UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers to graduate students research opportunities in the areas of environmental studies and nuclear spectroscopy. These studies include the application of nuclear spectroscopic techniques to trace elemental analysis, and the transport of radioactivity in the environment.
Research is focussed on the application of nuclear spectroscopic techniques to trace elemental analysis. There is an active program in instrumental neutron activation analysis employing both thermal and epithermal neutrons. There are a wide variety of opportunities for research both in method development and in the application of trace elemental analysis to the understanding of environmental problems. The Department of Nuclear Engineering has also cooperated in the development of a program to apply modern materials characterization techniques to ancient artifacts and archeological materials which has created a number of possible research projects. There is also a substantial research effort in the development of innovative statistical techniques for interpreting large environmental data sets. There is an active program in receptor modeling for the identification and source apportionment on ambient aerosol mass. Nuclear spectroscopy-based analytical methods such as instrumental neutron activation and x-ray fluorescence analysis provide substantial information on the composition of samples of ambient particulate matter. The problem then exists to identify where the particles originate, to understand their transport to the sampling site, and to determine the chemistry that took place during the transit period. The mathematical methods necessary to analyze large, complex environmental data sets has been an area of active study and further work continues to be needed. A strong cooperation between the Department of Nuclear Engineering and several State of Illinois laboratories to undergo heavy metal monitoring using nuclear methods also exists.
The 1.5 MW Illinois Advanced TRIGA Reactor facility is a focal point for much of the trace element research. Several high resolution gamma spectrometer systems including a state-of-the-art low and high energy photon detector and multichannel analyzers are available. Several types of aerosol generators and aerosol monitoring equipment are available for the transport studies. The University of Illinois also has extensive computer facilities and exceptional library resources.
Student support is available from a variety of sources including government fellowships, University fellowships, and research and teaching assistantships. At times, other support for study and research aimed at a specific topic may be available. Those interested in applying for support should state this and note any preferences for the type of support desired when filing for admission. An indication of specific research interests would be helpful but is not required.
Forms and further information can be obtained by writing to:
Dr. Barclay G. Jones
Department of Nuclear Engineering
University of Illinois
103 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
PHONE: (217) 333-3598