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Julian Kinney receives Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship

The National Nuclear Security Administration funds the fellowship to train scientists vital to meeting U.S. workforce needs in advanced science and engineering.

portrait of Julian Kinney

Julian Kinney, a graduate student in the U-M Department of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences (NERS), has received a Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Julian’s research focuses on radiation (electromagnetic) transport in dense plasmas. His work is centered on developing theoretical frameworks to calculate radiation transport coefficients, which are essential for understanding the behavior of electromagnetic radiation in these complex environments. To ensure the accuracy of his theories, Julian uses first-principles molecular dynamics simulations as a benchmark and is aiming to compare his theoretical models against real-world data.

With the fellowship, Julian’s journey in this field continues seamlessly. His projects remain aligned with his ongoing research in NERS, providing him with the continuity needed to delve deeper into his area of expertise. Moreover, the opportunity to undertake a practicum at an NNSA Lab promises exciting encounters with novel scientific endeavors and networking opportunities.

The fellowship, commencing in September 2024, offers a renewable tenure of up to four years. Julian considers himself fortunate as the fellowship research seamlessly integrates with his existing commitments in NERS, sparing him the need to divide his time between multiple pursuits. This continuity allows him to dedicate himself fully to his research endeavors, maximizing productivity and impact.

Beyond his fellowship tenure, Julian’s aspirations remain open-ended. While he doesn’t have concrete plans post-PhD, he envisions a future that involves teaching and working with students in some capacity. His passion for education and mentorship shines through his involvement in teaching assistantships within NERS, where he relishes the opportunity to guide and inspire budding engineers. “My favorite involvement in NERS over the years has got to be TA’ing,” said Julian. “I enjoyed working with students and trying to teach classes.”

Julian’s roots trace back to Saudi Arabia, where he spent his formative years before embarking on his academic journey at the NERS in 2017 as an undergraduate. Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Julian finds joy in reading serialized novels, playing sports, and the freedom of gliding on rollerblades. Even though he lives in Michigan, Julian’s heart remains loyal to his favorite team, the Chicago White Sox.

“I am very grateful for the support my advisors Scott Baalrud and Carolyn Kuranz have given me over the last couple of years,” said Julian. “Also shoutout to all my colleagues in Cooley 2966! The room is pretty cold but we got that dog in us.”

“Julian is doing excellent work in theoretical plasma physics and we are working to make connections to experimental work,” said Kuranz. “ Julian is very bright and it’s been a pleasure working with him!”