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Office of Research & Engagement UT Leads the Country in DoE Science Graduate Student Research Awards

Two University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduate students have received Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) awards. Since its inception in 2014, UT ranks number one in the country for SCGSR awards with 19 recipients.

“I am proud to celebrate our graduate students’ accomplishments,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Matthew Mench. “This recognition by the Office of Science is an indication of the high caliber students UT is able to attract, the dedication of our faculty mentors, and our vibrant research community.”

This year’s recipients are:

Igor Gussev, a third-year PhD student in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. His research explores the atomic-scale structure of glasses and ceramics under extreme conditions, and evaluates the potential implications for nuclear energy technologies. Funding provided by the SCGSR award will allow Igor the opportunity to conduct research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, collaborating with experts on advanced modeling techniques to gain further insight into the fundamental disordering mechanisms in ceramics and glasses. “It is a great honor for me that my research approach was selected for this award, ” Gussev said, “and I am looking forward to advancing my experimental skills with state-of-the art modeling.”

Casey Morean, a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Physics. The SCGSR award will help support his research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), under the supervision of Associate Physics Professor Nadia Fomin. The facility, known informally as JLab, is located in Newport News, Virginia. JLab is home to the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF), a powerful and continuous electron beam with energy up to 12 billion electron volts supporting experiments designed to explain the fundamentals of matter. Morean explained that he will be “preparing for and running an experiment to measure high-momentum nucleons that come from short-range interactions. This is a high-impact highly rated experiment in Hall C of Jefferson Lab.”

The SCGSR program provides supplemental funding awards to outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. These awards allow graduate students to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist, and provide a monthly stipend of up to $3,000 to assist with their research. The goal of the program is to prepare students for future careers in fields critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

Since 2014, the SCGSR program has provided support to 600 graduate awardees from 160 different universities to conduct thesis research at 18 DOE national laboratories and facilities across the nation. This year 62 awardees from 50 different U.S. universities will be conducting research at 14 DOE national laboratories, on topical areas spanning the six DOE Office of Science research programs.

Graduate students interested in applying to the SCGRS program may do so at the Office of Science website or contact UT’s Graduate School.