Swanson School receives $1.9 Million in awards From U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Program

Heinz Chapel with pink flowers in the foreground

Four researchers at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering have received a total of $1.7 million in faculty awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program, and two students were awarded a total of $168,500.

The awards are part of more than $65 million in investments the Department of Energy announced on June 16.

The Nuclear Energy University Program “seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering faculty and their students with opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities,” according to the DOE.

The awards went to:

  • Heng Ban, professor of Mechanical Engineering, director of the Stephen R. Tritch Nuclear Engineering Program: $300,000 for High Temperature Thermophysical Property of Nuclear Fuels and Materials

  • Kevin Chen, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Albert To, professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science: $1 million for Fiber Sensor Fused Additive Manufacturing for Smart Component Fabrication for Nuclear Energy

  • Wei Xiong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science: $400,000 for Multicomponent Thermochemistry of Complex Chloride Salts for Sustainable Fuel Cycle Technologies; along with co-PIs: Elizabeth Sooby Wood (University of Texas at San Antonio), Toni Karlsson (Idaho National Laboratory), and Guy Fredrickson (Idaho National Laboratory)

In addition, Jerry Potts, a senior mechanical engineering student, was one of 42 student students in the nation to receive a $7,500 nuclear energy scholarship. Iza Lantgios (BS ME ‘20), a matriculating mechanical engineering graduate student, was one of 34 students nationwide to be awarded a $161,000 fellowship.

Read more about the individual projects here.