2018 Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Award Winners

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Nuclear Technology R&D, congratulates the following winners of the 2018 Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Awards. In addition to cash awards, winning students may have other opportunities including participating in an Innovators' Forum and the American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting.

Winners of the Open Competition

Advanced Fuels
Stephen Taller
First Place
Stephen Taller
University of Michigan
Multiple Ion Beam Irradiation for the Study of Radiation Damage in Materials
Kelsa Benensky
Second Place
Kelsa Benensky
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Advanced Fuel Forms for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Applications

Advanced Reactor Systems
April Novak
First Place
April Novak
University of California at Berkeley
Pronghorn: A Porous Media Thermal-Hydraulics Core Simulator and its Validation with the SANA Experiments
Nolan Goth
Second Place
Nolan Goth
Texas A&M University
Time-Resolved PIV/PTV Measurements on Interior Subchannels of a Wire-Wrapped 61-pin Hexagonal Fuel Bundle

Energy Policy
Brandon Chisholm
First Place
Brandon Chisholm
Vanderbilt University
Preliminary Risk Assessment of Generalized Molten Salt Reactor Off-Gas System
James Richards
Second Place
James Richards
University of Idaho
Assessing the Impact of Nuclear Retirements on the US Power Sector

Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy
Steven Czyz
First Place
Steven Czyz
Oregon State University
A Prototype Detection System for Atmospheric Monitoring of Xenon Radioisotopes
Taylor Ochs
Second Place
Taylor Ochs
Kansas State University
Wearable Detector Device Utilizing Microstructured Semiconductor Neutron Detector Technology

Material Recovery and Waste Form Development
Riki Drout
First Place
Riki Drout
Northwestern University
Efficient Capture of Perrhenate and Pertechnetate by a Mesoporous Zr Metal-Organic Framework and Examination of Anion Binding Motifs
Rosendo Borjas Nevarez
Second Place
Rosendo Borjas Nevarez
University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Zirconium Tetrachloride Revisited

Nuclear Science and Engineering
Kathryn Peruski
First Place
Kathryn Peruski
Clemson University
Mobility of Aqueous and Colloidal Neptunium Species in Field Lysimeter Experiments
Kurt Dominesey
Second Place
Kurt Dominesey
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Preliminary Integration of MCNP6 and PROTEUS into the NEAMS Workbench

Used Fuel Disposition
Ezra Coughlin
First Place
Ezra Coughlin
Purdue University
Neodymium(III) Complexes Capable of Multi-Electron Redox Chemistry
Jennifer Wacker
Second Place
Jennifer Wacker
Georgetown University
Uranium(IV) Chloride Complexes: UCl62- and an Unprecedented U(H2O)4Cl4 Structural Unit

Winners of the Competition for Students Attending Universities with Less than $600 Million in 2016 Science and Engineering R&D Expenditures

Hunter Andrews
Hunter Andrews
Virginia Commonwealth University
Development of an Experimental Routine for Electrochemical and Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Composition Measurements of LiCl-KCl Eutectic Salts
Silvina Di Pietro
Silvina Di Pietro
Florida International University
Ammonia Gas Treatment for Uranium Immobilization at DOE Hanford Site

Eric O'Quinn
Eric O'Quinn
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Inversion in Mg1-xNixAl2O4 Spinel: New Insight into Local Structure
Htoo Paing
Htoo Paing
Clemson University
Conceptual Demonstration of Ambient Desorption-Optical Emission Spectroscopy Using a Liquid Sampling-Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge Microplasma Source

Daniel Rutstrom
Daniel Rutstrom
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Investigating New Activators for Small-Bandgap LaX3 (X=Br,I) Scintillators

Winners of the Undergraduate Competition

Justin Bresson
Justin Bresson
Virginia Commonwealth University
Half-life Estimation by Statistical Sampling
Stephen King
Stephen King
Texas A&M University
Pressure Drop Measurements in a Versatile Experimental Facility of Packed Spheres

Gavin Ridley
Gavin Ridley
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Introduction to Moltres: An Application for Simulation of Molten Salt Reactors
Frances Zengotita
Frances Zengotita
Florida International University
The Role of Chromohalobacter on Transport of Lanthanides and Cesium in the Dolomite Mineral System