News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

April 22, 2013 — Vol. 29 No. 15

ISU Students Earn Conference Honors

Idaho State University nuclear engineering master's student Scott McBeath earned a best graduate student paper award at the American Nuclear Society 2013 Student Conference in Boston this month, and overall ISU was well represented at the conference.

McBeath's paper titled "Production of NanoVision Sensor via Focused Ion Beam Milling" won the best graduate paper in "Fuel Cycle and Waste Management" division.

"It was an honor being selected," said McBeath, who is from Bellevue, Wash., and delivered two papers at the conference. "It definitely speaks well of the strong research taking place in nuclear engineering at Idaho State University and the research opportunities both graduate and undergraduate students have here."

In all, 12 students from the ISU Student Chapter of the American Nuclear Society presented 14 papers at the conference. Only two other schools, the host MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Penn State, had more papers presented by students at the conference, said ISU ANS student chapter president Jon Jensen, a nuclear engineering undergraduate student who also delivered two papers at the conference. The conference featured students from nuclear programs from throughout the United States.

"It was exciting for me, as an undergraduate, to make presentations at the conference," said Jensen, who is from Pocatello. "We're not from a 'known school,' but we went to the conference and talked to people from the known schools and we found out we're every bit as good as them, especially for undergraduates."

The number of papers accepted this year in a competitive process was up from the three papers accepted by ISU students gave at last year's conference. The conference wasn't all about research and delivering papers, however.

"There were representatives from industry and people from other schools that we could talk to them about potential jobs and internships," said Malwina Chaczko, an ISU nuclear engineering master's student and treasurer of the ISU ANS student chapter. "It was a great opportunity to network."

Chaczko, originally from Poland, delivered one paper at the conference and both she and McBeath said they plan to pursue doctoral degrees from ISU after finishing their master's programs.

"We're starting to receive national recognition for the work were doing here," said Eric Burgett, ISU Associate Professor of nuclear engineering and director of the ISU Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) Complex, who worked with seven of the 12 students who delivered papers at the conference. "With Scott taking a best paper award it speaks highly of the students and the research that we have at ISU."

The ISU students at the conference left Boston 10 days before the Boston Marathon bombing that occurred.

"It was super weird seeing the bombing on television after just being in Boston," Jensen said. "I was texting people I met from MIT to check to see if they were okay."

For more information on the conference, visit http://meetings.ans.org/student2013/home.