Home Supporting structure ISU Receives Over $1 Million in Grants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

ISU Receives Over $1 Million in Grants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission


The following is a press release and photo from Idaho State University.

POCATELLO — Students and faculty in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Idaho State University are getting a big boost from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Recently, the NRC announced the recipients of its University Nuclear Leadership Program grants. In total, UIS will receive $1,037,085 for undergraduate scholarships, graduate scholarships, and faculty development.

“I am extremely proud that Idaho State University is the only university in the nation to have received funding in all three grant areas,” said Chad Pope, professor and chair of the nuclear engineering department. “With over $1 million in funding from NRC’s UIS, the Department of Nuclear Engineering is in a fantastic position to support our graduate and undergraduate students as well as develop new faculty members.”

Scholarships and fellowships support education “in nuclear science and engineering, to develop a workforce capable of supporting the design, construction, operation and regulation of nuclear facilities and handling safety of nuclear materials”.

“Undergraduate students receive a scholarship and have the opportunity for professional development, including field trips and trips to attend technical conferences,” said Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar, professor of engineering. Nuclear and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering. “Our graduate students will receive scholarships that fund tuition, stipends, and opportunities to grow in their research experiences.”

Meanwhile, the Faculty Development Grant “supports new faculty in the nuclear-related fields of nuclear engineering, health physics, and radiochemistry.” Amir Ali, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering, will use the funding to support the establishment of a nuclear thermal hydraulics research program at ISU. The study of nuclear thermal hydraulics examines how energy is transferred in liquids and how the transfer interacts with the structure of the nuclear reactor. It will also use the funds to develop courses in computational thermal hydraulics and fire protection systems for nuclear applications.

“We never had a stand-alone thermal-hydraulics program at ISU,” Ali said. “The new program will meet a strong need from employers like Idaho National Laboratory and other nuclear technology developers.”

In total, just over $9 million in grants have been awarded through the University Nuclear Leadership Program.

“Right now the pace of development of advanced reactors is accelerating,” Pope said. “These grants will help Idaho State University provide the nuclear engineers that will be needed to support the development of these new technologies in the future.”

For more information about ISU’s Department of Nuclear Engineering, visit isu.edu/ne.