Patricia Huestis, a collaborator in the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM) Energy Frontier Research Center, has been awarded the DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) award. Huestis is a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, pursuing her doctorate in nuclear physics. On the IDREAM team, she is conducting radiation chemistry research related to the Hanford waste tanks.
The SCGSR program provides financial awards to outstanding graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory or facility. “The SCGSR award will allow me to use facilities unique to PNNL to further our understanding of how ionizing radiation alters the surface of aluminum hydroxides, which is the focus of my thesis work,” said Huestis, whose project—in-situ boehmite irradiation studies using radAFM—will be completed at PNNL under the mentorship of PCSD’s Greg Kimmel.
Her research interests lie in the transport of energy in nuclear materials, specifically to the surface where that energy can be used to induce chemical and physical changes in the material and surrounding medium. She is a previous recipient of the International Conference on Ionizing Processes Young Investigator Award (2018), Forum on Graduate Student Affairs Travel Award for Excellence in Graduate Research (2016), Arthur J. Schmitt Leadership Fellowship in Science and Engineering (2016), and the Graduate Student Union Conference presentation grant (2016). She has a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.