2021 Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Award Winners

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain, congratulates the following winners of the 2021 Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Awards.

Winners of the Open Competition

Advanced Fuels
Walter Williams
First Place
Walter Williams
Purdue University
In Situ Neutron Diffraction Study of Crystallographic Evolution
and Thermal Expansion Coefficients in U-22.5 at.%Zr During
Annealing
Steven Jepeal
Second Place
Steven Jepeal
Masschusetts Institute of Technology
Intermediate Energy Proton Irradiation: Rapid, High-Fidelity
Materials Testing for Fusion and Fission Energy Systems

Advanced Reactor Systems
Naiki Kaffezakis
First Place
Naiki Kaffezakis
Georgia Institute of Technology
High Temperature Ultra-Small Modular Reactor:
Pre-Conceptual Design
Bodhi Biswas
Second Place
Bodhi Biswas
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Study of Turbulence-Induced Refraction of Lower Hybrid
Waves using Synthetic Scrape-Off Layer Filaments

Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy
Matthew Durbin
First Place
Matthew Durbin
Penn State University
K-Nearest Neighbors Regression for the Discrimination
of Gamma Rays and Neutrons in Organic Scintillators
Jacob Blevins
Second Place
Jacob Blevins
North Carolina State University
Enabling Ga2O3’s Neutron Detection Capability
with Boron Doping and Conversion Layer

Material Recovery and Waste Form Development
James Louis-Jean
First Place
Devon Drey
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Disorder in Ho2Ti2-xZrxO7: Pyrochlore to Defect
Fluorite Solid Solution Series
Hope Lackey
Second Place
Hope Lackey
Washington State University
Reimagining pH Measurement: Utilizing Raman Spectroscopy
for Enhanced Accuracy in Phosphoric Acid Systems

Nuclear Science and Engineering
Gabriela Picayo
First Place
Gabriela Picayo
Colorado School of Mines
Characterization of the ALSEP Process at Equilibrium:
Speciation and Stoichiometry of the Extracted Complex
Osvaldo Ordonez
Second Place
Osvaldo Ordoñez
University of California at Santa Barbara
Synthesis and Characterization of Two Uranyl‐Aryl ‘Ate’ Complexes

Used Fuel Disposition
Logan Breton
First Place
Logan Breton
University of South Carolina
Facile Oxide to Chalcogenide Conversion for Actinides
Using the Boron-Chalcogen Mixture Method
Jordan Stanberry
Second Place
Jordan Stanberry
University of Central Florida
Oxidative Dissolution of TcO2 by Mn(III) Minerals under
Anaerobic Conditions: Implications on Technetium-99
Remediation

Winners of the Competition for Students Attending Universities with Less than $600 Million in 2019 Science and Engineering R&D Expenditures

Edward Duchnowski
Edward Duchnowski
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Reactor Performance and Safety Characteristics of
Two-Phase Composite Moderator Concepts for Modular
High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors
James Foster
James Foster
Clemson University
Functionalized Polymer Thin Films for Plutonium Capture
and Isotopic Screening from Aqueous Sources

Robert Kile
Robert Kile
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Transformational Challenge Reactor Analysis To Inform
Preconceptual Core Design Decisions: Sensitivity Study of
Transient Analysis in a Hydride-Moderated Microreactor
Dimitris Killinger
Dimitris Killinger
Virginia Commonwealth University
Investigation of W, Ag, and Pt Quasi-Reference Electrode
Stability in Molten NaCl-CaCl2 with Ce(0)/Ce(III) as an Internal
Reference Redox Reaction

Ashwin Rao
Ashwin Rao
Air Force Institute of Technology
Comparison of Machine Learning Techniques to Optimize
the Analysis of Plutonium Surrogate Material via a
Portable LIBS Device

Winners of the Undergraduate Competition

Kaitlyn Barr
Kaitlyn Barr
University of Michigan
Verification of MPACT and VERA-CS
for the APR1400 Benchmark
Mete Bayrak
Mete Bayrak
University of Texas at Austin
An Online Neutron Activation Analysis Database (NAADB)

Victoria Davis
Victoria Davis
Virginia Commonwealth University
Detecting Ionizing Radiation
in Space with Memristor Device
Ashley Raster
Ashley Raster
Missouri University of Science and Technology
High Temperature Lead Cooled Fast Reactor
for Advanced Drilling

Matthew Weiss
Matthew Weiss
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Effect of Natural Gamma Background Radiation
on Portal Monitor Radioisotope Unmixing