Two design teams from The University of New Mexico’s Department of Nuclear Engineering received best presentation awards in their technical tracks at the American Nuclear Society annual student conference at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

The members of the first team — made up of Arnika Chidambaram, Joey Elmblad, James Pike, and Ryan Sharp — are developing a low-enriched, high-flux nuclear reactor for the production a molybdenum-99 medical isotope. Chidambaram and Pike represented their team at the conference and received the best presentation award in the isotopes and radiation technical track.

The members of the second-ranked UNM team — Zackary Dodson, Cole Mueller, and Brittany Umbrage — are developing an 241Am2O3 coated particle, 100 We RTG for long-life planetary and space missions. Dodson and Umbrage represented their design team at the conference and received the best presentation awards in the aerospace nuclear science and technology technical track. In addition, Dodson and Umbrage received an invitation and offered stipend to attend and present their team design at the Innovations in Nuclear Space Conference to be held February 2017, in Orlando, Florida.

Every spring, the seniors of the Department of Nuclear Engineering are divided into groups to work on a senior capstone design project, under the guidance of Regents’ Professor Mohamed El-Genk. The students in the senior design class are encouraged to submit papers based on their design projects for presentation at the American Nuclear Society student conference. This year, UNM was represented by five design teams, constituting the entire nuclear engineering senior class. 

The five UNM senior design teams who presented at the conference were accepted for presentations by the conference committee, with four selected for technical podium presentations and one selected for a poster presentation.