U of I Students Named Fellows of Prestigious Nuclear Security Program
May 06, 2020
MOSCOW, Idaho — May 6, 2020 — Two University of Idaho College of Engineering graduate students, Nicholas Williams and Jonathan Tacke, have been accepted into a prestigious fellows program of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.
Williams, from Lapeer, Michigan, Tacke, from Rock Springs, Wyoming, and 53 other students out of 267 applicants from across the United States, were selected for the one-year program, which offers each fellow a $53,300 salary, specialized training, hands-on experience and a potential job at the end of their fellowship period.
The Richland, Washington-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which improves America’s energy resiliency and enhances its national security through innovation, will administer the NNSA-sponsored fellowships.
“NNSA fellows become the next generation of leaders in nuclear nonproliferation and the stewardship of America’s nuclear weapons stockpile,” said Robert Borrelli, assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Idaho in Idaho Falls. “Students from engineering, the social sciences, public policy, accounting and other backgrounds are all represented.”
Williams, a mechanical engineering student studying in Idaho Falls under Department of Nuclear Engineering Director Richard Christensen, will carry out his fellowship with PNNL’s acquisition and project management office in Las Vegas. Williams is currently researching the use of vibration acoustic signals to develop devices measuring the mass flow rates of fluids and gasses.
Tacke, whose graduate work in electrical and computer engineering in Idaho Falls focuses on high performance controls, will be stationed at NNSA’s Los Alamos Field office during his one-year fellowship period. His advisor, Assistant Professor Dakota Roberson in U of I’s College of Engineering, is a current participant in the White House Fellows Program.
The students will begin their fellowship work in June. Williams, Tacke and other NNSA fellows will work at one of 12 sites across the United States.
“These fellowships recognize Nicholas and Jonathan as future leaders in national security,” said Melanie Godinez, PNNL program manager. “Their strong backgrounds in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and other areas will have a large impact on our community.”
About the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, Earth sciences and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE'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 PNNL's News Center or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About the National Nuclear Security Administration
NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu.