PhD student Bethany Kersten selected for Nuclear Energy University Program Integrated University Program fellowship

Bethany Kersten, a first-year PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was recently awarded a Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) Integrated University Program (IUP) fellowship. NEUP-IUP fellowships support students pursuing graduate degrees in nuclear engineering, nuclear science and related fields that will advance the field of nuclear energy.

The Department of Energy approved Case Western Reserve University to award NEUP-IUP fellowships earlier this month. While CWRU does not have a nuclear engineering major, many faculty and students are conducting research in related fields. Students who have completed less than 12 months of graduate study (including undergraduate students) are eligible to apply, and as a NEUP-IUP participant, CWRU can administer up to three new fellowships per year for the next five years. Kersten is the first recipient.

Kersten’s graduate research will focus on electrochemical methods for recycling spent nuclear fuel. As part of the fellowship program, she will complete an internship at Argonne National Laboratory in the Chemical and Fuel Cycles Technologies Division.

This year, the DOE is awarding more than $5 million in undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to students pursuing nuclear engineering degrees and other nuclear science and engineering programs relevant to nuclear energy. The awards include 42 scholarships and 34 fellowships for students at U.S. colleges and universities. Since 2009, DOE has awarded close to 800 scholarships and fellowships totaling approximately $44 million to students pursuing nuclear energy-related degrees.

The IUP program at CWRU is led by Christine Duval, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and supported by Rohan Akolkar, the F. Alex Nason Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, an Ohio Eminent Scholar and faculty director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute, and Benjamin Monreal, associate professor of physics.