National Nuclear Security Administration

Graduate Fellow Feature: Edward Norris

May 9, 2018

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NNSA NGFP Fellow Edward Norris
Edward Norris

The NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) is a unique opportunity for recent graduates to join the Nuclear Security Enterprise. These full-time, salaried positions offer a year of specialized, on-the-job training and the chance to tackle real-world challenges in one of NNSA’s program offices. Fellows develop technical and leadership skills to launch their careers with a full immersion in one of NNSA’s core mission programs.

What is your academic background/training?

I completed bachelor’s degree in both nuclear engineering and computer science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. While there, I started doing undergraduate research with one of the faculty members and stayed on as a graduate student. As a graduate student, I was concurrently enrolled in both a master’s program in computer science and a PhD program in nuclear engineering, both of which I just completed. My PhD work was the development of discrete ordinate algorithms for radiation transport codes that are accelerated by a graphics processing unit.

What drew you to the NGFP program?

I was an intern for four summers at Sandia National Labs throughout graduate school. While I was there, I occasionally heard people talking about NNSA headquarters. I asked one of my supervisors at the time about headquarters and he advised me to take an opportunity to spend some time there if I ever got the opportunity. Two years later I heard about the NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program and it seemed like a great fit.

What interests you most about nuclear security?

I like being able to make a meaningful impact on security at a national level. During my graduate coursework, I did basic research on computing algorithms for radiation transport models – which is important, but I never felt it had the same impact as what I get to do here with the NNSA.

What has been a highlight of your time with NNSA so far?

So far, I’ve gotten to travel to each of the NNSA labs – Sandia, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Livermore with my office director and deputy director. While there, I met a lot of people and went on quite a few tours of different facilities. Those tours included the supercomputing facility at both Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Since I have a computer science background, getting to see real supercomputers was a really exciting experience.

The NGFP is funded by NNSA and is administered by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Explore a career in nuclear security!