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Tim Smith, recipient of DOE undergraduate scholarship. Tim Smith, recipient of DOE undergraduate scholarship.

Birdy Phathanapirom , recipient of a 3-year graduate fellowship. Birdy Phathanapirom , recipient of a 3-year graduate fellowship.

Tim Smith and Urairisa (Birdy) Phathanapirom, two mechanical engineering students, in the Nuclear Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin have been selected as winners of prestigious nuclear energy funding from the Department of Energy's (DOE) Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) division.

Tim Smith, an Undergraduate Research Assistant of Assistant Professor Mark Deinert, is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering Department and has worked in Dr. Deinert's research group for about a year. He was selected for a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship from the DOE). In mid July he received a letter explaining his application to the Integrated University Program (IUP) scholarship had been accepted. The undergraduate scholarship is not tied to any specific project. Deinert and his research group were instrumental in guiding Smith through the application process. Smith is one of only 37 undergraduates in the nation to receive the undergraduate scholarship.

One of Associate Professor Erich Schneider's Graduate Research Assistants, Birdy Phathanapirom won the graduate student equivalent of the award, a three-year $155,000 fellowship that was awarded to 31 graduate students nationwide. She will receive $50,000 annually and $5,000 for a summer training program. Birdy is currently a master's student, but has enrolled in the M.S./Ph.D. program.

Through the Integrated University Program, DOE is awarding nearly $5 million to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing nuclear energy-related engineering and science degrees. As part of the fellowship, graduate students will participate in a summer internship at a DOE National Laboratory, or other approved facility, to enhance their involvement in the DOE's nuclear energy research programs. The selected students will study a range of nuclear energy issues including fuel cycle and reactor-related research.

The goal of the Nuclear Engineering University Program is to encourage U.S. colleges and universities to conduct research and development for the purpose of enhancing the country's nuclear infrastructure and build a world-class nuclear energy workforce for the future. The goal of the scholarship and fellowship programs is to attract the brightest students in related fields, train them well, and support the transfer of knowledge from an aging nuclear workforce to the next generation of workers.

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