Providing engaging opportunities for researchers and engineers at 16 DOE facilities

June 14, 2017

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), more than 2,000 students, faculty, recent graduates and postdoctoral researchers are spending the summer of 2017 supporting scientific research and discovery at more than a dozen DOE facilities across the United States. These individuals conduct hands-on research and explore scientific and technical challenges alongside staff scientists, engineers, and other mentors. This summer's participants come from 41 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Germany, and are embracing the opportunity to become strong contributors to the nation’s scientific workforce and strengthen U.S. competitiveness in STEM fields.

Read more about a few of these participants (below infographic) and how they plan to use their experiences going forward in their scientific and academic careers.2017 ORISE Research Participants infographic

2017 ORISE Participants Infographic

Kevin SlaterKevin Slater

Program: Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source

Education: Junior from the University of Chicago majoring in Physics and Molecular Engineering

Summer Focus: Studying the dynamics of confined Bovin Serum Albumin using molecular mechanics and quasi-elastic neutron scattering

My Long-Term Goals: "Ultimately, I would like to earn a Ph.D. in Physics and continue doing research. I’m hoping that this summer at ORNL might help me learn more about the various options in the fields of physics and molecular engineering so I can narrow my research focus a bit. It’s really cool to be a small part of a challenging project here at the SNS."

Hannah LandauHannah Landau

Program: Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Chemical Science Division

Education: Rising senior from the University of Tennessee majoring in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

Summer Focus: "We are using metal organic framework templates as an absorbent to separate nucleotides out of legacy waste streams. Under the direction of our mentor, I am working with three other interns—one from Pennsylvania, one from North Carolina, and another from Florida. We are all studying metal organic frameworks and their applications—learning together and exploring new ideas. I’ve learned so much in just a few short weeks.

At the beginning of the summer, I was struggling with my focus for graduate school. This internship and guidance from my mentor have helped me narrow my research focus to chemistry and raised my confidence in my abilities."

My Long-Term Goals: "I’m planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry, conduct research and possibly teach at a university."

Muhammed "Mo" AlhajMuhammed "Mo" Alhaj

Program: Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Office

Education: B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers University; pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science at Michigan State University with a focus on biopolymers or biodegradable polymers

Summer Focus: "I’m working in ORNL’s Technology Transfer Office on multiple projects this summer. We are basically talking to scientists and inventors about their projects, the applications, the issues that they are trying to solve, and what industries these inventions might help. We then talk to industries worldwide about how some of these inventions might help them solve major problems. This internship is a fantastic hybrid between science and business."

My Long-Term Goals: "Right now, my main goal is to continue my research in materials science, but with a focus on finding sustainable solutions for issues affecting developing countries. Sustainability is something that I am very passionate about, and the HERE program is a great step for my long-term career goals."

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Director, Communications
Office: 865.576.3146
Phone: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Manager, Communications
Office: 865.576.0028
Phone: 865.207.7953

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination. 

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit