In her role as Miss Wisconsin, Stanke aimed to help change people’s views on the notion of “nuclear” though her social impact initiative, “Clean energy, cleaner future.” Now, as Miss America 2023, she’s taking her clean-energy solutions message—with, of course, a strong focus on nuclear energy—onto the national stage.
Undergraduate nuclear engineering student Bao-Phong Nguyen received the Best Undergraduate Nuclear Fuels and Materials Presentation award at the 2023 ANS Student Conference for his paper entitled “High-Throughput Study for Examining Void Swelling Behavior in Ion Irradiated SS304.” Nguyen was also awarded a Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship, which provides a stipend for students and faculty advisers to support their research efforts.
The UW Nuclear Reactor has been running for a little over 60 years, and undergraduate involvement has always been a large component of the operations. Through an elective course focused on reactor operations, followed by an independent study, students could become licensed reactor operators. As of 2022, 90 undergraduate students have been licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Solis is a student-led group where women and gender minorities in plasma physics at UW-Madison can find a sense of community. Plasma physics is a broad research field that spans multiple departments at the university. Solis bridges this gap, bringing a community of students together who may not otherwise interact with each other outside of classes or seminars. All members share a common interest in plasma in some capacity, but everyone has a different background, is in a different department, or is at a different stage in their studies.
Professor Paul Wilson, Assistant Professor Stephanie Diem, and graduate student Kelly Garcia spent a day in D.C. meeting with Wisconsin state representatives to share the current fusion research and opportunities for fusion within Wisconsin. Garcia kicked off the meetings with staffers of representatives by introducing herself and fusion on a broad level. Professors Diem and Wilson would continue the conversation, narrowing in on why Wisconsin in particular is a good candidate for fusion funding.
Ryan Dailey, a graduate student in the Reactor Technology Integration Group led by Assistant Professor Ben Lindley, attended the 2023 Nuclear Innovator Cultivation Camp (NICC) hosted by Tokyo Tech and funded through Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. NICC aims to cultivate and foster those who will be successful in international collaborations and in leading innovations in nuclear technology. Over the ten days of the camp, participants attended seminars, collaborated on group projects, and visited the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Plants.
Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics PhD student Kailee Buttice received a University Nuclear Leadership Program fellowship, sponsored by the Department of Energy.
Buttice is a member of the MAterials Degradation under COrrosion and Radiation (MADCOR) research group, led by Associate Professor Adrien Couet. Broadly, the group studies the degradation and corrosion of materials in advanced reactor environments. Buttice will be focusing her PhD research on the basicity of molten fluoride salts to better understand how it effects the corrosion of structural alloy elements in a nuclear reactor. By measuring the free fluoride ions in the molten salts using spectroscopy, the goal of Buttice’s research is to generate a basicity scale, similar to that of the standard pH scale. The scale can then be used to measure how aggressively the molten salt will corrode metal alloys.
EP Student Groups
Solis is a student-led group for women and gender minorities in plasma physics and fusion energy research. Group focuses include: Outreach to local schools, networking and professional development, social activities, and campus inclusivity efforts.
NEEP Student Advisory Committee
The NEEP Student Advisory Committee is an informal "gathering place" for student-focused advocacy in the Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics Department. We work to ensure students are represented at meetings that could have implications for NEEP student life, such as the monthly NEEP departmental meetings. Past (and current!) work includes advocating for revisions to the NEEP qualifying exams, improving the first year graduate student experience, and generally promoting a sense of community within the NEEP department.
The UW student section of the American Nuclear Society shapes our members to be positive role models in our community and world through the use of professional development and public outreach events. Events include: student conferences, power plant tours, and youth workshops.