On November 13, 2012, Florida International University’s (FIU’s) Applied Research Center (ARC) conducted the sixth (6th) annual DOE Fellows Induction Ceremony. This year, Ms. Alice Williams (Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management) was one of the keynote speakers for the ceremony. Ms. Williams welcomed the FIU students to the DOE Fellows program and noted the impressive level of knowledge and skills they already possess.
Other distinguished guests included Ms. Rosa Elmetti (DOE EM International Program) and Mr. Lee Brady (DOE EM D&D and Facility Engineering), both DOE Fellow alumni Class of 2008 who have successfully secured employment with DOE EM. FIU was represented by Dr. Elizabeth Bejar (Vice Provost for Academic Affairs), Dr. E. George Simms (Director of Pre-Collegiate Programs and Grants), Dr. John Proni and Dr. Ines Triay (ARC Executive Directors), and Dr. Leonel E. Lagos (DOE Fellows Program Director), Dr. Kevin Cooper (Indian River State College – Nuclear Education and Training Center), as well as FIU faculty, staff, and students.
Ms. Williams, Ms. Elmetti and Mr. Brady had the opportunity to participate in morning tours of the ARC research laboratories and listen to DOE Fellows presenting their research work. Presentations were given by Dr. Lagos and DOE Fellows Lilian Marrero and Jaime Mudrich. Dr. Lagos presented an update on the DOE-FIU Cooperative Agreement, the DOE Fellows program, the D&D KM-IT web-based knowledge management system, and the newly developed DOE-FIU Cooperative Agreement website dedicated to the DOE-EM research being conducted at ARC. Lilian Marrero presented her EM research and thesis on “Improvements in the Suspended Sediment Interactions Module of An Integrated Flow and Mercury Transport Model for East Fork Poplar Creek Watershed, Oak Ridge, Tennessee” and Jaime Mudrich presented his EM research and thesis on “Development of a LBM-Based Multiphase Simulation Tool to Model Pulsed-Air Tank Mixing.” Tours of the ARC facilities included visits to the radiological and composites laboratories as well as technology demonstrations in the multifunction assessment facility (i.e., high bay) of some of the more large-scale DOE projects. Technologies showcased included the experimental design and setup of wireless sensors for in situ decommissioning and evaluation of the sensor network energy demand; evaluation of pipeline unplugging instrumentation and technologies for Hanford (e.g., a peristaltic crawler for pipeline unplugging); and experiments related to soil & groundwater research for Hanford’s uranium contamination. In addition, the distinguished guests and FIU faculty had the opportunity to interact with the DOE Fellows during a poster exhibition following the induction ceremony.
The Science & Technology Workforce Development Program (DOE Fellows Program) was established in 2007 under a partnership between FIU and DOE EM to create a “pipeline” of minority scientists and engineers specifically trained and mentored to enter the DOE’s workforce in technical areas of need. For more information on this unique program, please visit http://fellows.fiu.edu/.
During this year’s Induction Ceremony, 13 new FIU minority students were inducted as DOE Fellows.
In addition, awards were presented to the DOE Fellows that won the DOE Fellows Poster Exhibition and Competition held on October 17, 2012. First place went to Mr. Jaime Mudrich for his poster titled, “PaRAllel Thermal-Hydraulics Simulations using Advanced Mesoscopic Methods.” Second place went to Ms. Elicek Delgado-Cepero for her poster titled “Battery-less Wireless Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring for In Situ Decommissioning Tasks.” Third place went to Ms. Ximena Prugue for her poster titled “Development of a Mechanical-Based System for Dry Retrieval of Single Shell Tank Waste at Hanford.”
For the fourth year, the DOE Fellow of the Year Award and the Mentor of the Year Award were presented in the ceremony. DOE Fellows were requested to nominate their ARC mentors and ARC mentors were requested to nominate the DOE Fellows. An ARC committee was established to review and select the winners from the submitted nominations. The 2012 Mentor of the Year Award went to research engineer Mr. Jose Varona and the 2012 DOE Fellow of the Year Award was given to Ms. Lillian Marrero (DOE Fellows Class of 2011).
A new award for the Alumni DOE Fellow of the Year was also presented at the ceremony to honor and recognize the professional achievements of former DOE Fellows. The 2012 Alumni DOE Fellow of the Year was presented to Ms. Rosa Elmetti (DOE Fellows Class of 2008). In addition, a second new award was presented to Ms. Patty Cepero for her superior efforts in successfully coordinating and organizing the DOE Fellows’ Induction Ceremony.