based fertilizers are produced and used. Their approach has two parts. First, the team is testing several methods of on-farm fertilizer production. And second, researchers are developing an on-demand, precision “fertigation” system. Fertigation is the process of delivering fertilizer in the water used for irrigation.

Further details here .
Study highlights gallium oxide’s promise for next generation radiation detectors
New research from North Carolina State University finds that radiation detectors making use of single-crystal gallium oxide allow for monitoring X-ray radiation in near-real time.

“We found that the gallium oxide radiation detector worked very fast, which could offer benefits to many applications such as medical imaging,” says Ge Yang, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the work. “This is particularly exciting because recent research tells us that gallium oxide has excellent radiation hardness – meaning it will keep doing its job even when exposed to high amounts of radiation.

“In short, we think this material is faster than many existing materials used in X-ray detection – and able to withstand higher levels of radiation.”

The paper, “ Fast X-ray detectors based on bulk β-Ga2O3 (Fe) ,” is published in the Journal of Materials Science. First author of the paper is Ibrahim Hany, nuclear engineering doctoral student. The paper was co-authored by Drs. Ge Yang, nuclear engineering assistant professor & Ching-Chang Chung, postdoctoral researcher.
Dr. Shannon receives the 2019-20 Outstanding Teacher Award
Congratulations to  Dr. Steven Shannon , Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at NC State. The Outstanding Teacher Award recognizes excellence in teaching at all levels.

Recipients become members of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers for as long as they remain a member of the NC State faculty. Dr. Shannon will be recognized at the Teaching Awards Luncheon in the spring and in print in the NC State Bulletin and Spring Commencement Program.
Titans of Nuclear podcasts

Titans of Nuclear, a podcast featuring interviews with experts on nuclear energy, stopped by NC State’s Department of Nuclear Engineering. Faculty interviewed included Drs. Azmy, Bourham, Dinh, Eapen, Hawari, Ivanov & Shannon.

Host, Bret Kugelmass, is a Stanford MS mechanical engineer, robotics entrepreneur, inventor of the internet-connected drone, and climate change thought leader. He has identified both a severe disconnect and steep learning curve between nuclear and tech adjacent communities as impediments to innovation, financing, and social acceptance. Seeking to bridge this gulf he is compiling an audio encyclopedia of the greatest minds in Nuclear Energy opening the field to environmental-minded technologists.

View podcasts here .
Mattingly contributes to anti-neutrino detectors for nuclear security
Physicists have recently demonstrated neutrino detectors that can continuously watch for the removal of plutonium in nuclear reactors” writes Katherine Wright, senior editor for  Physics . In particular, researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Virginia Tech, UC-Berkeley, University of Michigan, and North Carolina State University provide an overview of several potential anti-neutrino detection applications, including the near-field monitoring of known reactors, far-field monitoring of known reactors and discovery of undeclared reactors, and monitoring of reactor waste streams.

Colloquium : Neutrino detectors as tools for nuclear security by Adam Bernstein, Nathaniel Bowden, Bethany L. Goldblum, Patrick Huber, Igor Jovanovic & John Mattingly. Reviews of Modern Physics 92, 011003 – Published 12 March 2020

Further details here.
Researchers develop smaller, lighter radiation shielding
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for shielding electronics in military and space exploration technology from ionizing radiation. The new approach is more cost effective than existing techniques, and the secret ingredient is…rust.

“Our approach can be used to maintain the same level of radiation shielding and reduce the weight by 30% or more, or you could maintain the same weight and improve shielding by 30% or more – compared to the most widely used shielding techniques,” says Rob Hayes, co-author of a paper on the work and an associate professor of nuclear engineering at NC State. “Either way, our approach reduces the volume of space taken up by shielding.”

Ionizing radiation can cause significant problems for electronic devices. To protect against this, devices that may be exposed to radiation – such as devices used in spacecraft – incorporate radiation shielding.

Further details here.
ANS Student Webinar Series
Although the 2020  American Nuclear Society (ANS) Student Conference  has been postponed due to COVID19, senior design teams were able to present their work during the  ANS Student Webinar Series . Ten finalists were chosen from 30 university team participants.

