National Nuclear Security Administration Renews Texas A&M-Led Center Of Excellence Grant For $12.5 Million
When it comes to equipment, CENTAUR-funded graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, partner institutions and collaborating national laboratories personnel will have access to the K500 superconducting cyclotron and K150 cyclotron located at Texas A&M as well as the 9 +8 MV Tandem-Linac accelerator located at Florida State’s John D. Fox Accelerator Laboratory led by Dr. Ingo Wiedenhoever. Like the Cyclotron Institute, Florida State’s partnerships will allow greater use by CENTAUR-participating students beyond its campus, enhancing a pipeline for its nuclear science graduates to national laboratories that did not exist prior to CENTAUR’s founding in 2018.
Washington University’s Dr. Lee Sobotka will continue to lend expertise on advanced electronic chips and the development of neutron detectors. The university, which operates five cyclotrons, also features expertise in nuclear and radiochemistry, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology and advanced nuclear imaging.
The University of Washington is home to the Institute for Nuclear Theory — another DOE NP university Center of Excellence — where scientists such as Dr. Aurel Bulgac have expertise in high performance computing applications of density functional theory with specific emphasis on nuclear superfluid properties.
LSU scientist Dr. Scott Marley will focus on awareness of future workforce opportunities in nuclear science at the national laboratories for the university’s diverse and large numbers of both undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, Dr. Kristina Launey’s program is a natural extension for LSU researchers into the theory space.
The consortium’s latest additions, UT-Knoxville and UMass Lowell, respectively feature Dr. Miguel Madurga Flores and Dr. Marian Jandel. Madurga Flores boasts extensive experience with nuclear structure and various experimental methods of beta-decay, while Jandel brings expertise with Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport (MCNP) code developed by Los Alamos and designed to track many particle types over broad ranges of energies as well as prior Los Alamos experience and connections.
“The faculty, staff and students associated with CENTAUR are at the top of their respective fields,” Yennello said. “This is definitely a case in which the whole is most certainly greater than the sum of its parts.”
CENTAUR will continue to sponsor middle and high school outreach and recruitment activities, including its popular nuclear science summer camp and nuclear medicine and science camp, along with secondary school professional development initiatives for chemistry and physics teachers.