Bethany Goldblum, Research Engineer

Open (1) Neutron Detection for Nuclear Security Applications

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

The modern international climate has engendered a revived sense of urgency into the development of detection systems capable of identifying radioactive materials. This has led to a broad national effort spanning basic physics and scientific computing to improve detection capabilities. Neutron detection is particularly attractive because shielding the neutron emissions of radioactive materials is much more difficult than shielding gamma radiation. Scintillators have long been the primary means of detecting these energetic neutrons, and many new classes of materials are currently under development. Our group has been working to further develop classic methods of quantifying the capabilities of these materials and is developing new methods for characterizing neutron detector materials based on a modern approach.

There are multiple opportunities for a URAP student to engage with the research team, through hands-on laboratory work, software development, and/or data analysis. The qualifications and specific tasks depend on the candidate's interests. For example, students may setup experimental configurations, participate in experiments at the 88-Inch Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, interact with data acquisition software and/or develop software for data analysis and interpretation of experimental results. The student is required to attend and participate in the Bay Area Neutron Group's weekly research meeting.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Josh Brown, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Required: Lower Division Physics (7 Series) and math through Math 54; Proficiency in C/C++ programming; Familiarity with a Linux/Unix environment Desired: Upper division undergraduate standing; Completion of NE101 Nuclear Reactions and Radiation (or equivalent); Experience with digital electronics and neutron detection; Proficiency in nuclear data analysis; Knowledge of basic circuits

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, CA 94720

Related website: http://bang.berkeley.edu
Related website: http://appliedphysics.nuc.berkeley.edu/

Open (2) 3D Printing and Advanced Materials

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

HEPA filtration is a critical component of safety systems in hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and nuclear facilities. The added demands of fire resistance, low pressure drop, and reusability have driven research efforts for more effective ceramic filtration technologies. Our group, in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is attempting to combine conventional ceramic processing techniques with additive manufacturing to create filters with complex internal geometries that can meet and exceed these requirements. This challenge requires a quantitative investigation of the capabilities of 3D printing of polymers for use as ceramic templates. The manufacturing limits of thermoplastic 3D printing, including accuracy and size, must be understood in relation to the design space of ceramic filters. This information will allow our group to develop novel filter designs that advance the state of the art.

There are multiple opportunities for a URAP student to engage with the research team on 3D printing, through hands-on laboratory work, software development, and/or data analysis. The qualifications and specific tasks depend on the candidate’s interest. The student is required to attend and participate in the Bay Area Neutron Group's weekly research meeting.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Mark Mitchell, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Required: Lower Division Physics (7 Series) and math through Math 54 Desired: Upper division undergraduate standing; Proficiency with 3D printing software

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Nuclear Science and Security Consortium
2150 Shattuck Ave, Ste 230
Berkeley, CA 94704

Related website: http://bang.berkeley.edu/
Related website: https://ipo.llnl.gov/content/assets/docs/entrepreneurs/mitchell_ceramicfilters_pres.pptx

Open (3) Data Analytics for Wireless Sensor Networks

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

Effective nuclear proliferation detection is hindered by the need to continuously verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and nuclear weapons-relevant activities. Multisensor data fusion has the potential to provide an integrated picture of difficult to detect phenomena, where composite signals can be used as proliferation indicators. Recent developments in ultra low power wireless sensor networks, in concert with advances in complexity science and statistical machine learning, offer a path forward for innovation in data analytics for proliferation detection and nuclear material security. This work uses a large self organizing network of compact portable wireless multi-sensor devices capable of operation for several years with very low power draw. The goal of this work is to fuse information from the many sensors and modalities to measure complex events reflective of nuclear proliferation.

The ideal candidate will have software development skills and an interest in working on concepts at the intersection of nuclear science and security policy.)

The URAP student will assist in the development of machine learning algorithms in Python for pattern recognition using heterogeneous input data. The student will attend weekly research meetings and collaborate with a team of undergraduate and graduate students.

Qualifications: Required: Undergraduate degree in progress; Interest in the intersection of science and nuclear security policy; Creative approach to problem-solving; Software development skills in Python Desired: Upper division undergraduate standing; Studies in mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, or related fields

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Nuclear Science and Security Consortium
2150 Shattuck Ave, Suite 230

Related website: http://complexity.berkeley.edu/
Related website: http://appliedphysics.nuc.berkeley.edu/

Open (4) Nuclear Forensics in Synthetic Urban Debris

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

The project will evaluate the influence of starting conditions on the final speciation of debris following a nuclear detonation. The chemistry of actinide species will be based on conditions experienced in a near surface "urban" nuclear detonation. Under these conditions the radionuclides of interest in the project, uranium and plutonium, will interact in the high temperature vapor phase. The uranium and plutonium cools and condenses on debris and water. This condensation condition is the focus area of the project. We will examine diffusion of actinides in synthetic urban debris using Scanning Tunneling X-ray microscopy. We will also explore the relative distribution and chemical speciation of uranium and plutonium in the debris.

The URAP participant will support literature review and experimental inquiry at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The URAP participant is also required to attend the BANG weekly research group meetings.

Qualifications: Required: Lower Division Physics (7 Series) and math through Math 54; Strong quantitative skills; Programming experience (e.g., familiarity with programming fundamentals) Desired: Upper division undergraduate standing; Completion of NE101 Nuclear Reactions and Radiation (or equivalent)

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, CA 94720

Related website: http://bang.berkeley.edu
Related website: http://appliedphysics.nuc.berkeley.edu/