Westinghouse Fellows Program now accepting applications for summer 2020

The nuclear engineering summer fellowship program provides real-world experience for students across the country


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is now accepting applications for the 11th annual Westinghouse Fellows Program during summer 2020. Eight students from across the country will be selected to conduct research at Penn State and participate in a series of professional development activities.

In summer of 2019, Penn State hosted eight undergraduate engineering students as participants in the 10th annual Westinghouse Fellows Program. With the aid of a Westinghouse grant, the fellows spent the summer at Penn State, working with nuclear engineering faculty and graduate students on research projects. The students presented their findings to executives at Westinghouse’s headquarters in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, at the conclusion of their summer experience.

Under the mentorship of Azaree Lintereur, assistant professor of nuclear engineering, fellows Miranda De La Garza from Texas A&M Kingsville and Ricardo Lopez from University of Michigan studied methods for better detection and prevention of stolen nuclear materials. Alec Cacheris from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Sean Kosslow from Penn State worked with Leigh Winfrey, associate professor of nuclear engineering, to study the effect of electrothermal plasma on various materials to help minimize damage to nuclear reactors.

Under William Walters, assistant professor of nuclear engineering, Alexander DePillis from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Vince Freschi from Penn State studied improvements to nuclear reactor simulations and materials for nuclear thermal rockets, respectively. Brianna Messier from University of Massachusetts Lowell and Colton Kline from the University of Alabama worked with Marek Flaska, assistant professor of nuclear engineering, to validate advanced equipment that can detect radiation after detonations.

Throughout their program, the Westinghouse fellows toured local sites, including Westinghouse’s Waltz Mill facility in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, where technicians are trained to service and repair nuclear reactor components. The fellows also visited another Westinghouse site in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, where specialists create fuel cladding components that make up the fuel assemblies in nuclear reactors. The fellows also visited Penn State’s Breazeale research reactor, the longest continually operating university reactor in the nation.

In addition to their hands-on research opportunities and educational excursions, the Westinghouse fellows participated in several professional development opportunities. Peter Miraldi, teaching professor in communication arts and sciences, provided teambuilding activities, resume writing and interview workshops, conflict management techniques and training for effective technical presentations. Also, Hannah Misera, an improv artist from Chicago, ran a series of activities to help the fellows think on their feet, adapt to challenging situations and work together to solve problems when under pressure.

For more information about the Westinghouse Fellows Program or to apply for the summer of 2020, visit www.nuce.psu.edu/twfp or email Peter Miraldi at pnm10@psu.edu.


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Megan Lakatos




The Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the top ranked nuclear engineering programs in the United States. The department distinguishes itself with a strong focus on experimental research. The actively growing department leads four educational programs for students pursuing a bachelor of science, a master of science, a master of engineering, or a doctoral degree. The Radiation Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) facilities, including the Breazeale Reactor, are available to nuclear engineering faculty and students at Penn State for research and instruction. RSEC houses the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, the country’s first and longest operating licensed nuclear research reactor. Having access to an operating research reactor is a key strength for the department and enables Penn State to harness research and educational opportunities that are unique in the United States. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at nuce.psu.edu.

Department of Nuclear Engineering

205 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6938