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U-M students given DOE Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Awards

The award program strives to facilitate innovation and the creation of new ideas in nuclear-technology-relevant disciplines.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that five students from the University of Michigan have been given an Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D award. Nathan Giha, Loris Jautakas, Thomas Kennings, Andrew Kent, and Aiden Sable were awarded for innovative nuclear-technology-relevant research.

Nathan Giha portrait
Nathan Giha

Nathan Giha
Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences PhD Student

Category: Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy, First Place

Organic Glass Scintillator Bars with Dual-Ended Readout

Nathan is pursuing a PhD in Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences, supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. He began his journey in research in 2016 as an undergraduate when he joined the Detection for Nuclear Nonproliferation Group at U-M and designed readout electronics for silicon photomultiplier arrays to be used in compact radiation imaging systems for nuclear safeguards. He received his BSE in Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences, 2019 and ultimately stayed in the same group to pursue his PhD. At first, his graduate research focused on characterizing organic glass scintillators for radiation imaging applications. His current research interests lie in the fundamental study of nuclear fission and the development of instruments for fission experiments.

“Thank you to the Department of Energy for this award, and for supporting the growth and development of the next generation of nuclear scientists,” said Nathan. “I would also like to thank my advisor, Professor Pozzi, for encouraging me to apply and for providing me with the tools and guidance to produce the work that won this award.”

Loris Jautakas portrait

Loris Jautakas
Program: Computer Science
Category: Undergraduate Competition

Comparison of Different Simple Circuit Designs for a Raspberry Pi Based and Cell Phone Controlled Geiger-Mueller Radiation Detection System

Loris worked in circuit design for Geiger counters while he was a member of the Radiological Health Engineering Laboratory. Recently he has taken an interest in quantum information theory and model theory.

“I want to thank all of the great teachers and supporters that I have had along the way that made all of this possible!” said Loris. “I would also like to thank Dr. Kearfott and Jordan Noey for their guidance during this project.”

Thomas Kennings portrait

Thomas Kennings
Program: Electrical Engineering

Category: Undergraduate Competition

Radon-222 Charcoal Canister Steady State Model Calibrations Performed in a Highly Controlled Environmental Chamber and a Natural Indoor Environment

Thomas Kennings is a junior pursuing his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. He has worked in the Radiological Health Engineering Laboratory, headed by Dr. Kimberlee Kearfott, since his freshman year at the University of Michigan. His research interests include controls, automation, systems, and robotics.

“This award will help me pursue my career in research,” said Thomas. “Thank you to the Department of Energy! I’d also like to thank, Dr. Kimberlee Kearfott, Jordan Noey, and my family.”

Andrew Kent portait

Andrew Kent
Program: Computer Engineering

Category: Undergraduate Competition

Data Security Considerations for Networked and Remote Stations in a Radiation and Weather Monitoring System

Aiden Sable portait

Aiden Sable
Program: Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences

Category: Undergraduate Competition

Realistic Implementation of Radiation Physics for a Virtual Reality Game Programmed in Unity for an Oculus Quest

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