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Incoming UNM Nuclear Engineering Grad Student Receives DOE Fellowship

July 25, 2012

aaron olsonOver the summer, incoming UNM nuclear engineering graduate student Aaron Olson received a prestigious Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) Graduate Fellowship.

The fellowship awards Olson $50,000 annually over the next three years and an additional $5,000 that will go towards a summer internship at Sandia National Laboratories to support student involvement in the DOE’s applied research programs.

“I was ecstatic to get the fellowship,” says Olson. “This allows me to have the funding to pursue my research interests and obtain a PhD.”

Olson is planning to specialize in computational radiation transport, one of the areas in which UNM NE excels. He learned about the fellowship opportunity through his mentor while on a summer internship at Sandia. His mentor collaborates with Anil K. Prinja, professor of nuclear engineering at UNM.

“Aaron has a strong background and interest in applying mathematical and computational techniques to investigate radiation interactions with matter, which meshes nicely with my research program,” says Prinja. “The NEUP Fellowship Program gives the awardee considerable freedom and independence and I am thrilled that Aaron chose UNM over other institutions for his graduate studies.”

Olson received his BS in Nuclear Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO.

Last year, he and his wife Ashley took a year off after receiving their undergraduate degrees to pursue a degree in pastoral counseling. Both are close to receiving their Master’s in pastoral counseling. “The training has enhanced our relationships with each other and with other people,” says Olson. “I plan to apply these skills as I pursue my education and throughout my career.”