June 15, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

Katalenich Selected for Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

An honor given to only 100 early-career engineers in the U.S. annually

Portrait of Jeff Katalenich, a nuclear engineer at PNNL

Jeff Katalenich, PNNL nuclear engineer

(Photo: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Jeff Katalenich, a nuclear engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), was selected to attend the Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering 2023 Symposium—an honor given to only 100 early-career engineers in the United States annually.

The National Academy of Engineering Executive Office reached out to PNNL in March seeking a candidate to be a part of the select group of the nation’s highly accomplished early-career engineers from industry, academia, and government to discuss pioneering technical work and leading-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors.

PNNL held a selection process and put forth one nominee: Katalenich. He was chosen because of his plan to raise ideas and questions with presenters and participants that reflected his unique perspective in nuclear engineering and his national security background. Katalenich shared, “during this time of increasing global conflict, I believe viewing and discussing the symposium topics through a lens of national security implications will be a useful perspective.”

Katalenich’s research is focused on identifying and addressing national security challenges associated with nuclear materials. The projects he has developed and led at PNNL extend to multiple federal agencies, industry, and NASA. Research topics span nuclear nonproliferation, space nuclear power, and actinide material processing.

Throughout his career, Katalenich has completed over a dozen peer-reviewed publications, numerous conference papers, and multiple major technical reports. He has also secured a U.S. patent on “Nuclear Reactor Assemblies, Nuclear Reactor Target Assemblies, and Nuclear Reactor Methods.” Additionally, Katalenich continues to be recognized with numerous awards.

The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering 2023 Symposium will be in Boulder, Colorado, from September 10 through 13. There, Katalenich will engage in conversations on cutting-edge developments in: Complex Systems in the Context of Health Care; Mining and Mineral Resource Production; Resilience and Security in the Information Ecosystem; and Engineered Quantum Systems.

“Technological breakthroughs occur at the intersection of fields and solving the big, important problems of our day requires interdisciplinary teams and a variety of perspectives, said Katalenich, “I am eager to both actively participate in the symposium and also create new ties and partnerships that will persist well into the future.”