Tessa May Hennigh, a senior student in engineering physics at the Colorado School of Mines, recently began her post-graduate career with a $155,000 fellowship research grant to study nuclear energy.
Hennigh’s research topic concerns using current technology to decrease the radioactive material that commercial nuclear reactors produce as they operate. She will continue her research under Mark Deinert, a faculty member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, and Andrew Osborne, a post-doctoral researcher who is part of Deinert’s group of researchers.
Hennigh will graduate from Mines in May. She plans to continue her studies with a Masters of Engineering and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering.
During this fiscal year, the Department of Energy has chosen to finance 32 fellowships dedicated to graduate students and 59 scholarships allocated to undergraduate students. The total amount of the grants comes to $5 million.
“Previously, I had just intended to do the combined degree [BS in Physics, MS in Nuclear] and then go into industry,” Hennigh said. The award, she said, made her realize “there are other people who care about nuclear engineering and its potential as much as I do. I believe that participating in this fellowship program will provide me with opportunities to pursue my goal of working to make nuclear power a sustainable energy source."