FIU’s DOE Fellows participated in last week’s 2011 Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix, AZ. A total of 23 FIU students participated in this year’s Waste Management Symposia. Twelve (12) DOE Fellows presented their research at the Student Poster Competition. In addition, 5 DOE Fellows, one FIU postdoctoral associate and 7 Applied Research Center (ARC) scientists presented their research during the professional poster sessions. Three DOE Fellows and three ARC scientists made oral presentations. One DOE Fellow, Nadia Lima, was part of Panel Session #37 “Graduating Students and New Engineers – Wants and Needs – Are Companies Even Listening?”


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 (Nadia Lima and Stephen Wood) were featured in the WM Insight Newsletter distributed at the conference.

DOE Fellow, Stephen Wood (Graduate Student – DOE Fellow Class of 2008), won 1st place in the Student Poster Competition.  As part of his EM applied research and thesis topic Stephen is authoring software that enhances the accuracy of the method of characteristics in modeling pipeline transients and a web interface to facilitate its use (Unplugging of High Level Waste Pipelines: Method of Characteristics).    This is the third year in a row that a FIU student has won this prestigious international award.  FIU Applied Research Center Postdoctoral Associate, Siamak Halek, won 1st place in the Professional Poster competition Track 7: Environmental Remediation and was recognized as the winner of the best overall Professional Poster (Numerical Simulation of mercury Fate and Transport in Upper East Fork Poplar Creek, Oak Ridge, TN).  He will receive his award at next year’s Waste Management conference.

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. Leonel Lagos) served on the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) and co-chaired several sessions (Student Poster Session #26) and panel discussions (Panel # 37 and # 38). Dr. Lagos made a presentation titled D&D Toolbox Project – Technology Demonstration of Decontamination Gel and Strippable Coatings Applied Via Remote Sprayer Platform in Session #22 (D&D of US DOE Facilities).  Dr. Lagos also made a presentation titled Workforce Development for the Nuclear Industry – A Global Issue in Session #100 (Training, Education, Knowledge Management and Communication for Safety and Performance).

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 Student Career Experience Program and/or work for DOE contractors.


List of Posters being presented:

Poster Session 26: Student Poster Competition: The Next Generation – Industry Leaders of Tomorrow

Professional Posters:

Poster Session 86 – Non-Paper Poster Session for Emerging Issues

Poster Session 70 – Topic F: D&D: Contamination Control Measures

Poster Session 55 – Topic A: Fisson Products, Actinide Monitoring and Remediation

Poster Session 25 – Topic B: Storage and Retrieval of Liquid and Solid HLW

Oral Presentations:

Session 20 – Management of Nuclear Power Plant Dry Waste

Session 97 – Application of Innovative D&D Technologies

  • Mario Vargas & William Mendez – Remote System for Characterizing, Monitoring and Inspecting the Inside of Contaminated Nuclear Stacks

Session 23 – Groundwater Remediation Projects

  • Charles Castello – Mercury Remediation using Dow’s Experimental XUS-43604.00 Ion-Exchange Resin at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA

Session 68 – Innovative Field Monitoring for Environmental Remediation

  • Charles Castello – Preliminary Study of a Prototype Methyl-Mercury Monitor for In-Field Pore Water Sample Analyses

Panel Session Participation:

Panel Session # 37 – Graduating Students and New Engineers – Wants and Needs – Are Companies Even Listening?