College of Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison
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EPISODE: The Engineering Physics Department Newsletter


Spring / Summer 2006
Featured articles

Fonck named chief scientist for international fusion experiment

Physicists persevere in quest for inexhaustible energy source

Radiation studies key to nuclear reactor life, recycling spent fuel

Systems analysis may guide fuel-cycle decisions

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Message from the chair

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Engineering Physics Assistant Professor Todd Allen received a two-year, $40,000 research seed grant from the Office of Naval Research and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded the Fusion Technology Institute (FTI) $777,300 for three years to study the properties of high-density matter under extreme conditions. The work will use the UW 10-meter shock tube to study instabilities produced by shock waves in gases and liquids, focused on Rayleigh-Taylor and Richtmeyer-Meshkov instabilities. Professor Riccardo Bonazza is the principal investigator.

Under the U.S. Department of Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded Associate Professor Rob Carpick $190,000 to acquire an x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy system. He will use it to determine the surface compo-sition and bonding of diamond, self-assembled monolayers, and other novel materials. As part of a first-stage Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program, Carpick and research associate Anirudha Sumant have received $40,000 to study how ultrananocrystalline diamond, a novel form of diamond, can be used to fabricate high-speed microdevices.

Carpick and Sumant are collaborating with scientists at Argonne National Laboratories, and researchers at Freescale Semiconductor, Innovative Micro Technologies, and Advanced Diamond Technologies.Carpick, Sumant and Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Frank Pfefferkorn have received a one-year Industrial and Economic Development Research Program grant to study the application of nanocrystalline diamond coatings to micro-scale machine tools. The group is working with Janesville, Wisconsin-based Performance Micro Tool, which produces some of the world’s smallest cutting tools for end milling. The diamond coatings show promise for improving the performance of these tools.

Wisconsin Distinguished Professor Michael Corradini will serve a five-year term as a member of the scientific committee of the Direction de l’Energie Nucléaire (DEN). The DEN is the chief scientific advisory committee to the Civilian Branch of the French Atomic Energy Agency.

A fellowship program proposed by Associate Professor Wendy Crone and University Communications Science Editor Terry Devitt received funding from the 2006-2008 Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. “Nanotechnology fellowships for journalists, policy makers and
business people” will provide workshops on the scientific and public affairs implications of the burgeoning field of nanotechnology. The first year will provide fellowships for state and national reporters, while the second and third years will offer training for policy makers and business people, respectively.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the FTI a one-year $245,000 grant to participate in a national stellarator commercial fusion reactor design. The national team consists of scientists and engineers from nearly 10 U.S. universities, national labs and industrial firms. FTI is performing all of the nuclear analyses and coordinating with the national team on the reactor’s conceptual design. Research Professor Laila El-Guebaly is the principal investigator.

Professor Gregory A. Moses and researcher Mike Litzkow received the Benjamin J. Dasher award from Frontiers in Education (FIE). The award recognizes their paper, “In-class active learning and frequent assessment reform of nuclear reactor theory course,” as the best written paper/oral presentation at the 2005 FIE conference. The two will receive the award in October, at the 2006 conference in San Diego.

The Department of Energy has awarded the FTI a one-year, $300,000 contract to design a tritium-breeding module for ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, as well as to perform neutronics calculations needed by the International team. Research Professor Mohamed Sawan is the principal investigator.


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Date last modified: Friday, 23-June-2006 11:49:00 CDT
Date created: 23-June-2006