a woman presenting a slide in a conference. The slide says "Advanced reactor concepts purpose 316 stainless steel as structural material"

Mackenzie Warwick shines at the NEA Global Forum Rising Stars Workshop

The NERS PhD student presented her research into testing creep behavior with ion irradiation. 

Mackenzie Warwick, a NERS undergraduate and Master’s alum currently working on her PhD studies in the department, presented at the 2023 NEA Global Forum Rising Stars Workshop in Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy, hosted this year by MIT. Her passion for nuclear science and commitment to bridging the gender gap in this field have propelled her onto a global stage.

a woman presenting a slide in a conference. The slide says "Advanced reactor concepts purpose 316 stainless steel as structural material"

The NEA Global Forum Rising Stars Programme is an initiative dedicated to addressing gender disparities within the nuclear field. It serves as a beacon of empowerment, propelling female rising stars in science, technology, education, and policy into the global nuclear community. The program offers an array of activities designed to benefit female undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students in nuclear and nuclear-adjacent fields. This annual workshop is central to the program and features various speakers, poster sessions, career development panels, and networking opportunities. NERS will host the Programme in 2025.

six people standing in front of a wall of knobs, dials and computers
Mackenzie (second from left) and others attending the forum took a private tour of the MIT Reactor (MITR) with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

Mackenzie’s research and contributions to the nuclear community earned her a well-deserved nomination for the ‘Rising Stars’ workshop. She presented her research, “Ion Irradiations for Accelerated Creep Testing Using Tapered Geometries.” Most of her research is done in the Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory where she studies under Associate Professor Kevin Field in the Nuclear Oriented Materials & Examination (NOME) Group

At NERS, Mackenzie is the founder and president of the U-M Chapter of Women in Nuclear. Under her leadership, the group was awarded the 2021 Overall Chapter Excellence Award and runner-up for 2022 Most Reactive Chapter during Nuclear Science Week. This year she was awarded the Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding GSI prize from Michigan Engineering and the Rackham Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor for her work on our sequential senior design course. She also represented the department at the inaugural Nuclear Innovator Cultivation Camp (NICC) in Tokyo and Fukushima, Japan. 

Mackenzie is a grad student mentor in our peer mentoring program and the instructional team lead of our Glow Blue program. Glow Blue is a graduate student-led nuclear education program, partnering with the U-M Office of Culture, Community and Equity and DAPCEP for Southeast Michigan K-12 students. 

In 2020, she received a Commendation for Service and Leadership from the American Nuclear Society Student Sections Committee in recognition for demonstrating leadership and commitment to outreach and service, resulting in significant achievement and the advancement of the nuclear community. She has been in our student section of the American Nuclear Society since 2016 when she was a freshman in the department. 

“Mackenzie has been a leader in the department since she was an undergraduate student,” said NERS Chair Todd Allen. “Her recognition on the international stage is fitting of her outstanding performance.”

“Mackenzie has and will do amazing things for the nuclear energy sector. said Field. “This event just continues to highlight her leadership in the nuclear community and her growth as an independent researcher.”

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