In 2017, DOE Fellow, Tristan Simoes-Ponce, joined the DOE-FIU Science and Technology Workforce Development Initiative (DOE Fellows program) as an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelors’ degree in mechanical engineering. As part of the DOE Fellows program, Tristan joined the Applied Research Center’s (ARC’s) Deactivation and Decommissioning (D&D) team led by Mr. Joseph Sinicrope. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Spring 2018, Tristan continued his education by enrolling in the Mechanical Engineering Master’s degree program at FIU. As a DOE Fellow, he conducted DOE EM related research at ARC and completed two summer internships at DOE’s Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. James “Connor” Nicholson. As a part of his research at FIU, he tested and evaluated Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Polyurethane Foams as Permanent Foaming Fixatives for D&D Activities at DOE facilities. During his summer internships at SRNL, he performed mechanical testing on the polyurethane foams to support a planned hot demonstration of the technology onsite in a radioactive environment.  The research he performed at FIU and SRNL supported his master’s thesis, which received high accolades from his committee members which included his SRNL mentor (Dr. Nicholson), FIU’s Mechanical and Materials Engineering committee members, Dr. Boesl (his major professor), Dr. Levy, and ARC members (Dr. Lagos and Mr. Sinicrope). Tristan has presented his research at various conferences, and he received second place for the poster he presented at the DOE Fellows annual poster exhibition. After successfully completing his master’s degree at FIU, Tristan immediately accepted a job offer from SRNL as a Mechanical Engineer in SRNL’s Mechanical Engineering Group, where he is expected to lead the transition of the intumescent foam technology in support of real-world D&D activities. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Tristan was not able to immediately travel to Aiken, SC, but he has already started his career at SRNL working remotely from Miami.

We are proud of Tristan’s achievements, GANAS!!!