I Chose ISU: Malwina Chaczko, nuclear engineering
June 8, 2015
Malwina Chaczko was born in Jawor, Poland, and moved to the United States as a high school exchange student. She graduated from Frisco High School in Frisco, Texas, in 2007.
From there she decided to pursue her interest in science and engineering, more specifically nuclear and mechanical engineering. Chaczko applied to the top nuclear engineering schools in the country including Idaho State University, which offered her a full-ride scholarship.
“There was an advantage in classrooms of student to professor ratio,” said Chaczko. “The higher engineering courses at ISU had smaller number of students making more beneficial to interact with the professors.”
Chaczko said she finds ISU’s atmosphere conducive to research, and her interactions with professors and other students have been encouraging and supportive.
“Since ISU is not as big and well-known as other engineering schools in the country, students here are more likely to work with each other as a team and help each other out in all of the coursework,” Chaczko said. “The same applies to the professors. They always find the time for students inside and outside the classrooms because they want you to succeed.”
Chaczko completed her undergraduate work in 2011, a double major in mechanical and nuclear engineering. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in nuclear science and engineering, which will focus on nuclear fuel materials research.
Her goal after getting her Ph.D. is to work in a national laboratory or a private company that focuses on nuclear materials research.
The RISE Complex (Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering) has provided Chaczko and other students with great research opportunities. It has given her the chance to expand knowledge on nuclear fuel materials research and many other research projects in the nuclear field.
Research at RISE varies from developing advanced radiation detectors and measuring fuel inside nuclear reactors to using electron accelerators to scan cargo containers.
At the complex, researchers can grow nuclear fuel crystals to support nuclear science and engineering programs, and grow new and cutting-edge semiconductors. RISE also has its own prototyping shop, where researchers can manufacture their own parts and equipment at a highly precise, computer-controlled machine shop.
“It’s definitely a big part of why I decided to stay at ISU longer,” said Chaczko. “The RISE complex creates great opportunities for me as a graduate researcher.”
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