2013 Delegation


Matthew Gidden

Matthew is a Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying nuclear engineering and energy policy. He previously attended Texas A&M University where he received a B.S. in nuclear engineering. Matthew currently works in the Fuel Cycle Research Group at UW – Madison under Professor Paul Wilson. His research interest is primarily fuel-cycle simulation and analysis and related policy topics, such as used-fuel recycling, long-term fuel storage, and nuclear nonproliferation.

Matthew is an active member of the American Nuclear Society, serving as the 2008 Student Conference Co- Chair as well as participating in the governance of ANS at the national level. He has previously held internship positions at both Oak Ridge National Laboratory working on the detection of illicit radioactive materials and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory working on automated verification techniques. He has also had the opportunity to work for AREVA in Paris, France on both the transportation of used nuclear fuel as well as nuclear reactor accident analysis.

Co-Vice Chairs

Mark Reed

Mark has received his S.B. degree in Physics as well as his S.B. and S.M. degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT, and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. His past research includes magnetic confinement fusion and its application as a neutron source in fission-fusion hybrid systems, enhanced fission yield modeling techniques, and strategic plant siting in the context of seismic history. His current doctoral research focuses on the neutronic effects of geometric distortions in fast reactors.

He has performed reactor modeling at TerraPower and risk assessment for the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In his pre-nuclear life, he was an engineering project management intern for the iPhone 3G at Apple and a research assistant at the Princeton University Department of Astrophysical Sciences. Passionate about nuclear policy, he has published a series of six articles on the history of nuclear technology, served as a speechwriter for an elected official, and conceived the 2013 American Nuclear Society Student Conference theme “Public Image of the Nuclear Engineer”. In his spare time, he pursues his affinities for hiking, making random iPhone applications, and composing awkward third-person autobiographies.

Nicholas Thompson

Nicholas is a Ph.D. student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) studying Nuclear Engineering and Science. He graduated RPI in 2011 with a B.S. and an M.Eng. in Nuclear Engineering. He has previously held two summer internships at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, and from 2010 to 2011, was an undergraduate researcher at the Gaerttner Linear Accelerator Center (LINAC) Laboratory at RPI.

Nick’s current research focuses on using a Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometer (LSDS) for measuring various nuclear data. In particular, two of the projects he is working on are to make capture cross section measurements and fission fragment distribution measurements, both with the LINAC and RPI LSDS. While working as an undergraduate researcher, Nick helped research and perform experiments with the RPI LSDS to assay plutonium and uranium with the goal of nondestructively assaying spent fuel. Nick is an NRC licensed Senior Reactor Operator, was selected as a winner of the Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award in 2011, and was a recipient of a 2014 NAYGN Excellence Award. He was also the President of the RPI ANS section from 2012-2013. Nick was also an NESD delegate in 2012, and one of the Co-Vice Chairs in 2013. Some of Nick’s research interests include nuclear data, reactor design, accelerator technologies and applications, and nuclear energy policy. Nick is an avid skier, enjoys playing billiards, and believes that cheap, clean, reliable, safe nuclear power can help the economy and the environment.


Shelly Arreguin

Shelly is a Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Ph.D. student at the University of Washington in Seattle (UW). She obtained a M.S. in MSE from the UW and bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology at UW. Her primary research interest involves investigating the relationship of processing and properties of materials and their performance under extreme conditions (nuclear, high temperature, accident scenarios, etc.).

Shelly has worked extensively on developing unique processing routes from preceramic polymers to test their capabilities in various energy applications such as: catalysts for fuel cells (CU), hydrogen storage (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), waste-to-energy incinerators (UW) and now high temperature nuclear environments (UW). Previously, Shelly held an appointment at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a Mickey Leland Energy Fellow where she designed chalcohalide glasses for the storage of nuclear waste streams with increased halide content. Currently, she is at PNNL exploring the microstructural evolution of irradiated porous and dense polymer derived SiC ceramics for her Ph.D. thesis. When not in the lab, Shelly enjoys: cave exploration, studying extremophiles and their associated geology, NASAs Kepler Mission, understanding the role of bio-indicators of environmental contamination, mushroom hunting, SCUBA and public outreach, exposing myths vs. realities in nuclear science and technology.

Samuel Brinton

Samuel is completing a double M.S. program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Nuclear Engineering and the Technology and Policy Program. They are a graduate from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and a B.A. in Vocal Music Performance and a minor in Chinese Language. Their research interests are concentrated on nuclear fuel cycle system analysis with subtopics of interest including fuel cycle economics and dry cask storage analysis.

Samuel has had internships at the Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Dow Chemical Company in various projects relating to nuclear engineering and systems analysis. They are a strong activist in a variety of civil rights and nonproliferation issues and finds that only with a constant interaction with our legislative representatives can we hope to make true and lasting impacts on policy. In their spare time Samuel enjoys running, singing with choirs and opera companies, and cheering for the K-State Wildcats and MIT Engineers.

