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Boise State Student Tapped for DOE Nuclear Energy Fellowship

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 10:57 am / May 12, 2016

Portrait of Kiyo Fujimoto.On May 7, Kiyo Fujimoto graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry. In June, she’ll begin a materials science doctoral program under the direction of assistant professor David Estrada.

Her doctoral project was recently selected for a three-year fellowship from the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP).

Fujimoto is one of only 32 engineering and science graduate students nationwide to be selected for the prestigious fellowship. The award provides $50,000 per year, plus $5,000 toward a summer internship at a U.S. national lab, to strengthen the ties between students and the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Research Programs.

Fujimoto will work in Boise State’s Integrated NanoMaterials Laboratory to develop an understanding of the microstructural, electrical and thermal effects of irradiation on commercially available aerosol jet printing (AJP) inks. AJP is an additive manufacturing technique used to 3D print components, including sensors and antennas in areas such as cellular telephone and aerospace industries.

Logo for the U.S. Department of EnergyIf nuclear-grade inks could be successfully developed, the process offers promise in the nuclear industry as well. This would allow for the direct integration of electronic components into advanced sensors to address critical technology gaps as the nuclear industry moves from analog to digital technology, thus reducing the effort and cost associated with maintaining older systems.

The project will focus on the specific 2D nanomaterials graphene and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) due to their high surface-to-volume ratio, low-scattering cross section and compatibility with AJP.

“Kiyo is very deserving of this award,” said Estrada. “Her past academic achievements, research experience and passion for science have positioned her to become a leader in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. This fellowship will allow her the academic freedom to pursue research at the intersections of emerging materials, additive manufacturing and nuclear sciences.”

Fujimoto is grateful to have been selected for the fellowship. “The funding is nice, but I’m really excited about the internship opportunity awarded with this,” she said. “It will help me establish connections I may not have been able to make without the fellowship. And hopefully that will lead to employment after I earn my degree.”