Doctoral student helps in the development of a nuclear safeguards repository
Logan Scott couldn’t pass up the chance to intern at a top-tier research facility like Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Scott, a doctoral student at Texas A&M University, recently participated in the Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) Program at ORNL. The NESLS program provides nuclear engineering research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
During his NESLS internship, Scott was part of the International Safeguards Group within the Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division.
Under the mentorship of Jessica White-Horton, an ORNL research and development staff member, Scott contributed to the development of a repository of documents and information related to international nuclear safeguards. The project, known as the Safeguards Knowledge Repository (SKR), was commissioned by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of International Nuclear Safeguards.
“With a highly collaborative global community, it is essential that documents and ideas from past research efforts are readily accessible as we work to ensure the peaceful usage of nuclear materials,” Scott said.
During the internship, Scott honed his skills in data and knowledge management, data mining and data analytics. He also attended several professional development seminars and networking events.
As a complement to his NESLS internship, Scott participated in the Nuclear Facilities Experience (NFE), a weeklong institute that allows young professionals from national laboratories and graduate students from partner universities to immerse themselves in the nuclear culture of other countries. Applications for the NFE open in the spring of each year.
As part of the NFE, Scott and 17 other delegates traveled to Japan, where they toured nuclear facilities, attended a seminar at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which commemorates the 1945 bombing during World War II.
“The Nuclear Facilities Experience was an invaluable week of immersion into the nuclear culture of Japan,” he said. “Getting behind-the-scenes tours at nuclear facilities was a unique opportunity to experience the Japanese efforts for each stage of the nuclear fuels cycle and build lasting personal and professional relationships halfway around the world.”
Scott is pursuing a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering at Texas A&M University. After graduating, he hopes to work in a field involving nuclear technologies.
“Whether this involves developing technology for energy generation or helping to protect nuclear materials against misuse, each new experience helps to build the cross-discipline knowledge necessary to advance the nuclear industry as a whole,” he said.
Overall, Scott would definitely recommend the NESLS program to others.
“It is the people all around the laboratory that make the NESLS program special,” he said. “From the researchers to the administrative staff, everyone is ready and willing to make the internship experience one of a kind.”
The NESLS program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.