Penn State Breazeale Reactor is growing in size and opportunity

The SANS tool is expected to serve as a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration between units and campuses, including the College of Engineering; Eberly College of Science; College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Penn State Erie, Behrend College; the Huck Institute of Life Sciences and the Materials Research Institute, said Jean Paul Allain, head of nuclear engineering. As such, the expansion will also include office space for RSEC staff, nuclear engineering faculties, graduate students, and visiting researchers who will work with Penn State faculty on the SANS instrument and the Breazeale reactor.

“The Department of Nuclear Engineering and RSEC’s education and research mission has had a strategic partnership in the College of Engineering for many decades,” said Allain. “The college is already strengthening strong relationships and investing heavily in the nuclear engineering department and RSEC.”

Together with Lora Weiss, Senior Vice President for Research at Penn State University, the groundbreaking ceremony for the management of both units took place in order to symbolically begin construction; Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of the College of Engineering; Thomas Walsh, Vice President and USNE Regional Director, Stantec; Dwayne Rush, project manager at Penn State Office of Physical Plant; Anthony Atchley, Senior Associate Dean at the College of Engineering; Coleman Smith, a third year student majoring in nuclear engineering; Alibek Kenges, a PhD student in nuclear engineering; Michael Sgriccia, Senior Project Manager, Alexander Hochbau; Brian Schmoke, RSEC facility specialist; Jeffrey Geuther, RSEC associate director for operations; and Craig Dubler, director of facilities at the College of Engineering.

“The partnership between Dr. Ünlü and Allain, in addition to organizing the physical upgrades, but also initiating truly transformative research and curriculum efforts, is a prime example of the interdisciplinary work that positions Penn State as a leader in nuclear research, ”said Schwartz. “Penn State is emerging as one of the country’s premier neutron research destinations – a vibrant hub for students and researchers engaged in multidisciplinary education and research.”

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