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NNSA Conference Highlights Complex Science, Engineering Critical to Stewardship Science

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is hosting its Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (SSGF) annual fellows’ conference July 21-22 in Arlington, Va, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott hotel.

The conference welcomes the sixth class of new fellows focused on stewardship science, which includes materials under extreme conditions, nuclear science and high energy density physics. Participants will have the opportunity to listen to talks by Ph.D. candidates and view posters on current research by first- through third- year fellows.

“Investing in the complex science and engineering disciplines that are critical to stewardship science is a top priority for NNSA,” said Don Cook, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs. “The Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship program is important as we continue to engage outstanding graduate students to ensure that NNSA is recruiting the next generation of nuclear security professionals.”

Students selected for this fellowship possess a strong academic background in a scientific or engineering discipline. The program provides them up to four years of support while pursuing a doctoral degree in one of three major areas: materials under extreme conditions and hydrodynamics, high-energy density physics, or nuclear science. Each student performs a research assignment (minimum of 12 weeks) at a Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory. These fellowships and the laboratory experience have led to a large percentage of program alumni joining a DOE laboratory as research staff members.

The SSGF awardees for the 2011-2012 academic year are:

• Adam Cahill, plasma physics Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University
• John Gibbs, materials Science Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University
• Geoffrey Main, computational mathematics and engineering Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University
• Walter Pettus, experimental nuclear and particle physics Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin–Madison
• Jennifer Shusterman, nuclear chemistry Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Berkeley
• Christopher Young, plasma physics/thermosciences Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University

Funded by NNSA and founded in 2006, the SSGF program is administered by the Krell Institute. The SSGF recognizes an ever-increasing demand for scientists highly trained in areas of interest in fields of complex science and engineering that are critical to stewardship science.

Information about the conference is available at:

Click to see complete agenda:

Information about the fellowship and the current students being supported can be found at:

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.