National Nuclear Security Administration

Academic symposium promotes fundamental science for stockpile stewardship

June 6, 2017

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Up-and-coming minds in stewardship science gathered in April in Chicago for the 2017 Stewardship Science Academic Programs Symposium.

As part of its mission to maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, NNSA sponsors academic programs to support state-of-the-art research at U.S. academic institutions in fundamental physical science and technology relevant to stockpile stewardship.

Through these programs, including the Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Program, the High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas Program, the National Laser Users' Facility (NLUF) Program, and the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program, students develop and grow in materials science, high-energy density physics, radiochemistry, and low-energy nuclear science.

“The SSAA program has indeed been successful, with more than 250 students hired by the NNSA national laboratories or other U.S. Government agencies,” said Dr. Sarah Wilk, SSAA Program Director. “Also, more than 4,500 publications have resulted from SSAA-funded research, representing a substantial contribution to our scientific body of knowledge.”

The symposium serves to highlight accomplishments of the academic programs through presentations and poster sessions. Furthermore, it fosters ties between students, participants, sponsors, and the NNSA National Laboratories to identify areas for future collaboration.

The symposium also offered a tour of the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a type of ultra-bright, high energy light source that produces X-rays for material studies.

Learn more about how NNSA is developing the next generation of nuclear security experts.

Sam Grenadier and Avisek Maity, both of Texas Tech University, showcase their research on neutron detectors at the Texas Tech University Nanophotonics Center.

Cody Wiggins, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Peter Vorobieff stand before Wiggins’ poster on his work on particle tracking.

Dorothy Miller, University of Tennessee, discusses her research on post-detonation debris and preventing nuclear terrorism.

Nitant Patel Graduate Research Assistant at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, discusses positron research.

NLUF student Paul Campbell, University of Michigan, explains his poster on work at the OMEGA facility at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

Jon Barney, Michigan State University, stands before his poster on his work at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

Zachary Fussell, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, showcases his research on shock-compression physics.

Willow Wan, University of Michigan, explains her poster to Walter Pravica.