NC State Nuclear Engineering had 4 senior design teams in the April 10 competition, they included –

Design of a Molten Salt Reactor  (placed 4 th )
Design Team:   Charles Goodman, Vincent Novellino (pictured) , Lindsay Verrico & Thomas Thomson (SCSU)
Adviser:   Dr. Scott Palmtag
Sponsor :  Idaho National Laboratory (Dr. Youssef Ballout)

High-Enrichment/High-Burnup Loading Pattern Optimization for a 2-Loop Westinghouse PWR
Design Team: Chris Gozum, Spencer McNeil, Amadu Toronka
Advisers: Drs. Kostadin Ivanov & Maria Avramova
Sponsor: Westinghouse (Mr. Baxter Durham & Mr. Blaine Taylor)

Core Optimization Comparison between FORMOSA’s Native Solver and PRISM
Design Team:  Jonathan Crozier, Patrick Hartwell, Nick Meehan, Amelia Manhardt (SCSU)
Adviser: Dr. Jason Hou
Sponsor: Framatome (Dr. Mike Savela)

Reactor Modeling of each Mark-18A Target in SRS’s K-Reactor during Californium Production Campaign
Design Team: Ben Austin, Cade Brinkley, Jacob Weinberg, Jennifer Jeffcoat (SCSU)
Advisers: Dr. Benjamin Beeler
Sponsor: Savannah River National Lab (Drs. Tracy Stover, Nicholas Bridges & Ms. Tara Smith)
Seven Senior Design Projects in 2019-20
Sign of the times, the senior design projects were presented on Zoom. Year long projects include partnerships among students, faculty mentors and industry mentors.

Four of the seven teams are listed above. The additional 3 teams include --

Neutron Absorber Studies for HTGR Micro-Reactor Concept
Design Team: Johnny Klemes, Blake Montz, Kaitlyn Sullivan
Adviser: Dr. Xu Wu
Sponsor: GE Power (Drs. John Zino & Glen Watford)

High-Enrichment/High-Burnup Loading Pattern Optimization for a 3-Loop Westinghouse PWR
Design Team: Justin Cohen, Mohsen Zakaib, James Harglerode (SCSU)
Advisers: Drs. Maria Avramova & Kostadin Ivanov
Sponsor: Westinghouse (Mr. Baxter Durham)

Accident Tolerant Fuel Coating Methods for Fuel Rod Inner Surface
Design Team: Robert Carlson, Nick Joslin, Liam Truong, Robert Gentile (SCSU)
Advisers: Dr. Djamel Kaoumi
Sponsor: GE Power (Mr. Russ Fawcett & Mr. W. Patrick Davis)

YouTube link to 7 presentations.
Nine NC State students awarded U.S. Department of Energy scholarships & fellowships
Congratulations to 8 nuclear engineering (NE) students and 1 mechanical engineering (MAE) student, recipients of the 2020-21  U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Program  awards. In total, 42 scholarships and 34 fellowships at 32 U.S. colleges and universities were awarded.

NC State scholarship recipients include Julian Colvin (rising NE sophomore), Sarah Ebert (rising NE senior), Matthew Field (rising NE junior), Noah Higgins (rising NE senior), Daniel Nevius (rising NE sophomore) & Austin Selley (rising MAE senior).

NC State nuclear engineering fellowship recipients include Kai Duemmler, Nicholas Sponsel
& Cole Takasugi.

Further details here.
ANS Student Sections Committee recognizes NC State Nuclear Engineering students
Congratulations to Ishita Trivedi, S. Joseph Cope and Cameron Maras. They were 3 of 18 national nuclear engineering program nominees for the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Student Service and Leadership commendation.

Commendation Recipient in the Graduate Student Category was won by Ishita Trivedi, PhD candidate and the Organizing Committee Chair for the 2021 ANS Student Conference  to be hosted at NC State University. Her adviser is Dr. Jason Hou and Ishita is working on “Uncertainty Quantification and Propagation Methodology for Safety Analysis of Lead-cooled Fast Reactors”.

Further details here .
American Nuclear Society (ANS)
Student Conference

Enlighten | Embrace | Empower
April 8-10, 2021
Raleigh, NC

ANS International Conference on Mathematics & Computational Methods

April 11-15, 2021
Raleigh, NC
Senior Justin Cohen is SpaceX bound
Congratulations to Justin Cohen, undergraduate senior in nuclear engineering. He will be joining the Radiation and Electromagnetic Environmental Effects team at  SpaceX  as an Associate Engineer.
Cohen will be testing/modeling spacecraft hardware to ensure it can withstand space radiation environments, particularly for the longer interplanetary journey to Mars. He will be working with SpaceX’s newest, largest and most ambitious vehicle,  Starship . In addition, Justin could also work with hardware for SpaceX’s  Starlink  satellites, a large constellation with the goal of providing low latency broadband internet across the globe. 

Details found here .
Message from the editor
Another academic year has come to an end albeit online instead of our celebratory graduation ceremony at the Park Alumni Center. Let us use the technology to keep up with each other until the next class, campus event, conference or trip.

Safety first, stay safe and please share this newsletter far and wide with family, friends and colleagues, on listservs, etc.

Thanks to all faculty, staff & students for contributing.


Director of Nuclear Outreach, Retention & Engagement | Lecturer | Adviser
CNEC Educational Outreach Director

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