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NE Students and Faculty Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Research

Students inducted into Alpha Nu Sigma.

Several students were inducted into Alpha Nu Sigma, the Nuclear Engineering Honor Society, at the NE Departmental Awards Banquet.

The department had a very successful and productive year, as reflected in the numerous activities and accolades garnered by our faculty and students. Students and faculty received recognition for their recent honors at the Departmental Awards Banquet.

» Student Ambassadors

This past year, the department implemented its own Student Ambassadors, which were Robert Corrigan, Irfan Ibrahim, Bradley Balltrip, Amanda Bachmann, Kalie Knecht, Xena McDonald, Jillian Newmyer, and Andrew Volkovitskiy.

» Alpha Nu Sigma Inductees

The following top students were also inducted into Alpha Nu Sigma, the Nuclear Engineering Honor Society: Bradley Balltrip, Parker Forehand, Neal Gaffin, Nathan Huff, Irfan Ibrahim, Darrell Russell, Tyler Steiner, Hayden Sutton, and Molly Underwood.

» Departmental Student Awards

  • This year for the first time, the PhD Graduate Research Excellence award went to two PhD students who are expected to graduate this year. The graduate committee decided it was too close to call and awarded both Michael Moore and Eric O’Quinn.
  • The Master’s Graduate Research Excellence award recognizes a top master’s student who has excelled in the quality of his or her research contributions, peer reviewed and conference publications (as lead or co-author), patents, work presented at scientific conferences, master’s thesis writing, or other scholarly work. The award went to Travis Greene for his heavy water criticality benchmark experiments and analysis.
  • The Outstanding Graduate Teaching award went to Seungsup Lee.
  • The Outstanding Student Ambassador award went to Robert Corrigan, Irfan Ibrahim, and Bradley Balltrip.

» Top Academic Performers

The following students were recognized as top undergraduate academic performers:

Top Freshmen

  • Jonathan Barthle
  • Kenneth Bott
  • Casey Corbridge
  • Brandon Hack
  • Emma Houston
  • Cale Overstreet
  • Caitlyn Parsons
  • Konnor Porter
  • Ben Stoller

Top Sophomores

  • Ashley Goluoglu

Honorable Mention:

  • Miller McSwain
  • Austin Williams
  • Alex Zeringue

Top Juniors

  • Sam Wehby

Honorable Mention:

  • Irfan Ibrahim

Top Seniors

  • Jonathan Farmer

Honorable mention:

  • John Hirtz
  • Kalie Knecht

» 2019 Chancellor’s Awards Banquet

At the recent Chancellor’s Awards Banquet, Associate Professor and Pietro F. Pasqua Fellow Maik Lang was honored with the Research and Creative Achievement—Professional Promise award. Senior Jonathan Farmer was chosen as a Chancellor’s Top Collegiate Scholar, and graduate students Kelsa Benensky, James Brechtl, Marie Kirkegaard, Angela Moore, Eric O’Quinn, and Caleb Massey were each recognized with Extraordinary Professional Promise awards.

» Student Awards from Outside Organizations

  • Amanda Bachmann received the WIN Region II Leadership award at the US Women in Nuclear Region II Conference
  • Fan Zhang won the ISA PCMD (Process Control and Measurement Division) Scholarship and Kalie Knecht won the ISA Robert Hubby Scholarship.
  • Additionally, Will Cureton and Ty Austin were selected to receive Nuclear Energy University Program Fellowships. Fellowship winners will receive $50,000 a year over the next three years to help pay for their graduate studies and research, plus $5,000 toward a summer internship. Amanda Bachmann and Kalie Knecht were also selected, but declined in favor of pursuing graduate studies at universities different than required by the fellowship.
  • Ryan Tan was one of fifteen students selected this year to attend the PNNL Radiation Detector for Nuclear Security Summer School.
  • Graduate student Vik Singh won the Second Best Paper award at the 2018 ISA Power Industry Division Symposium for his paper, titled “Exploring Molten-Salt Reactor Dynamic Behavior and Control Strategies.”

» American Nuclear Society

  • The achievements of graduate students Fan Zhang and Alex Wheeler and undergraduate student Amanda Bachmann were also recognized as award recipients at the recent American Nuclear Society Student Conference.
  • Each year, the Oak Ridge/Knoxville chapter of the American Nuclear Society presents scholarship awards for $1,000. In 2018, Kalie Knecht was chosen for the undergraduate award while Fan Zhang won the graduate award. In 2019, Assam (Sam) Iysheh received the undergraduate award, while Jillian Newmyer received the graduate award.
  • Doctoral student Jonah Duran received Best Paper award from ANS.
  • Dan Floyd received the ANS Human Factors Instrumentation and Control Division Uhrig Fellowship. This fellowship was named after Professor Robert Uhrig, a former NE faculty member.

» Faculty Awards

Several faculty members receive prestigious recognitions during the 2018–2019 academic year.

  • Professor Emeritus Belle Upadhyaya won the ANS Human Factors Instrumentation and Controls Division Don Miller award, considered a lifetime achievement award.
  • Assistant Professor David Donovan received the Tickle College of Engineering Research Fellow award and Research Professor Chuck Melcher received the Tickle College of Engineering Translational Research award.
  • UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Nuclear Materials Steven Zinkle received the ASM International Gold Medal from ASM International, the country’s largest materials professional society.