Carson Noack, a junior engineering major from Houston, works for Abilene Christian University’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Laboratory during the school year, but he is spending his summer engaging in nuclear research in a different setting – Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Through his work at NEXT Lab, Noack was one of five ACU students to receive a scholarship from the Department of Energy as a part of the University Nuclear Leadership Program this spring.
He learned about the internship through reading about the lab’s work with small modular nuclear reactors in nuclear energy newsletters. Noack joins an international team in the material science and manufacturing departments, working on glass science for tank waste vitrification – the process of converting liquid radioactive waste into a solid, stable gas. His primary focus will be on modeling the vitrification process occurring in Joule-heated melters at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant at the laboratory’s Hanford site.
“I knew it was a significant contributor to nuclear research and development in the United States,” Noack said. “As a result, I applied for a summer internship with them and I hope to learn a lot.”
In order to participate in the Student Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program for INL, Noack had to complete an application with numerous essays and recommendations. He spent more than 20 hours on his application and interviewing with the leaders of the laboratory.
“When I found out I was accepted into the program, I was thrilled,” Noack said. “This is an incredible opportunity to learn more about nuclear energy and experience the beauty of Idaho during the summer. This internship could open many doors for me in the nuclear energy field.”
Learn more about the Department of Engineering and Physics.
— Connor Mullins
June 6, 2023