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Awards and Recognition | Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne researchers power up: Co-awarded 9 nuclear projects from Department of Energy

New projects will advance nuclear technologies

Argonne engineers to collaborate with universities on new nuclear projects.

Engineers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are collaborating on nine projects awarded to universities under the DOE’s Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) and Integrated Research Projects.  

The projects were selected as part of DOE’s commitment to investing in nuclear energy technologies, universities and the development of the next generation of researchers and scientists. These projects will play a vital role in advancing nuclear technology, supporting early career faculty research activities and fostering student innovation at Argonne and academic institutions across the nation.  

DOE recently allocated more than $56 million for nuclear energy and student innovation awards to be distributed among 68 projects nationwide. These initiatives aim to support the research and development of nuclear technology, contribute to the expansion of access to nuclear energy and accelerate progress toward achieving the nation’s net-zero emissions goal by 2050. The awarded projects cover a wide range of areas, including advanced reactor concepts, materials research, nuclear fuel cycle systems and nuclear safety.  

Argonne’s engineers are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed colleagues from universities and national laboratories across the country. This collaborative effort will bring together multidisciplinary teams to address complex challenges and drive innovation in the field of nuclear energy. The awarded projects include:  

  • Reference Designs of Carbon-free Ammonia Plants Powered by Small Modular Reactors (Utah State University, Argonne engineer Pingping Sun)
  • A Low Order Transport Method Based on the Dynamic Truncation of the Integral Transport Matrix Method (ITMM) that Converges to the SN Solution with Increasing Cell Optical Thickness (North Carolina State University, Argonne engineer Changho Lee)
  • Development of a Thin-Layer Electrochemical Sensor for Molten Salt Reactors and Fuel Cycle Processes (Brigham Young University, Argonne engineer Krista Hawthorne)
  • Subwavelength Ultrasonic Imaging for Rapid Qualification of Additively Manufactured Nuclear Structures and Components (University of Michigan, Argonne engineers Alexander Heifetz and Bogdan Alexandreanu)
  • Reduced Order Modeling of Heat and Fluid Flow: Multi-Scale Modeling of Advanced Reactors to Enable Faster Deployment (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Argonne engineer Dillon Shaver)
  • Optical Sensors for Impurity Measurement in Liquid Metal-cooled Fast Reactors (University of Michigan, Argonne engineer Teddy Kent)
  • Mechanisms-based Acceleration of Materials Qualifications for Creep-Fatigue Performance in Advanced Nuclear Systems (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Argonne engineer Xuan Zhang)
  • Immersed Boundary Methods for Modeling of Complex Geometry: A Leap Forward in Multiscale Modeling using NekRS (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Argonne engineer Dillon Shaver)
  • Exascale Simulation of Thermal-Hydraulics Phenomena in Advanced Reactors and Validation Using High Resolution Experimental Data (City College of New York, Argonne computational scientist Saumil Patel)

These awards are a crucial investment in our nation’s nuclear energy technologies, universities, and next generation of researchers and scientists,” said DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy’s Assistant Secretary Kathryn Huff. The funding will help ensure researchers and educators have the resources they need to keep making a difference.”  

Since 2009, DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy has granted over $992 million to propel nuclear energy research forward and train the future leaders of the industry. 

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.