Lane Carasik

Lane Carasik is a PhD graduate student and Nuclear Energy University Programs Fellow at Texas A&M University studying nuclear and mechanical engineering under Dr. Yassin Hassan. At A&M, Lane is a part of the Nuclear Power Engineering Research group that conducts research on current and advanced reactor technologies. His research interests include nuclear thermal hydraulics and methods development for computational fluid dynamics.

Currently, Lane is a visiting researcher at the Imperial College London investigating turbulent thermal jets under Dr. Simon Walker. He has had previous internships at Westinghouse Electric Company and Tennessee Valley Authority working on reactor coolant systems. At Westinghouse Electric Company, he worked on steady state and transient analysis for Électricité de France reactor coolant system components and CFD method development. Lane has also participated in a REU at Georgia Tech Savannah researching aircraft manufacturing.

Lane graduated in December 2012 with his bachelors in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At UTK, he conducted nuclear thermal hydraulics research under Dr. Arthur Ruggles.

Lane is an active member of the American Nuclear Society and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Lane is currently the Vice Chair of the ANS Student Section Committee, Thermal Hydraulics Division Executive Committee member, and the 2015 ANS Student Conference Technical Director. Lane has previously been the Chair of the UTK ANS student section and the student chair for PHYSOR 2012.

Andrew Cartas

Andrew is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida studying Nuclear Engineering where he obtained his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering in 2011. His current research focus is on nuclear fuel fabrication, utilizing depleted Uranium, and material performance under irradiation. Andrew has also focused his research efforts on Silicon Carbide as a fuel additive and matrix material for UO2.

Andrew has been heavily involved in the University of Florida ANS student section having served two years as treasurer and is the outgoing section president. During the summer of 2011, he was selected to be the student chair for the 2011 ANS National Conference in Hollywood, FL. He is currently serving on ANS National Subcommittee for Disbursement of ANS Travel Funds to Students. Andrew has interned at Argonne National Lab and participated in the Nondestructive Assay Applications for International Safeguards program held at Oak Ridge National Lab.

Erin Dughie

Erin is a PhD. graduate student at the University of New Mexico studying nuclear engineering. She recently graduated with her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Her research interests include radiation detection and measurements. In the past she has worked on detection techniques for nonproliferation, and semiconductor devices. Her current work focuses on the detection of dark matter.

Erin is an active member of IEEE and the American Nuclear Society. She has previously held internships at Los Alamos National Laboratory working on MCNPX code development, and space nuclear power. In her free time, Erin is involved in outreach activities at the local science museum. She also works with several programs at the University of New Mexico that facilitate K-12 science and technology activities.

Tom Grimes

Tom Grimes has received a B.S. and M.S. degree from Purdue University in Nuclear Engineering and is currently a PhD graduate student at Purdue University studying Nuclear Engineering as well as an MBA student with a focus on Entrepreneurship. Tom currently works in the Metastable Fluid and Advanced Research Lab under Professor Rusi Taleyarkhan. He was formerly a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, but is now funded through the Purdue Doctoral Fellowship. His research interests include nuclear non-proliferation, fluid dynamics, radiation transport, acoustics, and materials (he holds an international patent for PLA-based coatings).

Tom’s current doctoral research focuses on developing a fundamental physics model to describe the operation of Metastable Fluid Detectors (with wider application toward general cavitation studies e.g. making quieter submarines or faster jet planes). The primary goal of this research being the creation of inexpensive, directional, spectroscopic, high intrinsic efficiency particle detectors. His first brush with nuclear policy-making came while evaluating Metastable Fluid Detectors for application in Radiation Portal Monitors. Since then he has maintained a strong interest in border security and non-proliferation policy.

Thomas Holschuh

Tommy is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nuclear engineering at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. He received a bachelor’s in nuclear engineering from OSU in 2013.

Tommy began performing research for Sandia National Laboratories in 2007 and Oregon State University in 2010. His previous research areas include magnetically-confined fusion, supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle systems, irradiation experiments, and advanced diagnostics for the U.S. research reactor fuel conversion program. Additionally, he is involved in OSU’s student chapter of the American Nuclear Society, in which he leads outreach programs for Boy Scouts and other local youth groups.

For his graduate work, he will be involved in the High Temperature Test Facility, a scaled gas reactor facility, as a research assistant under Dr. Brian Woods. Tommy enjoys living in Oregon and likes trail running, rock climbing, and soccer.

Anagha Iyengar

Anagha Iyengar is a Ph.D. student in the Nuclear Engineering department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012, and her M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from UT Knoxville in 2013. Her research interests lie in nuclear security, nuclear technology policy, nonproliferation technologies, international relations and energy policy. She is working on her graduate research in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratories under Dr. Jason Hayward, and is a part of the Nuclear Materials Detection and Characterization group. Her past research focus was on helping develop a passive hybrid detector array with capabilities for dual gamma and neutron imaging, as well as neutron and gamma ray spectroscopy. This project implements passive, standoff threat detection, which is important for nonproliferation applications.

