Florida International University’s DOE Fellow STEM students, as well as, professional researchers from the Applied Research Center (ARC) at Florida International University (FIU) participated in the Waste Management 2017 Symposia (WM17) in Phoenix, AZ, from March 5-9, 2017.

On Monday March 6, 2017, DOE Fellows attended Waste Management symposia’s plenary session and had an opportunity to meet Ms. Sue Cange, DOE-EM’s Acting Assistant Secretary and Benjamin Rivera DOE-EM International program. During the meeting Ms. Cange interacted with our DOE Fellows and enquired about their DOE-EM related research. The students and Dr. Lagos (PI, and DOE Fellows program director) had a chance to ask Ms. Cange few questions about the DOE-EM program and its technical challenges.

FIU DOE Fellows with DOE-EM’s Acting Assistant Secretary, Sue Cange, DOE-EM International Program Benjamin Rivera, and DOE Fellows program Director/PI, Dr. Leonel Lagos at WM17.
DOE Fellows
(Back row left to right) Gene Yllanes, Hansell Gonzalez-Raymat, Mohammed Albassam, Alexander Piedra, Alejandro Gonzalez, Alejandro Hernandez, Sebastian Zanlongo, Juan Morales, Michael DiBono, Andres Cremisini.
(Front row left to right) Clarice Davila, Silvina Di Pietro, Christine Wipfli, Frances Zengotita, Sarah Solomon, Ripley Raubenolt, Alexis Smoot.


Student Poster Exhibition/Competition (Monday March 6, 2017, 1:25 – 5:00 pm, Exhibit Hall 4)

A total of seventeen (17) DOE Fellows attended and presented technical posters during Session 33 (Student Poster Competition: The Next Generation – Industry Leaders of Tomorrow) scheduled for Monday, March 6, 2017. The Fellows presented the hands-on DOE-EM research that they have actively participated in at FIU’s ARC and during their summer internships at DOE sites, national laboratories, and site contractors. The DOE Fellows’ posters include:

  1. Laboratory Analysis of the Spectral Induced Polarization Response of Biofilm Formation within Hanford Sediment – Alejandro Garcia (DOE Fellow)
  2. In Situ Precipitation of Silver Chloride for Treatment of 129I-Contaminated Groundwater – Alejandro Hernandez (DOE Fellow)
  3. Baseline Adhesion Testing of Intumescent Coatings – Alexander Piedra (DOE Fellow)
  4. Study of Synergetic Interactions between Uranium, Humic Acid, Silica Colloids and SRS Sediments at Variable pH – Alexis Smoot (DOE Fellow)
  5. Cross-Platform Mobile App for KM-IT Fixatives Module – Andres Cremisini (DOE Fellow)
  6. Promoting the Creation of a Global Inventory for Radioactively Contaminated Sites – Christine Wipfli (DOE Fellow)
  7. Thermal Measurement and Modeling of Nuclear Waste in the Double Shell Tanks at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site Using Miniature Sensors – Clarice Davila (DOE Fellow)
  8. Role of Ionic Strength on Sorption of Neodymium on Dolomite – Frances Zengotita (DOE Fellow)
  9. T-Rex: A Multipurpose All-Terrain Robotic Platform – Gene Yllanes (DOE Fellow)
  10. Study of an Unrefined Humate Solution as a Possible Remediation Method for Groundwater Contamination – Hansell Gonzalez Raymat (DOE Fellow)
  11. Accumulated Metal Analysis for Watershed Toxicology Management in Tims Branch, Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC – Juan Morales (DOE Fellow)
  12. Miniature Motorized Inspection Tool For DOE Hanford Site Tank Bottoms – Michael Di Bono (DOE Fellow)
  13. In-Situ Water Quality Sampling and Flow Measurement to Support Hydrological Model Development for Tims Branch Watershed, Savannah River Site, SC – Mohammed Albassam (DOE Fellow)
  14. Investigating the Effect of Sorbed Humic Acid on the Mobility of Uranium – Ripley Raubenolt (DOE Fellow)
  15. Shewanella oneidensis MR1 Interaction with U(VI) in Bicarbonate Media – Sarah Solomon (DOE Fellow)
  16. Low-Cost Robotic Platform for D&D Activities – Sebastian Zanlongo (DOE Fellow)
  17. Fate of U and Mineral Dissolution upon Treatment with NaOH or NH4OH – Silvina Di Pietro (DOE Fellow)

DOE Fellow Alexis Smoot presenting her research at the WM17 student poster session.

DOE Professional Presentations

In addition, two (2) professional oral presentations were given by DOE Fellows based on the applied research being conducted by ARC on behalf of DOE-EM in major areas of research including High Level Waste and  Soil and Groundwater Remediation. The professional presentations included:

  • Ammonia Gas Treatment for Uranium Immobilization at US DOE Hanford Site. Silvina Di Pietro, Hilary Emerson, Yelena Katsenovich (FIU).
    Presenter: Silvina Di Pietro (DOE Fellow)
    Session: 049 Environmental Remediation Progress Toward Closure of Contaminated Sites Around the World
  • Development and Testing of Robotic Inspection Tools for the High-Level Waste Double Shell Tanks at Hanford. Michael DiBono, Dwayne McDaniel, Yew Teck (William) Tan, Anthony Abrahao, Ryan Sheffield (FIU).
    Presenter: Michael DiBono (DOE Fellow)
    Session: 066 HLW Inspections and Sampling

Participation of DOE Fellows WM17 Panel Sessions

Session 041 on Tuesday, March 7, hosted a panel discussion on Graduating Students and New Engineers: Wants and Needs – STEM Students: Industry Dialog & Exchange of Knowledge Session. DOE Fellow, Christine Wipfli, participated as the panel reporter and DOE Fellow, Michael DiBono, participated in the panel discussion. This panel was focused on new hires and graduating engineers having open lines of communication with employers. Considering the projected shortfalls in the workforce, effective communication of wants-and-needs of both the employer and employee must exist.

Session 042, also on Tuesday, hosted a panel discussion on Young Professionals in Nuclear Science and Engineering: An International Perspective Session. DOE Fellow, Christine Wipfli, participated in this panel discussion. This panel was focused on young professionals and covers views on radioactive waste management from young persons’ perspectives from all around the world with an aim to encourage fresh thinking and provide an opportunity for an open and frank discussion on issues.

Awards and Recognitions

DOE Fellow, Alejandro Hernandez, has been selected as a recipient of a 2017 Roy G. Post Foundation Scholarship at the undergraduate student level. This recognition will be awarded to Alejandro during the conference at Tuesday’s Luncheon.

Additional information about the ongoing research being performed at FIU or the DOE-FIU Science and Technology Workforce Development Program can be obtained by contacting Dr. Leonel Lagos (ARC Director of Research) at (305) 348-1810 or lagosl@fiu.edu.