Each March NC State University holds a Day of Giving. It is an opportunity to highlight the work of our students, staff and faculty. It is an opportunity for us to also ask for your assistance in bringing future visioning to reality.

Here in the Department we are focused on sustaining and growing in-class and co-curricular programming to prepare students for a successful career. We are also focused on advancing research and development in various aspects of the nuclear enterprise.

We are delighted to announce —

  • A new undergraduate syllabus will begin in Fall 2024. Reactor systems engineering will remain the foundation, and we will be adding radiological engineering, nuclear fuels & materials, as well as plasma sciences & fusion engineering.
  • Five new undergraduate courses will start this fall, and will include Fusion Energy and Nuclear Structural Engineering.
  • In the graduate program, emphasis on growing the online masters’ degree course selection is a priority, as well as expanding our graduate certificate options with new offerings.
  • On the research & development front, we are moving forward with a feasibility study for advanced reactor technology on campus, expanding our Nuclear Simulation Laboratory to include advanced reactor concepts based on Xe-100 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) design, and settling in our new faculty members.

Your tax-deductible contribution will make an impact, enhancing the STEM pipeline —

  • Engaging with pre-college and community college students and educators.
  • Providing undergraduate scholarships and experiential opportunities.
  • Attracting prospective students to our graduate program and providing professional development opportunities.

The Day of Giving is just around the corner on March 20, 2024. Help make your impact in the Department through these and other initiatives. Click here to donateand we thank you for your support.

Dr. K. Ivanov, Professor & Department Head

Roy G. Post Scholarship Awardees

Congratulations to two of our undergraduate students, recipients of the 2024 Roy G. Post scholarships.

Lauren Kohler is a senior in our program, an Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) research aide and a Nuclear Engineering Undergraduate Research Scholar. She works with Dr. Xu Wu on automating nuclear reactors using machine learning. Her senior design project is “Full scope dynamic probabilistic risk assessment framework”, sponsored by GE-Hitachi & advised by Dr. Diaconeasa.

Jacob Martin is a sophomore in our program and participates in our Nuclear Engineering Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. He works on “Surface analysis of laser generated nanoparticles” under Dr. Kautz, He is a Caldwell Fellow, a program founded on the principle of servant leadership. Jacob is also a Shelton Scholar, a cohort-based program for students to develop skills as values-based leaders.

The scholarship is named after Roy G. Post, founding chief executive of the WM Symposia. The Roy G. Post Foundation is the sponsor of the annual international Waste Management Conference.

Rising Innovator Award Recipient

Congratulations to NC State nuclear engineering doctoral student Madeline Lockhart, recipient of Texas Tech College of Arts & Sciences Rising Innovator Award. Madeline was a 2020 physics major and a Goldwater Scholar. Lockhart is currently a NNSA-funded Nuclear Nonproliferation and International Safeguards (NNIS) Fellow. A prestigious fellowship that provides funding for graduate students conducting research in the field of nuclear nonproliferation. Madeline’s research is focused on developing safeguards for emerging thorium fuel cycles.

Crozier’s webinar as Innovations in Nuclear Energy R&D Student Competition winner

Congratulations to doctoral student Jonathan Crozier, who placed 2nd in the U.S. DOE NEUP Innovations in Nuclear R&D Student Open Competition. On February 21, Jonathan presented his work as part of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) webinar. His work investigates the ”Thermal Scattering Law for Structure-Dependent-Doppler Broadening in FLASSH”. He is embedding artificial intelligence to predict thermal scattering effects on-the-fly for higher-fidelity multiphysics reactor calculations.

Patent awarded to DeVanzo and Hayes

Michael DeVanzo (MNE ‘18) and Dr. Robert Hayes were awarded a 2024 U.S. Patent (#11887743) for their work on “Metal oxide impregnated conformal coatings for ionizing radiation shielding”. The technology will facilitate the use of some commercial off-the-shelf electronics in place of current radiation hardened components to survive the harsh radiation fields in space. Click here for details.

Faculty promotions

Congratulations to our NC State University Department of Nuclear Engineering faculty who were among the 107-faculty recognized for their achievements.

Promoted faculty members include Drs. Djamel Kaoumi and Ge Yang. They are now at the rank of full professor. Tenured faculty includes Dr. Katharina Stapelmann. She is now at the rank of associate professor. Click here for details.

