FIU’s DOE Fellows participated in last week’s 2010 Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix, AZ. A total of 24 FIU students (21 DOE Fellows and 3 Ph.D. candidate engineering students) participated in this year’s Waste Management Symposia. Fifteen (15) DOE Fellows and one FIU Ph.D. candidate presented their research at the Student Poster Competition. In addition, 3 DOE Fellows and one FIU Ph.D. candidate presented their research during the professional poster sessions. One DOE Fellow (Cristian Acevedo) gave an oral presentation detailing his summer internship work at the Savannah River Site. Cristian worked under the supervision of Mr. Mike Serrato and his research involved in-situ decontamination of SRS reactors.

The DOE Fellows also had the opportunity to meet Dr. Ines Triay (DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management) and had a chance to describe their EM applied research work at FIU’s Applied Research Center and the work they have performed during their internships at DOE sites and national laboratories. In addition, two DOE Fellows (Leydi Velez and Denny Carvajal) were featured in the WM Insight Newsletter distributed at the conference.

DOE Fellows, Dr. Ines Triay (DOE's Assistant Secretary for Env. Management), and Dr. Lagos

DOE Fellows, Dr. Ines Triay (DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Env. Management), and Dr. Lagos

This year, Ms. Leydi Velez (Graduate Student – DOE Fellow Class of 2007) received an award for winning last year’s (WM09) best overall professional poster on her work entitled Decision Analysis Tool for Surveillance & Maintenance of DOE Facilities.

In addition, Mr. Denny Carvajal (Graduate Student – DOE Fellow Class of 2009) won 1st place in this year’s Student Poster Competition. As part of his EM applied research and thesis topic, Denny is investigating the effects of increased microbial activity on meta-autunite mineral stability to improve the understanding of mass transfer processes, such as biosorption, affecting the mobility of uranyl species in the subsurface (A Study of Uranium Biosorption by DOE-Hanford Site Soil Isolates: Effect of pH and Carbonate).

Also, this year, another FIU student won best poster for Track 7 (poster session 52D). Ms. Reshmi Banerjee (Ph.D. candidate Biomedical Engineering) presented her research entitled “Magnetic Nanosensors for Monitoring and Detection of Uranium in Aqueous Environment at Hanford Site.”

In addition, DOE Fellow Leydi Velez participated in Panel Session # 36 “Graduating Students and New Engineers – Wants & Needs vs. Corporate Wants and Needs.” During this panel session, students and industry and government representatives shared their points of views on wants and needs from both sides. Leydi gave a moving presentation detailing her expectation of future employers. Also, a former DOE Fellow and current EM Professional Development Corps recruit (Ms. Rosa Ramirez – DOE Fellow Class of 2008) participated in Panel Session # 37 “International Youth Nuclear Congress & Young Professionals.” Rosa described her experience as a DOE Fellow and as a current member of DOE’s EM-PDC program.

DOE Fellows, EM-PDC Recruits, Mr. Dae Chung (Principal Assistant Secretary) and Dr. Lagos

DOE Fellows, EM-PDC Recruits, Mr. Dae Chung (Principal Assistant Secretary) and Dr. Lagos

The FIU students had the opportunity to participate as Student Assistants at the conference and helped conference organizers and presenters during the technical sessions. In addition, our DOE Fellows women attended the Women of Waste Management panel and had a chance to interact with a working group of professional women working in the environmental engineering field.

DOE Fellows Program Director (Dr. Lagos) co-chaired several sessions (Student Poster Session #24, Session 67) and panel discussions (Panel # 36 and # 37). One of the sessions co-chaired by Dr. Lagos (session # 67) was entitled “Building a Nuclear Workforce for the 21st Century.” During this session, Dr. Lagos and the other presenters discussed the challenges of an existing aging workforce and the future needs of a nuclear workforce to face an eminent “nuclear renaissance.”

The DOE-FIU Science and Technology Workforce Development Initiative is an innovative program between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and Florida International University’s Applied Research Center designed to create a “pipeline” of minority engineers specifically trained and mentored to enter the Department of Energy workforce in technical areas of need.

This innovative program was designed to help address DOE’s future workforce needs by partnering with academic, government and DOE contractor organizations to mentor future minority scientists and engineers in the research, development, and deployment of new technologies addressing DOE’s environmental cleanup challenges. Students selected as DOE Fellows perform research at FIU and at a DOE site. Upon graduation and completion of this fellowship, the students will submit an application to join the DOE EM Professional Development Corps (PDC) and/or work for DOE contractors.


List of Posters presented:

Student Poster Competition: The Next Generation, Industry Leaders of Tomorrow

Professional Papers:

D&D of US DOE Facilities

  • Cristian Acevedo – Determining the Effects of Radiation on Aging Concrete Structures of Nuclear Reactors

Environmental Remediation Progress In Characterization

Environmental Remediation Corrective Actions – Part 2 of 2

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Leonel E. Lagos
DOE Fellows Program Director