Skip Navigation LinksInnovations in Nuclear 2020 Winners


2020 Awardees

Open Competition

​Advanced Fuels

Rigel Hanbury

First Place
University of Michigan
Oxide Growth and Dissolution on 316L Stainless Steel
During Irradiation in High Temperature Water

Jacob Gorton

Second Place
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Reactor Performance and Safety Characteristics of
ThN-UN Fuel Concepts in a PWR​


​Advanced Reactor System

Samuel McAlpine

First Place
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Corrosion of Commercial Alloys in FLiNaK Molten
Salt Containing EuF
3 and Simulant Fission Product

Garland Porter

Second Place
Texas A&M University
Surface Pressure Measurements in a Model
Helical Coil Steam Generator Using Pressure
Sensitive Paint​


​Energy Policy

Paul Stockett

First Place
Purdue University
Nonproliferation in the New Space Age:
Where Do We Stand?

Lee Maccarone

Second Place
University of Pittsburgh
Toward a Game-Theoretic Metric for
Nuclear Power Plant Security​


​Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy

Daniel Rutstrom

Frist Place
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Europium Concentration Effects on Scintillation Properties
of Cs4SrI6:Eu and Cs4CaI6:Eu Single Crystals for
Use in Gamma Spectroscopy

William Steinberger

Second Place
University of Pittsburgh
Imaging Special Nuclear Material Using a
Handheld Dual Particle Imager​


​Material Recovery and Waste Form Development

James Louis-Jean

First Place
University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Preparation and Characterization of
Benzotriazolium Perrhenate

Julia Knapp

Second Place
Northwestern University
Single Crystal Structure and Photocatalytic Behavior
of Grafted Uranyl on the Zr-Node of a Pyrene-Based
Metal-organic Framework​


​Nuclear Science and Engineering

Selena Staun

First Place
University of California
Use of 15N NMR Spectroscopy to Probe Covalency
in a Thorium Nitride

Nina Colby Fleming

Second Place
North Carolina State University
Structure-Dependent Doppler Broadening Using a
Generalized Thermal Scattering Law​


​Used Fuel Disposition

Sydney Holdampf

First Place
Colorado School of Mines
Electrophoretic Separations of Lanthanum and
Gadolinium for Used Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

Samuel Karcher

Second Place
Washington State University
Oxidation and Anion Lattice Defect Signatures of
Hypostoichiometric Lanthanide-doped UO


Competition for Students Who Attend Universities with Less Than $600 Million in 2018 Science and Engineering R&D Expenditures


Alexa Hanson
University of Utah
Quantifying Impurity Effects on the Surface 
Morphology of α-U3O8​


Mikaela Pyrch
University of Iowa
Exploring Crown-Ether Functionalization on the 
Stabilization of Hexavalent Neptunium​


Alexander Wheeler
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Plutonium Diversion Effect on Molten-Salt Reactor Dynamics


Richard Hernandez
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Review of Pool Boiling Critical Heat Flux (CHF) and Heater 
Rod Design for CHF Experiments in TREAT​


Ember Sikorski
Boise State University
First-principles Comparative Study of UN and Zr Corrosion​



Undergraduate Competition



Kaylee Cunningham
University of Florida
Modeling the IFR-1 Metal Fuel Experiment in 
Bison through the NEAMS Workbench​​


Jordan Noey
University of Michigan
The Effects of Radiation and Emitted Light Transport 
on the Positional Response of 11 cm x 42.5 cam x 5.5 cm 
Nal(TI) Detectors​


Jack Thiesen
University of Michigan
Preliminary Demonstration of a Method of Radiation 
Dosimetry using Passive, Integrating LiF:Mg, 
Ti Thermoluminescent Dosimeters​

Coral Kazaroff

Georgia Institute of Technology
Economic Benefits of Higher Enriched Assays
for 24-Month Cycle Length


Kaelee Novich

Boise State University
Synthesis of Boron Carbide Reinforced Aluminum
Alloys through Mechanical Stir Casting​