Anagha is an active member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM). In the past, she has had multiple internships working on developing and characterizing detection technologies at UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and Sandia National Laboratories.

Starting June 2014, Anagha will be working for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) through the Graduate Fellowship Program, where she will be supporting the safeguards technology and policy group while gaining experience working closely with the Department of Energy. She is passionate about outreach efforts in local communities and schools to advocate and encourage STEM education. She also writes for the Nuclear Literacy Project to help dispel myths about the nuclear industry.

Buckley ODay

Buck is a Ph.D. Graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying Nuclear Science and Engineering. He previously attended the Air Force Institute of Technology where he earned a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering, the University of Maryland University College where he earned a Master of International Management, and the United States Military Academy where he earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He currently studies nuclear materials detection under MIT Senior Research Scientist Dr. Dick Lanza. His research interests include detection of nuclear materials, nuclear policy & security, radiation effects, and nuclear nonproliferation.

Ekaterina Paramonova

Ekaterina (Katia) Paramonova is a Masters graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE). She completed her Bachelors at MIT with a major in NSE and a minor in Public Policy. Katia is working on experimental materials research on mitigating the deposition of CRUD with Professor Michael Short. She plans on going to France for her PhD in nuclear engineering to get a third view on the industry in addition to her US and Russian perspectives. After completing her studies, Katia then want to work in the industry or at a think tank for some time and then moving on to international energy policy, with a focus on nuclear energy.

Katia is an active member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). She is the 2013-2014 co-President of the MIT ANS section and was a co-Chair for the 2013 ANS Student Conference held at MIT. She has interned at Westinghouse, worked on various research projects at MIT including MCNP-Serpent benchmarking work, copper 63 and 65 capture cross section measurements, public perception of nuclear systems modeling, and a summer project at the Harvard Managing the Atom Center on nuclear materials in Russia. She also takes delegations of students from MIT to Russia in the summers for conferences, assists in the Russian SkolTech Institute nuclear center development, and is working on establishing a student exchange program between MIT and Russia universities. Her goal is to bring together nations as well as policy and technical experts together to help innovation flourish.

Vishal Patel

Vishal is a Ph.D. graduate student at Texas A&M University studying Nuclear Engineering. He has received an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M and a B.S. in Physics from The University of Texas. Vishal currently works in the Advanced Energy Technologies group under Professor Pavel Tsvetkov. His research interests include advanced reactor concepts and reactor control.

Vishal previously performed undergraduate research in neutron activation analysis and was an undergraduate TA in a radiation detection lab at UT. He has done summer work at the Center for Space Nuclear Research at the INL developing a nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft. Outside of his academic pursuits, Vishal enjoys weightlifting, cooking, and searching for the perfect cup of coffee.

Jeremy Pearson

Jeremy is a Ph.D. graduate student at the University of California – Irvine studying chemical engineering and used nuclear fuel recycling. He previously attended Brigham Young University where he received a B.S. in chemical engineering. Jeremy currently works in the Nuclear Research Group at UC Irvine under Professor Mikael Nilsson. His research interest focuses on understanding the sensitivity of solvent extraction processes to radiolysis in an effort to create more robust, efficient, and economical processes which can be adopted in a future fuel cycle that includes recycling and advanced reactor technologies.

Jeremy is an active member of the American Nuclear Society, serving on the Education and Public Outreach committees in the San Diego ANS Local Section. In this capacity he has given lectures on nuclear science and technology at local high schools and worked to promote awareness of nuclear energy and technology, especially during the NRC’s evaluation for restart of the local San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, by organizing and hosting screenings of Switch and Pandora’s Promise at UC Irvine with their respective directors. Jeremy has also participated with colleagues representing UCI in D.C. at the DOE’s Better Building’s Case Competition presenting energy efficiency solutions to the government’s real estate portfolio managed by the GSA. In his spare time Jeremy enjoys playing guitar, wake surfing, and playing soccer and dirt biking with his family.

Benjamin Reinke

Benjamin Reinke is a Ph.D. student at the Ohio State University studying Nuclear Engineering. He graduated from OSU with a B.S. in Physics and French and Honors and Research Distinction in 2010. While an undergraduate, he worked in a High Energy Density Physics laser research laboratory.

Ben is a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. His current research focuses on experimental and simulations for cryogenic irradiation damage tests. Specifically Ben is establishing a cryogenic irradiation facility at the Ohio State University Research Reactor for completing in situ damage tests on semiconductor materials and optical fibers. Ben also works with a Material Science professor to simulate the radiation damage in these experiments and develop a mulit-scale model of defect annealing. Earlier in his graduate studies, Ben worked on a Department of Energy Nuclear Engineering Program to develop a high temperature alpha particle detector with 4H-SiC. Ben also spends time as the president of the OSU student chapter of the American Nuclear Society and serving as the graduate/professional student member of the OSU Board of Trustees.