Ceramic Industry

Alfred Professors Receive $1.72 million in DOE Grants

May 22, 2012

Two Alfred University professors will receive a combined total of $1.72 million for research through the Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) of the U.S. Department of Energy. S.K. Sundaram, Inamori professor of Materials Science in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University, will receive $840,000 for “Alternative High-Performance Ceramic Waste Forms.” Co-investigator on the project is Scott Misture, also an Inamori Professor of Materials Science at Alfred. Collaborators include Kevin Fox, a 2000 alumnus of Alfred University, and Kyle Brinkman. Both work at Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, S.C.

Nathan Mellott, an assistant professor of Materials Science, will receive $880,000 for “Surface Layer-Bulk Glass Interface Evolution with Aqueous Corrosion.” Misture is a collaborator with Mellott; additional collaborators include Joseph Ryan, who is a 1998 alumnus of Alfred University now working at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA; and Glenn Waychunas of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.

“I commend Dr. Sundaram and Dr. Mellott for their efforts to secure these research grants,” said Doreen Edwards, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering. “It is a credit to Alfred University, and the quality of the work our faculty and students to advance ceramics and glass education and research.”

Sundaram’s project will involve looking for new ways to incorporate higher levels of molybdenum and other elements into multiphasic ceramics. He will be synthesizing and characterizing the materials to determine their structure and chemical durability. 

Mellott’s work will focus on the determination of both the mechanisms and rates of long-term dissolution of nuclear waste glasses. This will be achieved primarily through the reaction of glasses under novel experimental conditions coupled with the utilization of advanced surface characterization techniques and geochemical modeling.

For additional information, visit www.alfred.edu.