Nov. 20, 2019 — UTSA is educating and preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers to provide innovative solutions to the grand challenges in nuclear security.
A cross-disciplinary team of researchers led by faculty members in the College of Sciences and the College of Engineering have been awarded nearly $3 million in grant funding by the National Nuclear Security Administration for their project CONNECT (The CONsortium on Nuclear sECurity Technologies).
UTSA team members included Kelly Nash (PI), associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; Miltos Alamaniotis, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Amanda Fernandez, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science; Harry Millwater, the Samuel G. Dawson Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Elizabeth Sooby Wood, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
“CONNECT is an excellent example of cross-disciplinary collaboration, drawing on the strengths of talented faculty in both the College of Sciences and the College of Engineering,” explained David Silva, dean of UTSA’s Colleges of Sciences. “We are excited to support this important venture that will prepare students to make positive impacts in nuclear security.”
“This type of collaboration between sciences and engineering researchers is critical to making the next big discoveries in energy and security. UTSA researchers continue to provide these unique opportunities to our students in the lab but also in the classroom, so that they are prepared to engage across all disciplines in their careers,” added JoAnn Browning, dean of UTSA’s College of Engineering.
The UTSA team is partnered with leaders in both student training and nuclear forensics science, including investigators at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (Frederic Poineau), St. Mary’s University (Juan Ocampo), Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Nash and Wood explained that the consortium will conduct basic and applied research that utilizes experimental and computational technologies to create a pipeline of diverse students with strong backgrounds in nuclear science, fissionable fuels fabrication and processing, nuclear materials characterization, nuclear forensic signatures, nuclear technology, and data and visual analytics.
Students studying physics, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering, among other disciplines, will work together on interdisciplinary research and network with experts in the nuclear security field.
“The overall goal of the project is to connect students interested in STEM with national Department of Energy labs and top experts so they are prepared to enter the workforce and be leaders in careers pertaining to national nuclear security,” explained Nash, the principal investigator of the grant.
“CONNECT gives students the opportunity to explore topics, such as nuclear materials and nuclear security and they may never have considered these fields before. The project has both an educational and scientific impact as it introduces students to the various career opportunities available,” replied Wood.
The CONNECT consortium is part of the NNSA Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program. which is designed to build a pipeline between the Department of Energy's sites and labs and minority-serving institutions in STEM disciplines and bring a heightened awareness of NNSA plants and laboratories to institutions with a common interest in STEM research fields. Currently MSIPP supports 10 consortium-based teams consisting of participants from select institutions.
“UTSA provides rich undergraduate experiential learning opportunities like this and it’s especially important for undergraduates because it provides a pathway for them to acquire real-world research and career experiences,” said Nash.
During the three-year grant, 13 Ph.D. students and nearly 30 undergraduate students will be supported through the project.
Nash said that UTSA and its CONNECT partners will host undergraduates during the summer to introduce the students to research and career opportunities and to also provide mentorship.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
UTSA students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to raise their voices and participate in the upcoming joint primary runoff election. Election day is Tuesday, May 24. Any registered Bexar County voter may vote at the H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102).Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), H-E-B Student Union, Main Campus
Please join us Wednesday, May 25, 2022 for a discussion with Colonel (ret) Michael Davis, MD, FACS, FRCS (Hon), former Director of the U.S. Combat Casualty Care Research Program. Dr. Davis will discuss how to best identify strengths at UTSA that can be effectively leveraged for funding proposals to the Department of Defense.UTSA Business Building University Room (2.06.04), Main Campus
UTSA is excited to introduce new flexible learning spaces available to the Roadrunner community. During this orientation, interested faculty will be guided through examples of innovative learning activities supported by these spaces and provided with an overview of relevant technical features.Virtual Event
Do you find yourself more worried than usual about our students? Would you like to feel more confident in your ability to provide support or assistance to them? We are pleased to announce this new brownbag professional development opportunity for you, Compassion Fatigue Training, that will be offered June 1, 2022.Faculty Center Large Conference Room (JPL 4.04.12C), Main Campus
The Faculty Coffee Chat is designed to provide faculty members the space to discuss current issues they are facing in an inclusive and supportive environment.Virtual Event
Join your fellow alumni at The Dooryard, for networking, drinks, professional portraits, and karaoke. Be sure to dress business on the top to make the most of this unique opportunity.The Dooryard, 4503 De Zavala Rd Suite 108, San Antonio, TX 78249
These sessions are focused on incoming Freshman who are attending the UTSA Summer Orientation and are intending to major in areas within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts! We'll have important information and giveaways for you - come meet us.Willow room (SU 2.02.1), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.