UT Nuclear Engineering Students win Coryell Award for Undergraduate Research

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Two UT alumni who studied nuclear engineering as undergraduates, Ben Farr and Jeremy Townsend, received the Charles D. Coryell Award in Nuclear Chemistry. This award, presented annually by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology (ACS-DNCT), recognizes undergraduate excellence in nuclear chemistry research.  Farr and Townsend were presented the award at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver. The award includes a $500 prize for each from ACS-DNCT.

Farr and Townsend have been supporting the acquisition, installation, and testing of a hybrid K-edge densitometer/X-ray fluorescence (HKED) system that is being installed in the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for training purposes and algorithm development.

The International Atomic Energy Agency uses HKED systems for verification measurements at nuclear fuel reprocessing plants throughout the world, including those in France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. HKED is used to monitor the amount of uranium and plutonium in process solutions, which is important for safety.

Both students presented their research at the recent 2011 Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) meeting. Their work will be published in the meeting Proceedings through INMM, and a more complete paper is planned for the Journal of Nuclear Materials Management.

Nuclear Engineering Professor and Governor’s Chair Howard Hall and Jeff Chapman of ORNL mentored Farr and Townsend in their undergraduate research, which was performed at UT Knoxville and ORNL.  Both students received their Bachelor of Science degrees in nuclear engineering in May 2011 and are continuing as graduate students with Hall’s research group in the Department of Nuclear Engineering.

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