On November 5, 2015, Florida International University’s (FIU’s) Applied Research Center (ARC) conducted the ninth (9th) annual DOE Fellows Induction Ceremony. This year, twelve (12) FIU STEM students were inducted as DOE Fellows. Dr. Monica Regalbuto (Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, DOE EM) was one of the keynote speakers for the ceremony. Other distinguished guests included Ms. Rosa Elmetti (Technical Advisor for International Programs, DOE EM), Mr. John De Gregory (Technical Program Monitor, Office of D&D and Facility Engineering, DOE EM), Dr. Jeff Griffin (Associate Laboratory Director, Environmental Stewardship, SRNL), Mr. Jose Sanchez (Director, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, US Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), US Army Corps of Engineers), Dr. Carlos Ruiz (Senior Research Scientist, ERDC, Army Corps of Engineers), Dr. Kevin Cooper (Dean of Applied Research & Entrepreneurial Activities, Indian River State College), Mr. Jim Voss (Managing Director, Waste Management Symposia, Inc.), Mr. Jorge Rosenblut (President, Strategies & Business Development, Corp.), Mr. Vijay Alreja (VJT Founder and President, VJ Technologies, Inc.), Ms. Rosey Villagomez (Marketing Coordinator, IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc. and NitroCision, LLC), and Mr. Christopher Wright (Director of Operations, Cabrera Services, Inc.). FIU was represented at the event by Dr. Kenneth Furton (Provost, Executive Vice President, FIU), Dr. Andrés Gil (Vice President for Research), Dr. Ranu Jung (Interim Dean, College of Engineering and Computing), Dr. Inés Triay (ARC Executive Director) and Dr. Leonel E. Lagos (Principal Investigator for DOE-FIU Cooperative Agreement and Director, DOE Fellows Program), as well as FIU faculty, staff, and students.

During the ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Dr. Monica Regalbuto and FIU’s Provost (Dr. Kenneth Furton). This MOU between DOE and FIU commemorates a renewal of a strong partnership between the two organizations that started in 1995. The renewal is part of the five (5) year, $20M DOE-FIU Cooperative Agreement between DOE and FIU. The new five year cycle officially started on August 29, 2015 and has a period of performance ending on August 28, 2020. Under this new agreement, FIU will continue conducting scientific research in support of DOE EM environmental restoration mission and the STEM workforce development program (DOE Fellows Program) that provides research and employment opportunities to FIU STEM minority students.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was also signed by Dr. Jeff Griffin and Dr. Andres Gil, to commemorate the strong research collaboration relationship between the Applied Research Center at FIU and the Savannah River National Laboratory in the areas of deactivation and decommissioning (D&D), environmental remediation (ER), high level waste treatment and disposal, radiochemistry, nuclear forensics and cyber security.

Ms. Regalbuto and the other distinguished guests had the opportunity to participate in morning tours of the ARC research laboratories and listen to DOE Fellows presenting their research work. Presentations were given by Dr. Lagos and DOE Fellows Ryan Sheffield and Hansell Gonzalez. Dr. Lagos presented an overview of the DOE Fellows program. DOE Fellow Ryan Sheffield presented his DOE EM research on developing a miniature motorized inspection tool for DOE Hanford Site tank bottoms. DOE Fellow Hansell Gonzalez presented his DOE EM research on unrefined humate solutions as a possible remediation method for groundwater contamination. Tours of the ARC facilities included visits to the ARC test and evaluation facility for a demonstration on the incombustible fixatives research; the radiological laboratory; the modeling, simulation & GIS laboratory; the soil and groundwater laboratory; the IT and cyber research laboratory; and the robotics and sensors laboratory for a demonstration of the inspection tools being developed for double-shell tanks at the Hanford Site. In addition, eighteen (18) DOE Fellows had the opportunity to showcase their research by presenting posters as part of the afternoon events.

The Science & Technology Workforce Development Program (DOE Fellows Program) was established in 2007 under a partnership between FIU and DOE EM to create a “pipeline” of minority scientists and engineers specifically trained and mentored to enter the DOE’s workforce in technical areas of need. During this year’s induction ceremony, 12 new FIU STEM students were inducted as DOE Fellows:

In addition, awards were presented to the DOE Fellows that won the DOE Fellows Poster Exhibition and Competition held on October 21, 2015. First place was awarded to Ms. Christine Wipfli for her poster titled, “Sodium Silicate Treatment for Uranium (VI) Bearing Groundwater at F/H Area at Savannah River Site.” Second place went to Mr. Hansell Gonzalez Raymat for his poster titled, “Study of an Unrefined Humate Solution as a Possible Remediation Method for Groundwater Contamination.” Third place was awarded to Mr. Anthony Fernandez for his poster titled “Nonmetallic Materials Testing for Hanford’s HLW Transfer System.”

For the seventh year, the DOE Fellow of the Year Award and the Mentor of the Year Award were presented at the ceremony. DOE Fellows were requested to nominate their ARC mentors and ARC mentors were requested to nominate the DOE Fellows. An ARC committee was established to review and select the winners from the submitted nominations. The 2015 Mentor of the Year Award went to Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Vasileios Anagnostopoulos. The 2015 DOE Fellow of the Year Award was awarded to Mr. Hansell Gonzalez Raymat (DOE Fellows Class of 2013). A new award for the 2015 Emerging DOE Fellow of the Year was awarded to Mr. Jesse Viera (DOE Fellows Class of 2014) and Mr. Jorge Deshon (DOE Fellows Class of 2014).

Dr. Monica Regalbuto (Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, DOE EM) and other guests tour the Applied Research Center’s Robotics Laboratory and Outdoor D&D Test Facility at FIU.


Dr. Monica Regalbuto (Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, DOE EM), Dr. Ranu Jung (Interim Dean College of Engineering and Computing), Dr. Gil (FIU VP for Research), Dr. Kent Furton (FIU Provost), and Applied Research Center’s Executive Director (Dr. Triay), and Director of Research & Principal Investigator (Dr. Lagos)


For more information on this unique program, please contact DOE-FIU Cooperative Agreement, Principal Investigator and DOE Fellows Director, Dr. Leonel E. Lagos at LagosL@fiu.edu or (305) 348-1810.