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Sobes Receives NRC Grant for Faculty Excellence

Vladimir Sobes.

Vladimir Sobes

The Department of Nuclear Engineering recently received a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Faculty Development Grant award to develop junior faculty members to achieve excellence in research, teaching, and service, with an emphasis on nuclear data.

This year’s grant recipient is Assistant Professor Vlad Sobes, who will use the funds to support graduate student research in the area of analysis of advanced nuclear reactor safety. The award of $450,000 was one of 30 grants to 26 academic institutions that totaled almost $10.7 million.

“I am thrilled and honored to receive the NRC Faculty Development Grant!” said Sobes. “We plan to utilize the funds for research that will support predictive modeling of a wide variety of proposed advanced reactor designs.”

Part of the work will be focused on studying the resilience of Molten Salt Reactor designs to different transients. A second effort will be focused on the development of the Fast Neutron Source experiment concept at UT to offer a unique measurement capability to improve nuclear data in support of modeling and simulation of advanced reactors.

“This grant program has supported ten of our junior faculty members, eight of whom have successfully acquired the rank of tenured associate professor and an additional two more who are on track for tenure,” said Chancellor’s Professor, Postelle Professor, and Department Head Wes Hines. “The impact of the US NRC’s grant program upon our department is evident and will benefit the nation, as they represent educators and researchers who will play key roles in the development of our future nuclear workforce and thus will support the design, construction, operation, and regulation of nuclear facilities and the safe handling of nuclear materials for years to come.”

Recipients include four-year universities and colleges, two-year trade schools and community colleges, and minority serving institutions, which are a federally recognized category of educational establishments.

Since the grant program’s inception in 2009, the NRC has awarded 546 educational grants totaling more than $177 million. This amount includes funding for 155 faculty development grants, 142 scholarship grants, 164 fellowship grants, and 85 trade school and community college scholarship grants, which have reached more than 150 individual faculty members and 4,000 students located in 38 states and Puerto Rico.