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Student Spotlight: Wouter de Wet

Meet Wouter de Wet


Wouter is a current Ph.D. student in Nuclear Engineering set to finish his Doctorate in December of 2017.  Wouter graduated with his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering in the spring of 2014 where immediately after, Wouter was the most junior of 16 people selected to attend the 2014 NASA Space Radiation Summer School at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The other 15 attendees, from the USA and a variety of other countries, were senior Ph.D. students, postdocs, and junior faculty. He completed his Masters in August of 2015, during this time at the University of Tennessee he has coauthored five published (one as lead author), refereed journal articles and has coauthored three others (one as lead author) under current review by prestigious journals. He has presented two invited papers – one at a national American Nuclear Society conference and the other at the Mars Space Radiation Modeling workshop at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He has also presented/coauthored 11 additional conference presentations (7 as first author), for his achievements Wouter received the department’s PhD Graduate Research Excellence Award in 2017.

What do nuclear engineering grad students do during their spring break?

What do nuclear engineering grad students do during their spring break? They jump in a UTK van and road trip to New Jersey to see one of country’s biggest fusion experiments!

Five grad students (Anurag Maan, Jonah Duran, Seung-Sup Lee, Joe Kelsey, Shawn Zamperini) went with Dr. Donovan to Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory last week and toured the NSTX-U fusion experiment (currently down for maintenance) and LTX-Beta as well as the new Andlinger Center material characterization laboratories at Princeton University.

“We had a great experience and surprisingly little traffic on the 11 hour drive” – Dr. Donovan

Dr. Dodds ‘Energy Choices and Consequences’

Dr. Dodds

Dr. H. L. (Lee) Dodds, Professor Emeritus and Former Head of the UT Nuclear Engineering Department, recently gave invited presentations on ‘Energy Choices and Consequences’ to the Western South Carolina local section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and also to the Savannah River local section of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). Both presentations were based on a seminar course entitled ‘Energy Choices and Consequences,’ which Dr. Dodds originally developed, continually updates, and teaches annually as part of the UT Honors Program.


INS Research Featured at UT Day on the Hill

Research done by the Institute for Nuclear Security, led by Dr. Howard Hall, was featured at the recent UT Day on the Hill in Nashville.

Dr. Hall, Dr. John Auxier, and Dr. Matt Cook exhibited the UAV used for research on advanced radioactive materials search development.

To read more about UT Day on the Hill, click here.

2017 TMS awards ceremony - Zinkle2017 TMS awards ceremony - Zinkle

Zinkle Selected for 2017 Institute of Metals Lecture and Robert Franklin Mehl Award

Dr. Steven J. Zinkle has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Institute of Metals Lecture and Robert Franklin Mehl Award. The lecture and award will be conveyed on March 1, 2017, in connection with the 146th Annual Meeting of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) in San Diego, California. This award recognizes an outstanding scientific leader by inviting him/her to present a lecture at the Society’s Annual Meeting on a technical subject of particular interest to members in the materials science and application of metals program areas. This award is considered a TMS pinnacle award. The honoree’s lecture will be published in Metallurgical and Materials Transaction A. Zinkle is the UT/ORNL Governor’s Chair for Nuclear Materials.

For more information, click here.

Wirth Inducted as AAAS Fellow

Dr. Brian Wirth, UT/ORNL Governor’s Chair for Computational Nuclear Engineering, was officially inducted as a new AAAS Fellow on Saturday, February 18, at the AAAS meeting in Boston. He was named a 2016 AAAS Fellow in the Physics section with a citation was for “advancing knowledge of radiation damage mechanisms and fuel performance in fission and fusion energy via multiscale modeling using high performance computing validated by experiments.”

Read more about AAAS here.

Professors Receive 2017 JDRD Awards

Two Nuclear Engineering Assistant Professors, Dr. Maik Lang and Dr. Eric Lukosi, were given Joint Directed Research Development (JDRD) awards for 2017 as part of the Science Alliance—a Tennessee Center of Excellence managed by the Office of Research and Engagement. The JDRD program was conceived to provide faculty members an opportunity to work collaboratively with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

To learn more, click here.


President of FPA Steve Dean (right) presents the 2016 FPA Leadership Award to Dr. Steven Zinkle

Zinkle Receives 2016 Leadership Award From Fusion Power Associates

Steve Zinkle, UT/ORNL Governor’s Chair professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department, received the 2016 Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates (FPA) at its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on December 13-14, 2016. FPA Leadership Awards have been given annually since 1980 to recognize persons who have shown outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion as a commercial power source. Zinkle is cited for “the leadership [he has] provided over many years on the important issues associated with materials for future fusion power plants” and noting especially “[his] many scientific contributions to the physical metallurgy of structural materials, the effects of neutron irradiation on materials, and [his] participation in, and leadership of, many fusion community workshops and program reviews.”

Hashemian Named to Nuclear Advisory Committee

Hash Hashemian, an adjunct professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, was recently named to the US Department of Commerce Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee.

The committee was established in 2008 to help advise the department on the development and administration of efforts related to making the US nuclear industry more competitive.

“Maintaining US leadership in the nuclear industry is critical to our country’s economic vitality and to global efforts to combat climate change,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “[The committee] is a valuable mechanism for private sector representatives to contribute to policy discussions and work with government leaders to create the conditions that will strengthen US competitiveness in this sector.”

As president and CEO of Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation, Hashemian heads a globally recognized leader in nuclear energy and safety. In fact, AMS has establishing a connection in every nuclear plant in the United States as well as in several other countries.

It is only the most recent honor for Hashemian, who in the past few months has also been named a fellow of the American Nuclear Society and the recipient of the Dougherty Award from UT’s Tickle College of Engineering.

A full release from the Department of Commerce can be seen here.

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