Skip Navigation LinksInnovations in Nuclear 2018 Winners


2018 Awardees

Open Competition ​

​Advanced Fuels

Stephen Taller

First Place
University of Michigan
Multiple Ion Beam Irradiation for the Study of
Radiation Damage in Materials

Kelsa Benensky

Second Place
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Advanced Fuel Forms for Nuclear
Thermal Propulsion Applications​​

​Advanced Reactor Systems

April Novak

First Place
University of California at Berkeley
Pronghorn: A Porous Media Thermal-Hydraulics
Core Simulator and its Validation with the SANA

Nolan Goth

Second Place
Texas A&M University
Time-Resolved PIV/PTV Measurements on Interior
Subchannels of a Wire-Wrapped 61-pin Hexagonal
Fuel Bundle​


​Energy Policy

Brandon Chrisholm

First Place
Vanderbilt University
Preliminary Risk Assessment of Generalized
Molten Salt Reactor Off-Gas System

James Richards

Second Place
University of Idaho
Assessing the Impact of Nuclear Retirements
on the US Power Sector​


​​Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy

Steven Czyz

First Place
Oregon State University
A Prototype Detection System for Atmospheric
Monitoring of Xenon Radioisotopes

Taylor Ochs

Second Place
Kansas State University
Wearable Detector Device Utilizing Microstructured
Semiconductor Neutron Detector Technology​


​Material Recovery and Waste Form Development

i Drout
First Place
Northwestern University
Efficient Capture of Perrhenate and Pertechnetate
 by a Mesoporous Zr Metal-Organic Framework and
Examination of Anion Binding Motifs

Rosendo Borjas Nevarez

Second Place
University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Zirconium Tetrachloride Revisited​


​Nuclear Science and Engineering

Kathryn Peruski

First Place
Clemson University
Mobility of Aqueous and Colloidal Neptunium
Species in Field Lysimeter Experiments

Kurt Dominesey

Second Place
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Preliminary Integration of MCNP6 and
PROTEUS into the NEAMS Workbench​


​Used Fuel Disposition

Ezra Coughlin

First Place
Purdue University
Neodymium(III) Complexes Capable of
Multi-Electron Redox Chemistry

Jennifer Wacker

Second Place
Georgetown University
Uranium(IV) Chloride Complexes: UCl62- and
an Unprecedented U(H
2O)4Cl4 Structural Unit​


Competition for Students Who Attend Universities with Less Than $600 Million in 2016 Science and Engineering R&D Expenditures

Hunter Andrews
Virginia Commonwealth University
Development of an Experimental Routine for 
Electrochemical and Laser-Induced Breakdown S
pectroscopy Composition Measurements of LiCl-KCI 
Eutectic Salts​


Eric O'Quinn
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Inversion in Mg1-xNixAl2O4 Spinel: 
New Insight into Local Structure


Daniel Rutstrom
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Investigating New Activators for 
Small-Bandgap LaX3 (X=Br,I) Scintillators


Silvina Di Pietro
Florida International University
Ammonia Gas Treatment for Uranium 
Immobilization at DOE Hanford Site​


Htoo Paing
Clemson University
Conceptual Demonstration of Ambient Desorption-Optical
Emission Spectroscopy Using a Liquid Sampling-Atmospheric
Pressure Glow Discharge Microplasma Source​​



Undergraduate Competition



​Justin Bresson
Virginia Commonwealth University
Half-life Estimation by Statistical Sampling


Gavin Ridley
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Introduction to Moltres: An Application for 
Simulation of Moten Salt Reactors​


Stephen King
Texas A&M University
Pressure Drop Measurements in a Versatile 
Experimental Facility of Packed Spheres​


Frances Zengotita
Florida International University
The Role of Chromohalobacter on Transport of 
Lanthanides and Cesium n the Dolomite Mineral