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$450k Nuclear Regulatory Commission grant awarded to BYU Mechanical Engineering

BYU’s Mechanical Engineering department is one of only 11 programs nationwide to be awarded this grant in 2019; the grant will help expand BYU's existing nuclear research capability, encourage cross-disciplinary research, and more

In September the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) awarded a $450,000 grant to BYU's Mechanical Engineering department to support new faculty in nuclear engineering research. The NRC Faculty Development Grant Award encourages careers and research in nuclear-related fields.

BYU’s Mechanical Engineering department is one of only 11 programs nationwide to be awarded this particular grant.

To receive the grant, the Mechanical Engineering department put forth a proposal to the NRC outlining its intent to expand its existing nuclear engineering research and education capacity by supporting Troy Munro, a newly hired, tenure-track assistant professor with expertise in characterizing heat transfer in solid and liquid materials. He currently manages the Thermal, Energy, and Material Properties Lab (or TEMP Lab).

The goal will be to eventually establish an interdisciplinary nuclear research group at BYU and provide more mentored research opportunities for students interested in nuclear engineering. Additionally, the project will help expand BYU's MSR (molten salt reactor) research into heat transfer and thermal characterization projects.

"This grant means the nuclear program at BYU is considered valuable to the NRC and the nuclear community in general," says Munro. "The funding will help us meet our goals of developing cross-disciplinary research at BYU and among research universities in Utah and ultimately help our students by increasing job opportunities and ties to national labs."

Congress authorized the NRC to provide federal funding opportunities to qualified academic institutions to encourage careers and research in nuclear, mechanical and electrical engineering and related fields to meet expected future workforce needs.

The complete list of grants awarded and general information about the grant program is available on the NRC’s website.