2020 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 2020 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
Rigel Hanbury
First Place
Rigel Hanbury
University of Michigan
Oxide Growth and Dissolution on 316L Stainless Steel
During Irradiation in High Temperature Water
Jacob Gorton
Second Place
Jacob Gorton
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Reactor Performance and Safety Characteristics
of ThN-UN Fuel Concepts in a PWR

Advanced Reactor Systems
Samuel McAlpine
First Place
Samuel McAlpine
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Corrosion of Commercial Alloys in FLiNaK Molten Salt
Containing EuF3 and Simulant Fission Product Additives
Garland Porter
Second Place
Garland Porter
Texas A&M University
Surface Pressure Measurements in a Model Helical
Coil Steam Generator Using Pressure Sensitive Paint

Energy Policy
Paul Stockett
First Place
Paul Stockett
Purdue University
Nonproliferation in the New Space Age:
Where Do We Stand?
Lee Maccarone
Second Place
Lee Maccarone
University of Pittsburgh
Toward a Game-Theoretic Metric
for Nuclear Power Plant Security

Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy
Daniel Rutstrom
First Place
Daniel Rutstrom
University of Tennesse at Knoxville
Europium Concentration Effects on Scintillation Properties
of Cs4SrI6:Eu and Cs4CaI6:Eu Single Crystals for
Use in Gamma Spectroscopy
William Steinberger
Second Place
William Steinberger
University of Pittsburgh
Imaging Special Nuclear Material
Using a Handheld Dual Particle Imager

Material Recovery and Waste Form Development
James Louis-Jean
First Place
James Louis-Jean
University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Preparation and Characterization
of Benzotriazolium Perrhenate
Julia Knapp
Second Place
Julia Knapp
Northwestern University
Single Crystal Structure and Photocatalytic Behavior
of Grafted Uranyl on the Zr-Node of a Pyrene-Based
Metal-organic Framework

Nuclear Science and Engineering
Selena Staun
First Place
Selena Staun
University of California at Santa Barbara
Use of 15N NMR Spectroscopy to Probe Covalency
in a Thorium Nitride
Nina Colby Fleming
Second Place
Nina Colby Fleming
North Carolina State University
Structure-Dependent Doppler Broadening
Using a Generalized Thermal Scattering Law

Used Fuel Disposition
Sydney Holdampf
First Place
Sydney Holdampf
Colorado School of Mines
Electrophoretic Separations of Lanthanum and Gadolinium
for Used Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing
Samuel Karcher
Second Place
Samuel Karcher
Washington State University
Oxidation and Anion Lattice Defect Signatures
of Hypostoichiometric Lanthanide-doped UO2

Winners of the Competition for Students Attending Universities with Less than $600 Million in 2018 Science and Engineering R&D Expenditures

Alexa Hanson
Alexa Hanson
University of Utah
Quantifying Impurity Effects on the
Surface Morphology of α-U3O8
Richard Hernandez
Richard Hernandez
University of Tennesse at Knoxville
Review of Pool Boiling Critical Heat Flux (CHF) and
Heater Rod Design for CHF Experiments in TREAT

Mikaela Pyrch
Mikaela Pyrch
University of Iowa
Exploring Crown-Ether Functionalization on the
Stabilization of Hexavalent Neptunium
Ember Sikorski
Ember Sikorski
Boise State University
First-principles Comparative Study
of UN and Zr Corrosion

Alexander Wheeler
Alexander Wheeler
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Plutonium Diversion Effect
on Molten-Salt Reactor Dynamics

Winners of the Undergraduate Competition

Kaylee Cunningham
Kaylee Cunningham
University of Florida
Modeling the IFR-1 Metal Fuel Experiment in Bison
through the NEAMS Workbench
Coral Kazaroff
Coral Kazaroff
Georgia Institute of Technology
Economic Benefits of Higher Enriched Assays
for 24-Month Cycle Length

Jordan Noey
Jordan Noey
University of Michigan
The Effects of Radiation and Emitted Light Transport
on the Positional Response of
11 cm x 42.5 cm x 5.5 cm NaI(Tl) Detectors
Kaelee Novich
Kaelee Novich
Boise State University
Synthesis of Boron Carbide Reinforced Aluminum Alloys
through Mechanical Stir Casting

Jack Thiesen
Jack Thiesen
University of Michigan
Preliminary Demonstration of a Method of
Radiation Dosimetry using Passive, Integrating LiF:Mg,Ti
Thermoluminescent Dosimeters