Leading in advanced nuclear reactors

The 2022 CHIPS and Science Act authorized $390 million to fund up to 4 U.S. universities to build advanced research reactors on their campuses. These reactors will serve as demonstration units to support the national mission of implementing nuclear power as a clean, climate-friendly electricity source. With the support of the state of North Carolina, NC State is conducting a feasibility study to assess the technical, financial, and operational aspects of establishing and operating an advanced research reactor. Click here for details.

Best Thermal Hydraulics Paper Award received by NC State scholars

Join us in congratulating Drs. Paridhi Athe (Nuclear Engineering), Nam Dinh (Nuclear Engineering), and Ahbinav Gupta (Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering). The American Nuclear Society (ANS) Thermal Hydraulics Division Honors and Awards Committee and the Thermal Hydraulics Division (THD) has selected their research for the ANS THD Best Paper Award “Knowledge Representation to Support EMDAP Implementation in Advanced Reactor Licensing Applications”. Click here for details.

Addition of High-fidelity HTGR Simulator

A newer simulator has been co-developed and installed in the Nuclear Simulation Laboratory (NSL) to represent advanced reactor concepts. The model is based on the Xe-100 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) design. It is an advanced modular, 200 MWth, graphite moderated, helium cooled, pebble bed, high temperature reactor being designed by X-energy. The NC State also developed a graphical interface to facilitate full control of the HTGR system. Click here for details.

NRC awards for graduate fellowships & faculty advancement

The University Nuclear Leadership Program anticipates awarding 22 education grants to 16 academic institutions, including two minority-serving institutions, totaling $8.2 million. NC State University Department of Nuclear Engineering is one of these institutions, receiving funding for graduate fellowships and faculty advancement grants. Both awards are over a four-year period. Leads for these awards include Dr. Steven Shannon, Director of Graduate Programs as well as Drs. Kostadin Ivanov, Department Head and Mohamed Bourham, Associate Department Head respectively. Click here for details.

Alumni & graduate students at IAEA International Women’s Day celebration

NC State Department of Nuclear Engineering was well represented at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Women’s Day celebration. Lise Meitner Programme participants and alumni Shana Johnson (middle in top left picture) and Ciara (Rice) Sineath (furthest right in top right picture) as well as current Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows and doctoral students Nusrat Karim (bottom left picture) and Wonkyo Cho (bottom right picture) were on hand.

They were among four hundred women, who gathered for dynamic talks and interactions with senior nuclear experts, industry, and recruitment agencies. Click here for details.

Alumnus wins INL early career award

With more than 70 nominations for the 2023 Laboratory Director Awards, Dr. Boopathy Kombaiah, staff scientist, won the Early Career Exceptional Achievement Award. Dr. Kombaiah is the group lead for Reactor Structural Materials at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He specializes in advanced characterization of materials exposed to harsh conditions such as stress, temperature, radiation, and corrosion, revealing materials degradation mechanisms, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD), and Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Click here for details.

Alumni develop MOOSE-based neutron transport code

With support from the Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy’s NEAMS program, Drs. Kyoung Lee (top left), and co-authors (Matt Jessee (top right), Aaron Graham (bottom right), David Kropaczek (bottom left)) have developed a MOOSE-based code, “Mole”, which combines advective mass transfer with nuclear transmutation. Through this work, Mole is now coupled with ‘Griffin,’ a MOOSE-based neutron transport code, to accurately predict the neutron multiplication factor within a liquid-fueled circulating core. Click here for the article.

Lee, Jessee, and Kropaczek are alumni of NC State Nuclear Engineering. Graham is an alum of the University of Michigan.

Are you an alumnus of the nuclear engineering department at NC State? Tell us what you’re up to; we’d love to know! Please reach out to us and provide a few sentences of your thoughts on all things nuclear, your experience at NC State, and how that has impacted your career.

What an awesome International Women’s Day celebration by the Nuclear Engineering Department Head Organization (NEDHO) Diversity Panel at University of Wisconsin.

Over one hundred and sixty high school students and teachers participated. I sat on the Women in Nuclear Engineering panel to share experiences and insight on industry trajectory as Director of Nuclear Outreach, Retention and Engagement here at NC State University as well as the ANS VP/President-Elect. Much is happening on the international and national front, and I so enjoy speaking with the next generation of STEM students.

Stay tuned for more happenings at NC State, in the local, national and international communities. Your Department is in the thick of things, and would love for your participation.

Happy Spring! Lisa